Book Reviews, Christian, Fairy/Folk Tale/Myth, Nonfiction
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*Wise Words by Peter J. Leithart

Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring Proverbs to Life by Peter J. Leithart. Canon Press, 2003. 148 pages.Wise Words

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12
Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) and up

In I Kings, Solomon notably asked the Lord for wisdom as a little child about to assume his father David’s crown. Proverbs is filled with Solomon’s rich admonishments, often best served to young children in small, bite-sized pieces. Peter Leithart’s Wise Words selects 18 verses and illustrates their meanings with short, fairytale-type stories perfect for budding imaginations.

Some examples: A poor woodsman gathers wealth steadily from a single magical walnut—but a greedy miller is ruined by hoarding loads of walnuts from the same tree. A king’s messenger is sent to travel across rocky terrain barefoot; he succumbs to tempting shortcuts like shoes and paved paths, only to find himself lost. Three sons compete for their father’s throne by searching for the “most wonderful, most royal creature in the world.” The youngest son wins when he returns with a humble, wise wife.

Modeled after Grimm’s fairy tales, Leithart’s devotional is engaging and likely to facilitate discussion and application of Proverbs—a worthy investment indeed.

Cautions: none

Overall Value: 4.5 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: 4.5
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Nonfiction, Adult, Devotional, Read-Alouds, Parenting, Bible, Stories, Family, Fairy Tales, Values, All

Cover image from Amazon

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