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Lamplighter Publishing Review by Karen Houston and Kate Kessler
(888) 246-7735

The Golden Thread
By Norman Macleod, retold by Mark Hamby

The Golden Thread is from the Rare Collector's Series of Lamplighter Publishing. Their motto is, "Making Ready a People Prepared for the Lord" from Luke 1:17. They are a division of Cornerstone Family Ministries in Waverly, Pennsylvania. Lamplighter Publishing can be reached at 1-888-246-7735 or their web site at

The Gold Thread was originally published in 1819, and then re-released in 1867 as The Golden Thread by Norman Macleod. Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing has retold the story for contemporary readers, just released in 2001.

A king prepares his beloved son for the lessons of the golden thread, hidden danger in life, faith, and the ultimate time of testing.

Phillip, intent upon his prize well hidden within the forest, lets the guiding golden thread slip from his hand, and hunts ceaselessly. Upon losing sight of his game, the prince discovers that the thread has slipped from his hand, dusk is upon him, and he is seemingly hopelessly lost in the rapidly darkening forest. As he seeks for his intended path, the youth begins to lament his wanderings, and calls out to his father, the king, for guidance.

How applicable these lessons are to the lives before us, as Christians! How applicable these allegories are to what we are to learn from what the Lord has before us!

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three" (I Corinthians 13:13).

Our story's Prince Phillip has several trials and mishaps, including the testing of his faith, the testing of his loyalty, the eternal worth of honesty and bravery versus man's cleverness, and the urge to flee from consequences, along with the recurring theme of the golden thread of faith guiding him again and again throughout all that life has to offer.

I agree heartily with our storyteller Mark Hamby's assessment that the golden thread was a touch heavy-handed in the original telling of The Gold Thread, our children agree, and his re-emphasis of God's Word is well appreciated by our own children.

"He that persevereth to the end shall be saved."

"For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ...wherefore give diligence...for if you do these things, you shall never fall" (2 Peter 1:8-10).

"There were three tests given to me during my journey: love for the truth, love for others, and faith." This is an excerpt from The Golden Thread, when Prince Phillip joyfully reunites with his father, the king, and the kingdom as one sings in triumphant chorus upon his return from such a long, bittersweet ordeal.

Thank you, Lamplighter Publishing, for your beautiful reenactment of the words to this lost antique now revived, and well worth the effort of its restoration! We applaud your work on this series, and plan to procure as many as we can for the sake of our children's children to come.

-- Product review by Karen Houston, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The True Princess
By Angela Elwell Hunt

I had never HEARD of Lamplighter Publishing and am deeply touched by these exquisitely poignant allegorical stories, wrought with Biblical principles. In the late 1800s, publishers offered a substantial reward to the writer who could "fire children's hearts up for the Lord." Boy, have they done it! As our daughter reads, her face becomes completely absorbed and you can just FEEL her entire heart welling up as she reads along, building towards the crux of the story. As Jesus said, He explained things by parables so that we could "hear" and "understand" (Matthew 13:10-16).

Mark Hamby, with three Master's degrees, M.S., M. Div., and Th. M., as well as having been a long-time special education teacher, pastor, and Christian school administrator in Waverly, Pennsylvania for some 24 years or more, is tracking down these lost antique classics and keeping that unique tradition, reproducing them for our enjoyment and our children's hearts. These are a true ministry! It appears Deborah (Mark's wife) and Jennifer Hamby (his daughter) are also illustrating some of them. These are not just books, but beautiful watercolor art as well. This one is illustrated by Diana Magnuson. God has truly given them a gift, and any one of these stories would make a magnificent gift to pass on to our children and grandchildren!

Oh, sorry, I digress fearfully. Dear me. To the specific volume at hand.

What makes a true princess in the eyes of Jesus? Is it being beautiful, regal, and well-kept, or is it being a loving servant? For in Matthew 20: 26-28, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."

I hear a rumor the Lamplighter Publishing web site will soon be animated. This will make review of their stories more interactive, and we look forward with eager anticipation to anything Lamplightersbrings to us.

-- Product review by: Karen Houston, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The Beggar's Blessing
Retold by Mark Hamby

The Beggar's Blessing is a lovely hardback book with creative and interesting artwork that draws the reader right into it. Based on a true story, we begin in a quiet English village with a talented woodcarver, but the tale blossoms from there. This book is really about a young girl and her diligent hard work she does to save for a desired carved doll. "Finally the long awaited day came." Then she meets an incredibly needy beggar and is faced with decisions her young mind probably had never entertained. This little lovely story of mercy and kindness brought tears to our eyes. God's mercy to us is so profound and to see it in a child's story played out in such a beautiful manner is wonderful. The book ends by quoting Matthew 25:40 where Jesus tells us, "When you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me." This is a tangible, timeless tale that will engage your whole family. You can see more of these types of encouraging and uplifting books by going to Lamplighter Publishing's website at

