Fair Havens Publications has just released Bible Animal Tales: 50 Devotions for Tween-agers, a paperback geared for children ages 8 to 12. To say this book is an answer to prayer is no exaggeration.

Parents, grandparents (including this one), aunts, and uncles have struggled to find the right reading material that will not only hold the attention of the children in the family, but also to encourage and strengthen them in the faith -- especially at a time when the public schools themselves use every means at their disposal to turn children away from faith in God and Jesus Christ.

This well-written book is an effective antidote to the evolution theory that is being pushed upon impressionable children. In fact, Animal Tales takes off on this immediately by showing the claims of evolution, and (in its very readable, simple language) pointing out respectfully that evolution is only a theory. The biblical truth that follows is self evident.

Questions Only a Child Would Ask

Most children are interested in animals. By centering this work on the animals in the various biblical stories -- such as a talking donkey, horses of fire, and snakes; along with the significance of the animals, what we learn from them, and some very interesting facts about each one -- it all combines to make this an excellent and entertaining read.

For example, why does a camel have humps? Is water stored there? You may be surprised at this fact.

Other questions ... How did Noah find the animals to bring to the ark? How did the animals know where to go? How could all of these animals fit into the ark? What kept them from fighting with each other and eating each other up? Where did the animals get food to eat? And which animals were clean and which were unclean? And by the way, were dogs adopted as pets in those days?

The answers to such questions are found in this 319-page paperback book, which is broken down into 50 short chapters. Each chapter tells a biblical story and includes subtopics such as "Animal Facts" and "How This Animal Tale Can Help You."

In addition, puzzles and games are found in every chapter to enhance the teaching -- and this reviewer can state that the kids love this feature.

For Kids ... and Others

I did some sampling. One of those samples was my nine-year-old grandson, Brandon. He was so intrigued by the book that he read a couple of chapters aloud to his friend Adam, also nine, who had come with him. As Brandon glanced through the book, I asked him what he thought about it. He said, "This book's really cool!" He even asked that I complete my review as quickly as possible so that he could have the book.

Another youngster named Aaron, who is ten, came with his Uncle Jamie and spent 30 minutes reading it while I visited with his uncle. His review: "This is a neat book." I have promised to get him a copy of his own.

Animal Tales is not a book just for children. Here's why: Man has managed to complicate the Bible and its promises to the extent that nobody knows what the Bible actually says anymore. We need to get back to the simplicity of the Bible story. That's where the truth is. Thanks to the author of this book, the Bible is explained in refreshing simplicity that makes it easy to understand. Let it be emphasized that this is not a fantasy book. It is all a true story.

And this is why this reviewer not only recommends this book for children, but also makes a special point to encourage all pastors to get a copy for their own libraries so that they can find a simpler way of telling the greatest story of all time so it can be understood by all.

The Publisher

Fair Havens Publications of Gainesville, Texas, is a young company founded by Rev. J. Ray Smith, who is a minister and professor of theology. The publisher's mission is to publish books on Bible prophecy, Christian apologetics, evangelism and solid teaching aids. They want only to serve God. An example is a notice found in Bible Animal Tales, which encourages Sunday school teachers to use the material in the book for their lessons and gives teachers permission to photocopy pages from the book to use in instruction.

Bible Animal Tales is now being stocked in both Christian and secular bookstores. Written by Mary Rose Pearson and illustrated by Kerry Adcock, it is an outstanding work that every Christian family should give their children. The author has written several classic children's books, including Frogs in Pharaoh's Bed.

If Animal Tales is an example of the publications of Fair Havens, they are off to a great start. Pastors should not only support them but also get on their mailing list.


Rev. Austin Miles is an award-winning writer who received a Commendation for Critical Review from UC California at Fullerton, presented at Fresno State University in 2000. Fair Havens Publications (http://www.fairhavenspub.com).


© 2004 Agape Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.