October 8, 2017

Fantasy Fiction for Kids Inspired by the Bible {Good Night Tales by C.S. Fritz }

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I'm such a fan of fantasy fiction! Stories like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit have always struck my fancy. I like being able to share these and similar tales with my son, but also want to make sure that they don't cross the line between what is considered "clean" fantasy fiction and what is not. I recently stumbled upon a book by C.S. Fritz called Good Night Tales. The cover was what initially intrigued me. With whimsical artwork of the moon as the main focal point, I thought to myself, "Now this looks like a nice kid's book for bedtime." As we began reading it, I soon realized that this was so much more than a typical bedtime storybook and unlike many that I've come across in a long time.




ABOUT THE BOOK:
Good Night Tales leads your children through a vivid, beautiful, and imaginative adventure through Scriptural truths. This collection of Scripture-based stories brings a forest to life through animal kings, trolls, plum-loving giants, and fiddle-playing crickets. Stories include reimaginings of Israel asking for a new king, parables about searching for the kingdom of God, and Psalm 23.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
C. S. (Casey) Fritz served on staff with Reality LA before planting Collective Church. In his free time, he draws monsters for fun and profit. (His work has been exhibited in several galleries.) He is also the author of the Cottonmouth series. Casey and his wife, Emily, have been married since 2005 and have a son and a daughter.






With magical creatures, talking animals and insects, trolls, and even giants, Good Night Tales definitely fits in with the fantasy fiction genre, but it does have a twist, since it's also considered Christian fiction. The book contains twelve different stories, each with a theme that parallels a story or parable from the Bible.

This hardcover book is also quite the thing to look at, not just from the outside, but particularly the inside. The illustrations are such a sight to see and quite unique. They definitely amplify each story, and so much that some of the actual tales don't even include text, but are instead solely told by the imagery. Other stories, offer a fascinating storyline that really pulled us in. I do have to note that some include artwork that may or may not be a little sensitive for really young children, but this all depends. I've read this book front to back in one sitting with my preschool age son and he really enjoyed it. Kings of the Forest is the first story in the book, and while the theme and imagery might be the most intense out of all the other stories in the book, it is very compelling and really adds to the important message that this tale is trying to convey. 





Each story offers it's own surprise, that I don't want to really give away for those who may be getting ready to pick up the book themselves. I can say that you will find stories that shadow what is mentioned in the Bible, and there is also a message or moral to be told in each one. For instance, there's one story about a troll who finds a cocoon. He really wants to keep it, but must first seek permission from all of the leaders of the land. He is willing to give up all that he has and owns to keep this one little cocoon, so that he can care for it. To him, it's an important treasure that he'll do anything for. This story actually parallels what the Bible tells us in Matthew 13:44 about the treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven and how it's worth and value mean everything to the believer. One of our favorites, although it was difficult to choose, was The King is Calling, which included several animals on their journey to somewhere....well let's say just say this one parallels a story in Genesis, and I won't give much more away. Other stories include friendly reminders from Psalm 23 and 139.


From the vivid illustrations to imaginative story telling, we really enjoyed this book and I would love to see it expand and possibly become a series. Perhaps a Good Night Tales Volume II and III?  I especially appreciate that this is completely inspired by the teachings of the Bible, which makes it an even more priceless addition to our collection. If you are a fan of fantasy tales, than this is definitely not one to miss. 





What are some your favorite fantasy fiction stories that you enjoy sharing with your children? If you have some to recommend, please feel free to share in the comments section, below.


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