This is a colourful collection of ten American folktales, each one told in rich detail and followed by a short message about Jesus Christ.
For example, the first story, ‘Beware of the Words, Smiles and Frowns of Men’, is about a naïve farmer who is repeatedly deceived by a lying blacksmith. Geoff Thomas then tells a contrasting gospel message about the Lord Jesus, explaining how everything Jesus said is true, especially about his own death and resurrection.
Another short story, the American legend of Casey Jones, will appeal to children interested in trains, as Thomas describes the specifics of the locomotives of 19th century Mississippi. Casey Jones was a train engineer who gave his life in a train accident to save the lives of his passengers.
There naturally follows the story of Jesus: ‘Just like Casey Jones, he did not abandon the train, jumping off the locomotive and leaving all the passengers to a grisly fate. He stayed there, refusing to leave his position, becoming the one who took all the danger and death so that none of those he cared about perished’ (p.80).
The stories are short and largely accessible for children, although some of the vocabulary is a little ambitious for younger readers. They are told in a warm ‘grandfatherly’ style and would be great as bedtime stories, being read and explained by an adult. Some of the text is slightly dense and children may struggle to enjoy them on their own.
Recommended for children aged 7–10 years old.