Doreen Tamminga, a Canadian school teacher, originally wrote these short stories for The messenger, a magazine published by the Free Reformed Churches of North America. They are aimed at children growing up in Christian homes, or, at least, from a churched background, and assume a degree of biblical knowledge and doctrinal understanding.
Most of the stories deal with ordinary events and dilemmas in a child’s life, and while they are inevitably set in a slightly different culture to our own, most children in the UK should be able to relate to them, with minimal explanation.
One or two of the stories are allegorical or historical. They are particularly useful for a parent or teacher to use in order to open up discussion on a certain topic.
Although the book is by no means dull, it is serious and challenging. Firstly it seeks to make children aware of their need of personal salvation: some of the stories are directly evangelistic.
Secondly, it challenges them about how they ought to be living as Christians, and, thirdly, it points out from Scripture, why they ought to live in such a way. The writer shows great understanding of children and the tone of the book is warm, emphasising God’s love and forgiveness and the fact that God’s way is always the best way.
The stories are arranged into those suitable for 4-6 year-olds, 7-9 year-olds and 10-12 year-olds. There is also a topical index, which could be used to find a relevant story on a particular subject.
I read one of the stories to my Sunday school class of eight- and nine-year-olds. They listened intently to the narrative and were able to understand the application. Surely anything which encourages children to establish habits of holy living in today’s climate must be worthwhile.