HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables
Author: Michael James Dowling
Illustrator: Sarah Buell Dowling
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2019
Related website(s): http://www.FrogsRainyDayStory.com (book), http://ChristianBookServices.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 4 – 8
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Dowling, Michael James. Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables (Published in 2019 by Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 307 Verde Meadow Dr., Franklin, TN 37067). It is a rainy day—too rainy for even a frog to go out to play. So Frog decides to stay inside and write a story. He begins, “Once upon a time….” Then something strange happens. All of a sudden, the letters start marching off the page. They say that they’re sick and tired of being used merely as tools to be bossed around. What does Frog say? What will the letters do? How can Frog ever finish his story? Created by husband and wife team, author Michael J. Dowling, who served on the staff of Trinity Presbyterian Church, a 1000-member PCA church in Charlottesville, VA, from 1987 to 1999, and illustrator Sarah Buell Dowling, who is an award-winning artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, this full color, 72-page, hardcover book is a delightful volume.
The eight adventures in Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables are actually charming, modern-day fables that whimsically contrast the wisdom of today’s world with the wisdom of God’s Word on such topics as seeking personal glory, trusting human wisdom, disobeying rules, being proud, seeking happiness, rejecting absolute truth, making foolish choices, and wasting time, all told in an amusing and delightfully entertaining that will be both appealing and instructive to children of all ages. Embellished by more than forty attractive, colorful illustrations, these stories introduce such humorous characters as Duck who wants to go to the pond but insists on taking the wrong way, Turtle who thinks that he’s in total control while riding a log towards a waterfall, and Gander whose plans for the day are disrupted by an invitation from the King.
This amusing book would make an ideal learning resource for personal reflection, family devotions, home school studies, Christian schools, church Sunday school classes, and small group discussions to stimulate thinking about how some of the predominate themes of our current culture contrast with a Biblical worldview and teach youngsters important life-lessons. A complementary “Burrowing Deeper” study guide with thought-provoking questions about each fable is available as a free download from the book’s website. With the focus on God’s Word, the morals and especially the contrast between worldly wisdom and that of the Word are a great way to reinforce the Biblical teachings that we are to be mindful about how we act and react to daily events and other people. It is truly a wonderful approach to get to know how to be truly wise and live a life pleasing to God.