The Lightlings written by R.C. Sproul and published by Reformation Trust Publishing, and is one of the childrens titles currently offered under this publisher. Dr. Sproul is highly acclaimed for his works on Apologetics and Reformed Theology which is aimed at adults but The Lightlings is outstandingly aimed at conveying the truths of scripture to very young children.
The Lightlings has two key strengths the content and the illustration. With regard to the content, The Lightlings takes a unique approach to storytelling which works wondrously. This approach uses a drama within a drama. Sometimes this storytelling approach can be unnecessarily complex, but that cannot be said of The Lightlings, which is fast paced, clever, and whimsical. In regard to imparting the truths of Gods Word, Dr. Sproul explains these important truths to young children without dumbing the Truth down.
The Truth Dr. Sproul communicates is the simplicity and depth of the Gospel. He starts with original sin, the need of a savior, and the provision of the savior in Jesus within a unique allegorical tale. While at some points this story can become a bit wordy, this in no way distracts the child or the reader for that matter from this intriguing presentation of our sin and Gods redemptive plan of salvation.
In regard to the illustration The Lightlings, has bright colors and is skillfully drawn so that it not only captures a childs attention but their imagination as well. Furthermore the illustrations not only illustrate the allegorical tale but advance the narrative in a way mere words cannot. While the audience for The Lightlings is for ages 3 to 7, when I read it to my daughter (age under 2) she was captivated for the entirety of the story.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Reformation Trust Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
The foundation for this next children's book from Sproul comes from 1 John 1:5 - "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." The creation, the fall, the birth of Jesus, and redemption are all magnified through this allegorical tale.
Once again, this book takes a very similar format as the others. A young Charlie Cobb questions why he is so afraid of the dark. The mother suggests seeking some answers from his grandfather. Grandpa twists the question by telling Charlie that many people are actually afraid of the light. He then decides to tell Charlie a story help him understand.
A beautiful people, called the Lightlings, were created and loved by The King of Light. They lived happily in a gorgeous garden and shone their light just as bright as their king. Eventually the Lightlings disobeyed. The subsequent shame made them lose their light and they hid in the darkness. Soon after, they saw a gloriously bright light in the far distance. Although many were scared of this bright light, a few were curious and traveled to discover what this could be. At the end of their journey they found a mother and father Lightling with a baby Lightling - the source of the bright light. They realize this baby Lightling is the remedy needed to give them their light back and remove the darkness.
- The King if Light = God
- Baby Lightling = Jesus
- Mother/Father Lightling = Mary and Joseph
- the Lightlings people = human kind
The story itself does a fabulous job of allowing the reader a child like perspective of deep doctrines. The parent section at the end also provides additional thought provoking questions and insights.
Although I have never mentioned the illustrations in the other children's books written by Sproul, I do appreciate the powerfully engaging artwork in The Lightlings. It seems as though he allowed several of the pictures to tell additional aspects of the story not within the writing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Loved it! I dont think RC could have done a better job sharing the story of redemption. We bought this for unchurched kids and they love it! Kids are smarter than we give them credit for, thats for sure. Love the Scripture refs in the back too. What an amazing book to share with kids.
It's amazing that a simple picture book like this can awaken your heart to profound truth. Somehow the fact that humans are created in the image of God to reflect His Glory gets lost until we read a story like this- a story about the King of Light who created Lightlings in His Image. This book comes in the form of a story told by a wise grandfather to his little grandson Charlie Cobb, who asked why we are afraid of the dark? "That's a very good question." Grandpa responds,"But you know, not only are lots of people afraid of the dark, many people are afraid of the light." Thus begins the story of the Lightlings, beings created to shine with their Makers Light, who were placed in a Paradise Garden until willful rebellion cast them out into a dark wood of thorns and thistles. The Lightlings are doomed to walk in the darkness they chose until the King of Light sends His own Son to be the Light in the Lightlings world. Justin Gerad's illustrations are well suited to this faerie world, the pictures of Light are lovely: sunlit glades with winged lightlings. roses and friendly chipmunks. The pictures of darkness (sin) and the lightlings going into exile are appropriately sad and dark without being overly scary- if your children are sensitive than be careful to explain that the darkness is taken away soon. The lightlings soon could not tell night from day, and when they saw the light shining frommiles and miles away they were frightened of it, afraid of the Light King.
Some of the children went to it though..
And the Children who went to see the baby came home shining with a light that was not their own and they told all the other Lightlings that the LIGHT OF THE WORLD had come.
Grandpa looked at Charlie's awestruck face, and explained that the Light of the World has come to us too, and we who love God are children of the Light. We need never fear the darkness.
"Charlie, let me make a suggestion. Every time you see the sun, the moon, or the stars, or light a candle, or turn on your night light, remember the story of the child the King of Light brought into the darkness of this world. And remember that He gave us this baby as a present. As long as you remember that, you will never, ever have to be afraid of the darkness again." I am delighted to receive a free copy of this book for my library. R C Sproul has given us Truth in this book for children. Scripture verses are included for study with your children. I give this five stars.