Review: Deborah and Jael

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Title: Deborah and Jael

Author: Lucy Rycroft

Illustrator: Beth Aulton

Price: £6.99

Published by and available from: The Hope-filled Family

Good for: anyone with children age 3-10 years old

Best bit: lovely rhyming story-portrait of two Bible women, lovely pictures too

Worst bit: occasionally the rhyme feels a little forced, but my children didn’t notice, and I’m super-fussy!

More thoughts:

We loved this book! My 7 and 8 year old girls pointed out to me years ago that there aren’t enough stories about ‘girls’ in the Bible, so this was perfect for them! (Although also fab for boys!)

The story is cleverly told in gentle rhyme, including the characters of:

  • King Jabin (“he wasn’t kind; oh he was the cruellest king you could find!”)
  • Deborah  (“Now Deborah was wise and Deborah was strong, under a tree she would sit all day long”)
  • Barak (“Barak didn’t want to do this on his own. He said, “please come with me so I’m not alone.””)
  • Sisera (“Sisera started to get so confused; his chariots and warriors were, oh, so bemused”)
  • Jael (“Jael was cleaver and Jael was quick; when Sisera turned up she thought of a trick”)

And so the story goes on.  How  Jael kills Sisera isn’t explicitly mentioned (or depicted, although the picture gives a clue!), in fact, it just says she made sure that Sisera “wouldn’t be mean anymore”. And there’s two while pages on the praises people sang to God, which I really like, as that’s often missed out of the story when it’s told.

The pictures are bold, bright and clear, making each character feel like a real person, not just a cartoon cut out.

The book itself is 20cm square, and printed on good quality, very sturdy paper, so this book will last and be passed down.

All I want now is another story!