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John Calvin: A Children's Story Behind the Legacy


Tittle, Kerry L.
Audiobook Narrated by: Jim Hodges
ReformationKidz Publishing
www.reformationkidz.com

ReformationKidz Publishing
Ferndale, Arkansas 72122

John Calvin: A Children's Story Behind the Legacy is a softcover picture book and accompanying audio CD that introduces children to the life of John Calvin.

John Calvin is a fairly thorough story told from the point of view of William Farel, a reformer who lived at the same time as John Calvin. In the story, Farel travels to Geneva, Switzerland to visit Calvin. Through their conversation, and Farel's memories of Calvin's life, readers are led through the biography. Small paragraphs in the sidebars of the book provide extra information about items of significance in Calvin's life: William Farel, Calvin's wife Idellette, the Geneva Academy, and the Five Points of Calvinism to name a few.

John Calvin could be used as part of a history or church history study for elementary or middle school students. Due to the length of the content and the reading level, this is not a book that younger readers would read by themselves. The book is written at the reading level of a fifth or sixth grader. While the book is only 20 pages long, there is a lot of content on those 20 pages. For younger elementary students, this book would primarily be read aloud to them or read-along with the CD.

We enjoyed this book. There don't seem to be many church history resources available for younger students, and Tittle's book fits right into our family's study. Information in the book covers Calvin's entire life and touches on the themes of God's sovereignty and Calvin's obedience to God. Notes at the end of the book encourage children to remember that they can commit themselves to obeying God wherever He has placed them. The book is quite meaty, and is most likely best read in multiple sittings in order to avoid wandering attentions in younger readers. Reading the book aloud takes over 30 minutes, not including any side discussions that may pop up.

Jim Hodges' audio CD is well done. This CD works well as bedtime or naptime listening, and as a read-aloud for the book. The only downside to the CD is that it is all on one track. On some CD players it cannot be stopped mid-way through and picked up in the same place.

We appreciated finding a resource for teaching church history and the Reformation that was written for younger readers. So much material available is meant for older students, and must be adapted down or screened for younger children. John Calvin: A Children's Story Behind the Legacy was refreshing in that we could pick it up and enjoy it as is, without any adaptation. It was an excellent supplement to our studies.



Product Review by Hillary Harm, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2011


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