Allegories for Older Ones
Theotots values clarity over creativity.
Toddlers need clarity (not confusion).
When I was in seminary I was sometimes subjected to confused creativity. I could give examples, but they wouldn’t really be helpful. And so I like to focus on very direct presentations of the gospel.
But what about allegories? Actually, when I was younger, I loved The Chronicles of Narnia, Pilgrim’s Progress, and The Lord of The Rings movies. I read The Hobbit book as an adult in Beijing and found it too dark. I also read an allegory by George Macdonald around the same time.
One source for classic children’s allegories is the Lamplighter Books. Sometimes they have a booth at Homeschool conferences. Consider looking for relatively inexpensive second hand editions of their books.
Now I will feature two allegories by well-known names: R. C. Sproul and Francis Chan. Afterwards I will highlight works for high schoolers.
So, first, R. C. Sproul’s book, “The Lightlings" is for first graders. It’s told as a story within a story. The Grandpa tells of a Fall, the incarnation, and more. A theme is light.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m in a season of highly preferring clarity over creativity but if you’re looking for a kind of Johannine (light/dark) allegory for kids, this may be a good pick.
In “The Big Red Tractor And The Little Village,” Francis Chan talks about power, which isn’t often featured in mainstream Evangelical children’s materials. Specifically, he addresses the power of the Bible and The Holy Spirit. The Bible is our instruction manual like the manual for the tractor. I recommend it for ages 3-7 (despite the relatively large font).
Shifting gears, I will tell you about a 32 page book that has a poem about a loving Creator. Those who study his work at first sort of seem like atheistic scientists. Those at the end are worshipers. The sketches are black and white and somehow this makes me think of my AP American Lit. class in High School. Consider incorporating The Artist's Page into Christian high school curriculum.
Finally, I want to introduce you to a personal friend who uses a pseudonym. She and I met at a pizza party overseas. A child’s book I recommend by her is, “Out You Go, Fear!” Here I want to focus on her allegorical Christian fantasy though. The Chronicles of The Kingdom currently includes two books: “Rescue from Darkness" and “Sands of Surrender.”
Amazon lists these as being for ages 7-9 but I should tell you that there’s some extremely dark, heavy subject matter and also some teenybopper flirtation like holding hands and kissing on the cheek.
If you’ve read Francine Rivers' Christian romance novels (which are, in some ways very adult and dark- with Christian elements and redemptive themes) you might be in the same ball park as The Chronicles of The Kingdom.
But my husband saw a lot of fruit from my reading my friend’s books, and so there you have it. Life transformation and a deeper walk with the Lord resulted from my reading these books in 2017.
These days I prefer board books that talk about Jesus’s love and feature happy toddlers and vibrant colors.
Do feel free to tell me about your recommendations at [email protected].