I had the pleasant opportunity to review two children’s books from Christian Focus Publications this week. The first is Rainforest Adventures by Horace Banner and the second, Antarctic Adventures by Bartha Hill. Both Rainforest and Antarctic are part of the Adventure Series which also includes such titles as African Adventures, Himalayan Adventures, and Wild West Adventures.
Rainforest and Antarctic splendidly blends history, adventure, and Biblical truth within its pages. Rain Forest Adventures by Horace Banner is divided into simple, concise chapters, easily digested by readers beginning to take on chapter books but also looking for a challenge. Each chapter features an animal of the rainforest and the author takes us through his experience as a missionary in the Amazonian Rain Forest and helps us to apply biblical principles using illustrations from his experiences. Each chapter ends with a Bible verse. Beautiful black and white illustrations pepper each chapter and bring the story alive. I enjoyed this particular book for its brevity of each chapter and will be using this in my home school as a reader for my oldest son who loves going on adventures in our backyard! What better way to stir the imagination, give him a history lesson, and bring to light Biblical truths?
Antarctic Adventures by Bartha Hill takes on a different tone. The chapters in this book are longer, more thorough in its treatment of history in relation to the story and contain fewer illustrations. Antarctic contains a short quiz with answers toward the end of the book. In one chapter, Antarctic tells us the real story of Happy Feet as it happened in history and readers will be delighted to learn about the Emperor Penguin and his adventures.
Unlike Rainforest, Antarctic, does not employ a Bible verse at the end, but instead weaves Scripture and Biblical principles throughout. This book is written for older children with a good grasp in reading or for use as a read a loud. The history and real life experiences in this adventure book is ideal for a rich learning environment. History comes alive in the Antarctic. The theology in this book can come across as a little weak as it does not defer to the Sovereignty of God but rather man’s response to his circumstances, although a right response according to Scripture is biblical in itself. Where the book leaves off, parents have a great opportunity to expound on Scriptures as they teach their children Biblical truth.
Rain Forest Adventures and Antarctic Adventures are both excellent reads and I recommend them for anyone looking to merge adventure with Biblical truth. Those looking for deeper theological truths will not find them in these books but can instead use this stories as a springboard to explore in depth right theology. As a Reformed Christian, not all theological concepts in these books align with my beliefs (i.e. choosing God) but I will gladly use them as opportunities as I teach my children from the Scriptures. In light of all of this, I give these books four stars.
I received a copy of Rain Forest Adventures and Antarctic Adventures for my honest review. All opinions are my own.