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Matthew Mouse, Rachel Rabbit, Emma Elephant Review by Jennifer KingZoe Carter
Zoe Craft Book
18/5 Edina Place
Edinburgh, Scotland, EH7 5RP
The Book of Proverbs is known as being the place to find timeless wisdom. It is one of the constant books that I go to when I am seeking to guide my children in the way they should go. Young or old the wisdom found within the pages of this book is a real treasure. Yet sometimes I wonder, are my kids really getting it? When the days are full of backbiting, I wonder if there is another way to hide these words in their hearts, in a way that helps them to live what we read. When I was given the chance to read a few books from the Wise Owl’s Library, I was thrilled. These stories are Rachel Rabbit, Emma Elephant, and Matthew Mouse.
Author Zoe Carter lives in Edinburgh Scotland; her website is a resource of crafts and instructional aids for teaching the Bible to young children. She is both writer and illustrator of the books that compose the Wise Owl’s Library. Through the books and crafts on her website, she hopes to help children learn in a way that is both creative and engaging, all that the Bible teaches.
I read all three of these books aloud with my three younger children who are age three, seven and nine. These are best suited for children from three to six although my older ones did enjoy the simple stories and the big, fun illustrations on each page. My oldest son, who is thirteen, was also intrigued and enjoyed discussing the lessons within the books. He really enjoyed studying the illustrations and sketching alongside the book now and then. He currently is an aspiring writer and illustrator himself, with a real love for teaching the Bible, so this was something that showed how possible it can be!
We first read Emma Elephant, a story about the value of telling the truth. When Emma forgets to do her homework, she makes a deal with the lying spider. Each lie the spider gives her, wraps her in a bit of the spider’s web until she is all tied up! This story shows how important it is to tell the truth; it also shows how easy it is for lies to grow out of control.
In Matthew Mouse, we learn the value of carefully choosing our friends.When Matthew Mouse makes a new friend, Cat Burglar, our children see how the friends we spend time with change us. At first, it can be fun having a new friend and trying new things, but after awhile, Matthew Mouse becomes just like his new friend, who is not genuinely nice. When he gets stuck in a tricky situation, he is taught the value of kindness and wisdom. We can always be kind, but we must be wise in who we choose as our friend.
Rachel Rabbit was a favorite since the name was the same as our daughter. This book was a great reminder that sometimes it is better to not get everything we want all the time. The book teaches contentment and gratitude. We follow Rachel through some naughty exploits; she cannot figure out why she is always in trouble. When she decides to do something dangerous and gets badly hurt, she learns the hard way, the value of being obedient. She also sees the joy and peace that comes from doing what is right.
These books are a simple way to help our children understand difficult things, through a delightful story. Our children gain a genuine appreciation for the value of honesty, obedience and making the right friends when it is told in a way that they can relate to. While we used these as read alouds,they were also enjoyable books for my beginning and struggling readers; with simple easy to read words and print. The illustrations are big and colorful, really bringing the story to life. A wonderful way to introduce the Bible, and valuable character traits, with a reminder too, that God loves us and desires good things for us.
-Product review by Jennifer King, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2019