A Kids & Moms Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Hannah Ahlgren
There are many ways to present the Gospel to our children in everyday life. You can read the Bible to them, teach them catechisms, help them learn Gospel packed hymns, and so much more. One of my favorite ways to share the Gospel with them is through rich books that teach how Jesus saves sinners. That is exactly what you will find in this ten-chapter, theology rich children’s book, Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey.
This book sets out to provide a kid’s version of John Bunyan’s, Pilgrims Progress. The book provides a way for young kids to see illustrations and hear the story that was written long ago about a Pilgrim named Christian. This book is intended for kids ages 4-10 and each chapter takes about 5-7 minutes to read. At the end of each chapter is a summary and a few questions to help the reader solidify what they learned. In the back of the book, there are more chapter questions to help understand the allegory and to apply the truths learned.
This book is one of our favorites already. It is beautifully made from cover to cover. It is a page-turner for the whole family. As your child goes through each chapter, they will learn this old story anew. Just like the original story, Christian goes on a pilgrimage to the Celestial City and on the way experiences woes and tribulations. He is always helped in each chapter by a friend sent by the King. We have read many versions of Pilgrim’s Progress already with our 5-year-old son. He has always loved the story even while this version has made it so easy for him to understand. The text is relatable and well written. The gospel is clear in each chapter, in the summaries, and in the questions. The story has sparked many great conversations for our family.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the Epilogue. Van Haltern has a call to faith in Jesus for his readers. He shares three lessons we can learn: Believe the King’s word, follow the King’s path, and seek the King’s city. This is something readers can take with them as they learn and grow in the Christian life.
The illustrations are truly breath-taking and well done. The bright and engaging pictures help young readers to truly see what Christian is facing on his journey. Beatriz Mello illustrates in a whimsical, kid-friendly way but she does not take away from the serious dangers that Christian faces. One of my favorite pages are that of Christian when his burden of sin falls off. She illustrates the weight of the burden so well, while looking at the cross, Christian’s burden rolls away. Another favorite series of pages is when Christian and his friend Hopeful make it to the Celestial City. They are welcomed by angels and receive a joyous welcome by the King into His city. All children and adults will be moved by these beautiful pictures.
The original book by John Bunyan presents Christian as a grown man. This story is written for children and so Christian is presented as a child. This makes the journey all Christians face in this world relatable to young children. Sometimes the Christian life can seem abstract for young kids but in this story, young Christian is faced with dangers just the same. He is helped by friends of the King and guided on the straight and narrow path. He meets other young pilgrims who are both bad and good. I think this especially helps young readers to grasp how they can fight sin when faced with people their own age. The original book weaves in Scripture to the story. You will find no different in this version. The King’s helpers quote Scripture beautifully woven into every chapter. Just like the original Pilgrim’s Progress, there is so much encouragement to be found. This book can be the start of so much good in a young Christian’s life.
Buy the books
LITTLE PILGRIM'S BIG JOURNEY: JOHN BUNYAN'S PILGRIM'S PROGRESS FULLY ILLUSTRATED & ADAPTED FOR KIDS, by Tyler Van Halteren