A Book Review from Books At a Glance
by Kristin Stiles
I love a good allegory. I love when an author can take the familiar and repackage it in a different setting with different characters and tell the same story, but with a whole new flavor. That is what James Shrimpton has done with this brief overview of the message of the entire Bible. He said that his inspiration was a statement by a professor and theologian who summarized the Bible this way: “Kill the Dragon. Get the girl.” And truly the Bible is the story of how God has defeated Satan and is gathering His bride, the church.
In The King and the Dragon, we are quickly taken through history from creation through the fall through the work at the cross and the resurrection through the church age to the final culmination of time with the King’s eternal reign. All of this is done in the most enjoyable verse that is a pleasure to read. It isn’t surprising that the author is also a hymn writer. The scene opens with the king creating his kingdom, but the dragon wants to usurp the throne and is cast out. In his search for revenge, the dragon lies to the king’s subjects and convinces them to break the one law that the king had given them. This opens the door to misery and destruction. The gracious king promises that he will send his son to defeat the dragon and make all things right. The people wait a long time, but the son finally arrives. He is born in unexpected obscurity and in his battle with the dragon dies himself. But three days later, he comes back to life and the people learn that this was all done for the complete destruction of the dragon and for their own salvation if they will just believe in him. The people are encouraged to become more and more like this brave and true knight while they wait for the glorious return of their king to be with them forever.
The correlations between this story and the gospel are very clear and easy to draw with young children. I can imagine parents asking their children to explain how each part of the story matches the biblical narrative. It is a wonderful way of keeping the truths of the gospel fresh in their young minds and will help them to retell these truths by thinking back on the storyline of this book.
I really enjoyed this book, and I think it would be a very useful addition to a home library. The illustrations are very well done, and as I said before, the musical lilt of the text is such a joy to read. In fact, this is the type of book that a child would easily memorize given repeated exposure. What a wonderful message to internalize!
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
THE KING AND THE DRAGON, by James W. Shrimpton