Recommendation: * (1 star)
Positives: I gave this book 1 star because of the lovely illustrations. The pictures are made to look like oil paintings on canvas and the colors are vibrant. The children's faces in particular are beautiful.
Negatives: As I researched the book I could not find what the author's target audience was. When looking at the cover, my first thought was this was written for kids 6 and younger. That being the case, this book is far too wordy for small children and uses too many unfamiliar (big) words for kids (i.e., foraging, tranquil, serenade, piqued, pondered, tyrant). More importantly though, the gospel message is very unclear. While it does make a veiled reference to Jesus (the Son of the Great King), the message of the book is that Heaven, not Christ, is the greatest treasure - The Great Treasure of Golden Destiny. They also talk about the secret of the Seven Golden Keys. This part was confusing and difficult for me to understand. I believe the author intended the Seven Golden Keys to be the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," that Jesus spoke when they entered heaven. It is unclear what the purpose of these words are in the book though. I also did not like that the Bible was referred to as the "big storybook." This is just a personal preference, but it didn't establish that the Bible is different from any other book, fiction or nonfiction. The Bible is unlike any other book ever written!
Talking Points: Matthew 13 speaks of the kingdom of heaven as a treasure of great value. Certainly talk to your children about heaven and the kingdom that Christ is preparing there for his children. How amazing and merciful that Christ would choose to bring us to the dwelling place of God for eternity and to grant us the privilege of worshiping and living forever in the presence of our great God and King. However make sure that your children understand that Christ is the treasure. Heaven means nothing without Christ. I once heard John Piper ask a question something like this: Would you rather have all the treasure and beauty of heaven without Christ, or would you choose Christ with no promise of heaven? Christ is enough!
Age Level: 2-6 years of age
I received this book through the BookCrash program in exchange for this review.