-- Product Review by: Kate Kessler, Lead Prodcut Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Tales of the Kingdom
Tales of the Resistance
Tales of the Restoration

By David and Karen Mains
Republished By Lamplighter Publishing

There is so much to say about this trilogy that I honestly do not know where to begin. If you are looking for books on par with the best of children's literature from an explicitly Christian worldview then you have found them. What you will find in the Kingdom Tales is beautifully done allegory. Real stories that bring the complexity of our deepest moments in life "love, loss, salvation, fear, trust, joy, forgiveness, faith, hidden sin, virtue, kindness and the understanding of what is really truth" conveyed in the most real and tangible way.

Our journey began with the Tales of the Kingdom. As we sat together on the couch, my girls and I were transported to a city where the evil Enchanter ruled with an iron hand. In his dark and fear-filled city, we met two sad and lonely boys who had just lost their mother. Their mother had not been like everyone else in the city:

"There is a King," his mother had always insisted. "real King." She believed the ancient tales even though signs were posted all over Enchanted City that read, "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A KING. DEATH TO PRETENDERS." But their mother had become ill, as so many did in the foul air of Enchanted City. "Once a great King ruled our city," she had said. "All the people thought him beautiful and served him willingly. But the Enchanter came and deceived the people and put a spell on the city. The King was exiled. Those who would find him must hunt for him in the place where trees grow."

Thus began the physical journey as well as a journey of the heart for Scarboy and his younger brother, Little Child, in their search for the King and His kingdom. There is much soul searching for all people in the King's land and each person has struggles. What was so very beautiful to us about this series is that the pains and trials of each different person became wonderfully real. There are times when what we read can align right up with a struggle in our own lives and these books are superbly poignant and hit directly at the heart. We saw the beauty of being washed in the King's loving ability to be all that was needed in all times of trial! Many times we were brought to tears by the way the King would heal the aching hearts of His beloved children.

The second book, Tales of the Resistance, is the story of the Scarboy, now known as Hero after his transformation by the King, returning to the home of his birth, Enchanted City. It is a dreaded place to him and he does it only for his love of the King and His coming Kingdom. These are the tales of the resistance of the King's people to the tyranny and fear of the wicked Enchanter. The Enchanter knows that his time is running out and that the King has come to save His people. What the King's people do not understand though, is that the King must suffer burning for His people. I cannot find the words to express what this book did for us while we read it. My girls and I could see clearly that this story was not like most stories, but was the ultimate truth, expressed in a very real way, of God's beautiful sacrifice for us; the giving of His life for the lives of His people.

The Tales of the Restoration is the outworking of the faith of the King's people in His now Bright City. This book beautifully shares many examples of the struggles we all face in our lives on this earth! Fear of life's twists and turns, finding safety in the arms of our Savior and obeying "Kingsways"; dealing with daily problems and relationship building - these are all communicated in a real and intimate manner. These are real stories - ones that express what life is truly filled with; the good, the pain, the abounding joy, the ache for the world that was before we humans marred it.

These are stories that you will read over and over and cherish with your children. We laughed and we cheered and we rejoiced and then there were times I had to choke back my tears to get to the end - to share with my children the gift and the glory of God in a beautiful and timeless tale. There are few story books that are as powerful in communicating God's gracious gift of love and grace towards His people. Hardback and beautifully illustrated, they are worth every penny.

For more information, or for other wonderful literature to share with your children, please visit

-- Product Review by: Kate Kessler, Lead Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The Three Weavers: a Tale for Fathers and Daughters

"Are we teaching our children to squander love, or to keep it pure and fresh for their future happiness and God's glory?"

What a delightful and lovely book to share with you all! Written in the 19th century by Annie Fellows Johnston and republished in beautiful format from Lamplighter Publishing, this is a treasure. The Three Weavers is a story about three very different fathers with three daughters. What happens to one family will happen to the other so when "Clotho, the watcher of weavers" visits each daughter's bedside at birth, she leaves a tiny golden loom with very specific instructions to the fathers. How each father instructs their daughter and what the girls do with the golden loom is the basis for the story. Underlining this, however, is a powerful message to fathers to train their daughters up to be chaste in heart and guide them in the wise and godly way. The greater message to our own hearts is to be ready in season and out, and to keep oneself pure for His will in our lives.

This is a book that will be read again and again here to see how every moment of each day is to be used for God's glory and the instruction of righteousness and training of our children. Are we teaching our children to squander love, or to keep it pure and fresh for their future happiness and God's glory? This is a jewel to be kept for generations. To see more from Lamplighter Publishing you can go to their website at and enjoy the wealth of beautiful books available!

-- Product Review by: Kate Kessler, Lead Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine