Whistlestop Tales: Around The World In 10 Bible Stories | Book Review

This is really punny. I mean, funny. Actually, Whistlestop Tales is both!

In adapting stories from the Bible and reworking them to appeal to young readers, Authors Krish and Miriam Kandiah had excellent material to work with but they also add a great hook to interest readers in picking up the sacred text after enjoying the Whistlestop Tales.

In his author’s note, Krish describes experiencing xenophobia and prejudice as a child himself and wanting to help children who may be in a similar situation grasp the universality of experiences that the Bible addresses. Part of that initiative is adding modern place names and contemporary issues to make the Bible characters featured in these stories seem more relatable, while still maintaining the original content. For example, the story about Abram is set in Iraq complete with the modern experience of wealth that comes from oil fields, but the narrative also mentions how oil impacts life in other ways – like the creation of sludge pools and how animals are affected by them.

The story that features Pharaoh’s daughter who rescues baby Moses, describes pollution in the Nile River coming from discarded shopping bags, but also shows how daughters finding their way around their father’s best intentions, hasn’t changed since then. The Whistlestop Tales definitely give a sense of place and setting as if these 10 Bible characters have been transported to modern times and are able to tell their stories to this new audience themselves.

What gives this book an especially high rating for me, is the invitation at the conclusion of each story, to open the Bible and read the original story and learn more about the character. It mentions the exact chapter that the reader can refer to. It’s one thing to tell a great story that has been adapted from the Bible, but it ups the ante when the story leads the reader into wanting a deeper experience of the Bible and learning more about the Creator and the meaning of life, especially at a young age.

Each page of Whistlestop Tales includes multiple illustrations and the black-and-white sketches are funny in their own right, in some places they run like a comic storyboard, in other places, they focus on a single detail and define it. The stories themselves are told with humor, in punny language that will appeal to the readers who get it, but without overwhelming those who mightn’t get it yet. It’s the kind of joke-telling that a kid can grow into. Until then, the format of the book is also pretty approachable. The print is pretty large and well spaced, with words that are to be emphasized printed in bold, comic font. The font size also changes to indicate shift in conversational tone. It will probably make Whistlestop Tales an easy book to read aloud.

I would love to place copies of Whistlestop Tales in the hands of some of the children in my life and as it’s approaching the Christmas season, I hope to make this happen and would recommend this book to you as well if you’re looking for gifts for children.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Whistlestop Tales from the publisher in order to participate in a publictity tour organized by TLC Book Tours. I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my honest opinion about the book

Book Details

Title: Whistlestop Tales: Around The World In 10 Bible Stories

Authors: Krish and Miriam Kandiah

Format: Hardcover (Naked hardback, no dust jacket)

Pages: 240

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

Publication Date: 2022


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