Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: The Squire and the Scroll

In a world bombarded with impure images, song lyrics, and websites, finding a book like The Squire and the Scroll is a breath of fresh air for any parent. Author Jennie Bishop does a phenomenal job of combining a knight, a squire, kings and queens, a fire-breathing dragon, and a sword scene into an alluring tale with the theme of purity woven throughout. The story is well-written, the illustrations are beautiful, and the moral of the story is priceless.

A squire must accompany a knight on a journey to find the Lantern of Purest Light that was stolen by a dragon in the middle of the night. On the way, the squire repeatedly refers to his scroll, which contains the "rules." While walking through a forest, they being hearing horrible sounds. The squire checks the scroll and sees the first commandment: "Listen only to words that are pure." The story continues with the squire checking the scoll when encountering horrible images in a cave: "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you." When the squire finally meets up with the dragon at the end of the book, his scroll turns into a sword in order for him to defeat the evil beast.

Rich symbolism throughout, this book does an excellent job of teaching children to keep their hearts pure by refusing to listen to impure sounds, refusing to look at impure images, and refusing to go on a path that could lead them into trouble. Bishop does a great job of showing the disastrous effects of temptation in a way in which children are interested and engaged.

My oldest son is four years-old. After reading the book, I asked him what his favorite part was. He immediately replied that his favorite part was when the scroll turned into a sword so the squire could kill the dragon. We went through the book again, and my son pointed to each of the pages pertaining to temptation. It was a wonderful way to talk to my child about the dangers of temptation and how to ignore the sights and sounds around you in an effort to maintain a pure heart--which is pleasing to God.

This is an excellent book, and I would recommend it to any family with children.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


thetimman said...

I love the book. But I will venture to say that the allegories in this book are not as obvious as those in the Princess and the Kiss. I don't know what more could have been done without having the birds and bees discussion at age three, though. So I would just say that it is a book that should be read and reintroduced as the son grows older.

Delena said...

I would agree with you--I didn't exactly feel like telling my four year-old, "Yeah, he means don't look at porno..."

It'll be a book that will stay in our book box, but it will mean different things at different times.

I really want to get "The Princess and the Kiss" now. :-) Do you think 3 months old is too young to explain it? :-)