Mars Hill Church in Seattle emphasizes the importance of reading Bible stories to children. http://tinyurl.com/2cf5zu, However, if you like to read to youngsters at home, consider Allia Zobel Nolan’s scripturally sound Bible stories about great Bible characters like Daniel, Moses and Noah.
Daniel’s Diary,by Allia Zobel Nolan, Illustrated by Linda Clearwater, Harvest House Publishers, 2009, Ages 4-8, 32 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-0736925440, $14.99
In Daniels Diary, the “story of how God saved Daniel from the lions,” children learn the importance of prayer and are encouraged to become “experts” in prayer just like Daniel, who admits he’s a “teeny-bit nervous.” The story begins with Daniel writing, “Guards are waiting outside, so I have to be quick….they plan to march me over to the lion’s den and throw me in.”
But, the tale begins much earlier with Aaron and Ezra’s devious deception prompted by their jealousy of Daniel.
Daniel, held in the courts favor because of his role as governor and talent as “dream reader,” is brought to the court by Belshazzar’s servant. Belshazzar wants Daniel to interpret a message written on the wall by a five-fingered hand unattached to a body. On their way to the court, Daniel asks if the king “has had a little teeny tiny bit too much grape drink?”
The servant didn’t know, but said his Majesty had sent him for Daniel because he would know what the words, Mene, Tekel, Parsin,” mean. When Daniel saw the writing on the wall, he told his majesty God was angry with him for praying to foreign statues and drinking from goblets that belonged in God’s house. He said the words meant, “God has ended your reign, you’re not doing a good job, your kingdom will be divided.” By night’s end the prophecy had come true and Darius the Mede became king.
Add Daniel’s entrapment because of Aaron’s and Ezra’s intrigue, a cat named Scruffy, hungry lions, Louie, the angel that looked like a “Mr. Olympia” poster, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and children will turn the pages faster than they can be read.
Seven diary entries, from two to four-page spreads, tell the story from Daniel’s reminisces and point-of-view. Colorful cartoon caricatures by Linda, Clearwater enhance the story. For example, the caricature of Daniel in the lion’s den with the caption, “One very nervous me, trying to calm one very large lion,” will have children squealing with delight.
Allia Zobel Nolan’s children’s Bible stories are scripturally accurate, with characters drawn from the Bibles Hall of Fame. Her delightful humor about factual events is enhanced by Linda Clearwater’s clever cartoons that both educate and delight.
Every story includes a foundation Scripture and glossary for unfamiliar words, with a note from the author about the lesson she wants to leave with readers. In this book she encourages youngsters to picture God sitting beside them as they pray. Not only does it help them to focus, it prevents them from rushing through prayer time.
From enchanting covers to well-researched, well-written humorous stories, this author is a privilege to read and review. Any of her books would make a great addition to a church or home library or for children’s gifts.
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