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Posted January 4, 2013
It's amazing that a simple picture book like this can awaken your heart to profound truth. Somehow the fact that humans are created in the image of God to reflect His Glory gets lost until we read a story like this- a story about the King of Light who created Lightlings in His Image. This book comes in the form of a story told by a wise grandfather to his little grandson Charlie Cobb, who asked why we are afraid of the dark? “That’s a very good question." Grandpa responds,"But you know, not only are lots of people afraid of the dark, many people are afraid of the light.” Thus begins the story of the Lightlings, beings created to shine with their Makers Light, who were placed in a Paradise Garden until willful rebellion cast them out into a dark wood of thorns and thistles. The Lightlings are doomed to walk in the darkness they chose until the King of Light sends His own Son to be the Light in the Lightlings world. Justin Gerad's illustrations are well suited to this faerie world, the pictures of Light are lovely: sunlit glades with winged lightlings. roses and friendly chipmunks. The pictures of darkness (sin) and the lightlings going into exile are appropriately sad and dark without being overly scary- if your children are sensitive than be careful to explain that the darkness is taken away soon. The lightlings soon could not tell night from day, and when they saw the light shining frommiles and miles away they were frightened of it, afraid of the Light King.
Some of the children went to it though..
And the Children who went to see the baby came home shining with a light that was not their own and they told all the other Lightlings that the LIGHT OF THE WORLD had come.
Grandpa looked at Charlie's awestruck face, and explained that the Light of the World has come to us too, and we who love God are children of the Light. We need never fear the darkness.
“Charlie, let me make a suggestion. Every time you see the sun, the moon, or the stars, or light a candle, or turn on your night light, remember the story of the child the King of Light brought into the darkness of this world. And remember that He gave us this baby as a present. As long as you remember that, you will never, ever have to be afraid of the darkness again.” I am delighted to receive a free copy of this book for my library. R C Sproul has given us Truth in this book for children. Scripture verses are included for study with your children. I give this five stars
Posted February 21, 2012
People tend to understand life lessons in different ways. One way of learning is through stories. Jesus used this method often in His teaching; we call them the parables. Stories take the lesson itself and simplify it, making it easier to understand. R.C. Sproul takes the stories of Creation, the Fall of Man, and the Redemption of Christ and forms them into a unique story that children of all ages can understand.
Little Charlie Cobb was afraid of the dark. He had to have His night light on every night, just to be able to sleep. He wonders why he is so terrified. After all, what is there to be afraid of? His mother tells him to ask Grandpa the next day. Grandpa answers his question with a story.
He tells Charlie about a great king, the King of Light who created the lightlings. The lightlings loved living in the light the sun gave off. All too soon the lightlings began doing what they wanted instead of what the King wanted and they became afraid of the light. So they hid. The story goes on to explain the difficulties the lightlings had, living in the dark, until one day a new light shown, brighter than the sun. Some lightlings went to follow the new light, some chose to live in fear of it.
The pictures in this story make it come alive; they are so real you actually feel like you are right there with the lightlings. The author has also included a parent's guide with questions and scriptural references to help guide children into understanding the spiritual truths behind The Lightlings.
I will receive a free copy of this book as compensation for my honest review.
Posted May 24, 2011
The more of R.C. Sproul I read, the more fascinated I become not only with his theologically geared mind, but also with his ability to adapt that theology allegorically and in the simplest forms that even children can understand. The Lightlings, Sproul's first book published with fantasy illustrator Justin Gerard, is an allegory of redemption depicted through the story of a group of tiny people called Lightlings. These people had been created by "The King without a Shadow," but one day they collectively chose to disobey Him without thought of consequence. As a result, they were tossed into a forest of shadows and darkness with very little hope of ever regaining the light. When a mysterious light begins shining far off in the distance at the edge of the forest, however, all of that begins to change.
While Sproul's allegories can be simply interpreted by adults who understand many doctrines of Scripture, the stories themselves remain fascinating adventures for the young ears for whom they are intended. Sproul also offers at the back of Lightlings a discussion guide for parents to talk through with their children. So whether your child has reached an age at which he can understand such deep issues as sin and redemption or not, The Lightlings is a fantastic first step in guiding them toward the necessary understanding of God, His Son, and their love for the fallen human race.
