Review: Whistlestop Tales

Posted in ,

book review of Whistlestop TalesTitle: Whistlestop Tales – around the world in 10 Bible stories

Author: Krish and Miriam Kandiah

Illustrator: Andy Gray

Price: RRP £10.99 (Available from WHSmiths for £9.36)

Hardback, 230 pages

Published by: Hodder Faith

Perfect for: children age 7-11 who enjoy funny pictures and a good story

Best bit: hilarious, dynamic artwork coupled with rich story telling

Worst bit: only 10 stories – I wanted more!

More thoughts:

I first came across this book in the form of the pictures, as they are created by my friend, Andy Gray (you can follow him in Facebook here). His artwork is always fun to see, and as someone who dabbles in sketching, I love seeing his process.

When I saw he was creating illustrations for this book, I didn’t realise how big a part of the book they would be. They add a lot of humour, emotion and action to stories which are already funny, emotive and fast-moving. Every double page spread has at least one illustration, often two, often taking up 50% of the space. As visual person I LOVE this, and I think it makes the stories really accessible for children in the 7-11 age gap, where reading isn’t always the easiest or most fun thing for some children.

At the beginning of each story is a short intro to the country the story takes place in, which is really helpful. I think talking about the places Bible stories take place really helps to make them more real. Krish and Miriam are also keen to show that the Bible isn’t full of stories about white people – in fact, most of them are about people in countries far from western Europe. This is especially important for children whose heritage lies outside of the UK.

The stories are well crafted, and a good length for engaging children in the details of the plot as well as the experiences of the characters, plus and understanding of God’s role in their narrative.

There’s ten stories, and four are about women, which is fab.

I would be delighted if someone bought this as a gift for my children!