HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Story Time with Grandma
Author: Mary Elizabeth Yoder
Cover Photographer: Robert K. Monn
Publisher: Christian Light Publications, 10th printing in 2009
Related website: http://www.clp.org (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Suitable for children of all ages
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Yoder, Mary Elizabeth. Story Time with Grandma (published in 1979 by Christian Light Publications Inc., P. O. Box 1212, Harrisonburg, VA 22803). Christian Light Publications is a nonprofit, conservative Mennonite publishing company, providing Biblical literature including books and a full curriculum for Christian day schools and homeschools. We have never used Christian Light curriculum, but we have received their catalogues through the years, and I have bought a few books from them. I had seen Story Time with Grandma in their catalogues as far back as 2005, so when we were in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago and I noticed it at a bookstore, I picked it up.
Though listed as the author, Mary Elizabeth Yoder is actually said to have “revised and compiled” these stories, which are presented as a grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren. They are taken from Fireside Tales, Sunny Hour Stories by Gladys Fordham, Bedtime Stories by various authors, Story Time edited by Marion Madison, Bible Stories, and Stories of Jesus by Marion Madison, all apparently part of “The Story Hour” series from the Metropolitan Church Association. Children will thrill to spellbinding tales of buried treasure and narrow escapes. They’ll wonder how anyone could learn a lesson from doughnut holes or hard-boiled eggs.
These bedtime stories will provide not only interesting scenes from yesteryear but also fresh insights and truths for young listeners. Yoder wrote, “Contrary to the demand for subtle concealment of all morals in children’s literature today, these stories abound in vivid, influential, and conspicuous morals, the measure of a good story.” Modernists might consider such morals passé and hopelessly outdated, but I found these character-building tales enjoyable reading, and I believe that children will benefit from them. Each one abounds in wit and wisdom clothed in childhood actions which will be easily understood and appreciated by young readers.