(In the spirit of full disclosure, this post does contain affiliate links. I only recommend products that I use and love myself!)
I want to share with you a book that was a huge hit for both my kids and myself. It is a child’s version of the classic allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Don’t let the fact that it is a children’s version scare you away. John Bunyan wrote his story in 1678 and the language is a little hard for kids to understand. This book held to the original tale, while using modern English which is easier for children to understand. Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor is a deep and symbolic story of a little boy who goes on a long journey – a journey in finding his way to the Celestial City.
It’s a story of a little boy called Christian and his friends who he meets a long the way, Pliable, Evangelist, Goodwill, Charity, Faithful, Hopeful and others. Taylor tells the tale of these and other children as they travel through steep and rocky terrain, beautiful palaces, and scary lands full of wild animals and other enemies as they search for the King who lives in the Celestial City. I was teary-eyed as I read through many of these chapters. It awakened some truths in me, some realities that I hadn’t thought about for some while.
The book is action packed and full of symbolism. It has some dark moments but you will have time throughout each chapter to be able to talk to your children about God, what it means to follow Jesus, and how the road we walk as believers is not always easy. The discussions that spawn off this book are great and probably the best reason to read it.
The back cover lists this book as being appropriate for ages 8-12. I think that is about right. We read it to my 7 and 9 year old and the 9 year old definitely “got it” more than my younger child did but they both enjoyed it tremendously. During parts that weren’t as easily understood, we talked about real world application.
It is a long book with many chapters – but the chapters are short. This can be read as a read-aloud during school hours or at bedtime. Because the chapters are so short, if you don’t have a lot of time you can still sneak one chapter into your day. On a day when you have more time to sit and cuddle up with this book, you can read many chapters at once – either way is a great way to enjoy this story.
This is the perfect time to talk with your kids about different genres of literature.