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Posted January 7, 2013
The Prince and the Poison Cup is a story that little Ella Cobb's wise, old Grandfather tells her one day when she was not feeling well. Ella is questioning how such "terrible" tasting medicine can possibly make you well. Grandpa reminds her that “Some things that look or taste or smell wonderful are really awful."
"But sometimes things that seem terrible are actually very good." Grandpa adds. "I even remember a story in which both of these strange things were true. Would you like to hear it?”
He then begins to weave the story of the King of LIFE, whose archenemy enters into the King's country and tempts the King's subjects to drink the pure looking water of a poisoned fountain, promising that it will make them as great as the King. What the water does is gives them hearts of stone and causes them to hate their King. They leave the beautiful park that He had created just for them and fled to the desert to build the city of Man, a city of rebels.
"The King of Life was angry that the people had disobeyed Him. He knew that because of the people’s terrible violation of His command, He would be justified in destroying their city. But the King still loved His people and felt sorry for them in their pain." How can the heart of stone that they chose ever be removed so they can return to the King as his people? Only if the King's own Son, the Prince, goes to the rebel's city and drinks from their fountain with the cup His Father gave Him can the curse be removed. The Prince will die from drinking the poison, but it will make the water of fountain sweet again and the people will have the opportunity to drink and heal their hearts.
When we read the of the anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, we often, like the disciples, want to run from the suffering of God's Son. Justin Gerard illustrated this account to show the anguish of the Prince, who longed to put away the cup from Him. It was not He that desired the poison- it was not His sin that needed atoning- the people did not deserve a Savior. They desired their fate- yet the bitter cup was pressed to His lips! And he chose to drain it for the salvation of the people who hated Him! If Anyone is Thirsty, Let Him Come to Me and Drink.This book by R C Sproul is one I am looking forward to using with children. For adults it reminds us that along with little Ella we too know a Prince who died for His people. I was blessed to be given a copy of the Prince's Poison Cup for this review.
Posted April 13, 2011
Before ever having read The Prince's Poison Cup, I had enjoyed yet another fairy-tale allegory by the same author-illustrator team of R.C Sproul and Justin Gerard, The Priest with Dirty Clothes. I was so amazed at the quality of story-telling and illustrations in that book, that I just had to get Poison Cup and add it to my collection. Once again, Sproul wields his talent for relating deep, spiritual truths to young minds in a fantastic, fairy-tale style that feeds not only the children's natural imaginations, but also their souls.
In this installment, Sproul develops a panoramic view of the Gospel, from Garden to eternal Heaven, in the story of a King whose rebellious people return to Him only when His own Son intentionally drinks the people's poisoned water, ultimately dying, coming back to life, and changing the poisoned water to fresh. Sproul's development of story matched with Gerard's development of character make for a beautiful storybook for children of all ages (not to sound too cliched).
At the end of the book, Sproul also offers the parents spiritual questions based off the story to ask their children, depending on their levels of understanding. Each question smartly lays out the foundation of atonement and sacrifice by answering all questions with Bible verses alone. Parents will find such a resource of great help as their children seek to understand the purposes behind the actions of all the characters in The Prince's Poison Cup.
I strongly recommend this book to all parents who love reading to their children, and ask us all to consider---what better way to send our children off to sleep at night than with thoughts of a Prince who tasted death so that His people might live?
[Disclaimer: I received this book free for review from Ligonier Ministries]
Little Ella is sick and must take medicine that tastes horrible. She does not understand how something so horrible can do so much good. It's her kindly old grandfather who helps explain things to her. And the way he does is with a story that helps her understand Christ also.
This approach is what makes this book so wonderful. It is a parable of the first coming of Jesus Christ tied in with struggle with what Ella is going through with her medicine. Will the Prince who was sent by his Father willing to drink from the poison cup that will heal the world?
Yes, I'm glad that He did. And how easy it is to show your child from this how the real story of Christ was so necessary. The Prince's Poison Cup also shows the love that Christ has for His children.
Justin Gerard's artwork is some of the best I've ever seen in a children's book, Christian or secular. The colors, the facial expressions, and balance in the artwork is well thought out and appropriate for the topic.
The book does use the ESV as a reference for verses. I would recommend getting a King James Version to refer to.
I hope R.C. Sproul and Justin Gerard do many more books. This one is truly a blessing.
Author, Tales of Wordishure
Review Date: 6/9/2010