My daughters have amassed quite a collection of children’s book. I’m hoping and praying that my love for books and reading is passed along to them. So far so good. My oldest has her own bookshelf in her room and it’s brimming with books. My wife and I are always on the look out for a good kids book to add to her library. I’ve found quite a few but it’s harder to find good ones that are written skillfully from an explicitly Christian worldview. Glad to say The Donkey Who Carried a King delivers.
If you haven’t already checked out R. C. Sproul’s children books then head on over to Reformation Trust and check them out. The stories are simple yet skilfully written and provide the opportunity to speak to our children about the gospel after reading them. What’s more the illustrations are top notch as well. It’s not your cheesy kids bible story books from the 80’s.
The Donkey Who Carried a King is the story of Reilly a boy who feels discouraged he is being picked last by the kids at school and Davey the donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem during his Triumphal Entry. Sproul skillfully weaves these story into the Gospel Story. Sproul ends with Davey looking on as Jesus is carrying the cross and Reilly’s grandpa explaining,
“Reilly until that day when Davey was picked to carry Jesus into Jerusalem, he had never been given anything to do. His master never picked him for even the easiest task. But the other boys do pick you for your games. So I’d like you to try to be thankful you have a chance to play. Can you do that for me, Reilly?”
“Yes, Grandpa,” Reilly said. “You’re right. I know I should be thankful that I get to play, even if I”m chosen last.”
“Good,” Grandpa said with a smile. “Also, do you best to be content with whatever you are asked to do because every player and every role is important. If you are picked to do something special, don’t get proud like Davey. If you are given a job that doesn’t seem to be so much fun, do your best at your job anyway. Remember that God the Father chose Jesus for the worst job of all, but He did it willingly to please His Father and to save His people.” (p. 30)
The story reminded me of Jesus sitting the crowds of people by the Galilean Sea and telling them a parable. Sproul ends the book with questions to help understand the story and apply the truth of the gospel. I’ve found reading this book and others like it helps me as a parent respond to every day situations with my children that require a deft hand applying the gospel. It’s exercising a muscle all parents must develop.