[Disclaimer: I received this book free for review from Ligonier Ministries]
Posted October 14, 2010
As a blogger for Ligonier Ministries, I had the opportunity to read the children's book, The Lightlings by R.C. Sproul, illustrated by Justin Gerard. Upon first glimpse of the book, the vivid, full color illustrations were very impressive and rich in detail. The theme opens with a verse from the new testament gospel of John1:5. The book begins with a young boy, who has a common child-hood fear of darkness as he gets ready for bedtime. Many children can relate to a fear of darkness. This universal childhood fear of the dark is turned into an analogy, which is used as a springboard to introduce the reader to the story of the light of God. In contrast to the fear that many children have of the dark, there are suprisingly, many more who fear the light- which in actuality, refers to the message of God. On the surface, the story may appear to be about fairies in a fantasy wold, or about overcoming fears, but it is much more than that, as the reader will soon learn.
The symbolism of the characters and events in the world of fantasy and fairies, is brought to life in Sproul's story as they parallel the characters and events of the bible: God, the story of creation as well as the birth of Jesus. The King represents God, and the Lightlings depicted as brighly glowing fairies, represent mankind. The illustrations commpliment the story line perfectly. The contrast of the world of the lightlings - the light of their world when it was first created, and the shadowy darkness which dims their world as a result of disobeying the king, is made clear through the richly detailed art of Justin Gerard.
Just as Jesus proclaimed in the bible that we must be like children and in openess recieve his message, the children in the story are the first to respond without fear and with great boldness. The important role of children in the story is sure to draw in the interest of any child. The moral of the story is one that can be understood and especially appreciated as well. This book is an effective way to introduce a child to God's message as told through the bible. In the end of the book, there are supplemental pages for the parent which explain all the characters and the symbolism of the story through biblical verses. Not only is this a very good story on its own merits, this book is a great outreach method for secular as well as Christian families in learning about the message of the Good News of God's light for the world. As compensation for my review I will recieve a free copy
I must admit that I did not know what to expect when I read this book. The images of fairie-like creatures on the cover set me back. I am not a big fan of the use of magic or creatures that do not appear in the Bible. But this book quickly explains itself. The creatures come from a child's own imagination of what he thinks the Lightlings might look like. I like this approach, it really helped me get into the mind of little Charlie, who is afraid of the dark.
Charlie's grandfather arrives and is questioned by his grandson about this. His grandfather explains to Charlie an allegorical tale of the Lightlings, who represent fallen man. The Lightlings need their light in order to see and follow the correct path. They only receive their light from the one and only source of pure light in the universe, Jesus Christ.
I have to say the artwork is some of the best I've ever seen. Thoughtful, emotional, and fun. Justin Gerard is a wonderful artist, and almost every drawing in this book could be framed in an art gallery.
The book does use the ESV as a reference for verses. I would recommend getting a King James Version to refer to.
Great book. It has a lot of heart, and adults will enjoy the meaning as well as the artwork.
Author, Tales of Wordishure
Review Date: 6/9/2010
Posted February 5, 2010
The Lightlings is both adorable and a wonderful, allegorical story about Creation, the Fall, and Man's redemption in and through our Heavenly Father. An easy read, The Lightlings, is a great night-time or any time story to share with young children or even for older children to read for themselves.
What impress me about ,The Lightlings, is the beautiful drawn illustrations by Justin Gerard not only captures the world of ,The Lightlings, but it also will capture the eyes and imaginations of your children. With discussion questions and Scripture references in the back,The Lightlings, with innovative use, can be use as well, as either a self contained Unit Study by the homeschooling mom, or a great introduction to understanding about our Father's Creation, Man's Fall, and our redemption through Jesus Christ.
In addition to the book, there is not only an audio, but also a dvd, that I'm looking forward in eventual getting for the kids, said to have capture both the beautiful illustrations and the world created by Dr. R.C. Sproul
What capture my eyes, while reviewing the book, is just the parchment look of the papers in the book, and the elegant type used to print the story in. There is just a very classical, ageless look to the book as a whole that promises to be a well bought edition for any library.
Posted May 17, 2010
No text was provided for this review.