Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great moral worked into a fun story and pictures
The Bottom Line:
A hike in the woods
Gives lesson on following
Book still entertains
For some reason, Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods sticks out in my mind as the first Adam Raccoon book by Glen Keane. I have no idea if that is correct or even what order they were released, but I think it was the first one my brother ever owned as a kid. Either way, it is the strongest memory of Adam Raccoon for me, and I found recently that it still holds up well today.
If you’ve missed these picture books, they were published in the Christian market back in the late 80’s. They were written and illustrated by Glen Keane, son of famed comic strip artist Bil Keane of Family Circus fame. Glen obvious inherited artistic talent from his father since these books are in addition to his career working for Disney animation.
This book finds Adam thrilled because today is the day that he gets to go for a hike with King Aren. When the lion shows up at his door, Adam is all set, he just needs to grab a few things to bring with them. Despite King Aren’s insistence that Adam doesn’t need any of this stuff for a walk in the woods, Adam is sure he can handle it. Does he really need a television, tennis racket, fish bowl, or ball? What might having these things on the hike mean?
As you can see, this series is correctly title Parables for Kids, with Aren obviously representing Jesus. It’s not hard as a kid to figure out the point of the story. And yet, it’s one we miss so often. I reread the book on a recent trip up to visit my niece and nephew, and as I did I was struck by how quickly we get distracted from following Jesus by all these things in our lives. Kids seem to have an easier time with the concept, but adults certainly need this lesson. Or maybe I should say I do.
And yet, the book never preaches. In fact, Adam trying to hike with everything he brought with him is actually pretty funny. The book does get a little spooky near the end, but not for long.
The illustrations that go along with the story are wonderful. They are full of great color and detail that will hold the interest of the kids as adults read to them.
I enjoyed this book as an adult just as much as I did as a kid. And it’s obviously a favorite of my niece and nephew because when I asked them which Adam Raccoon book they wanted me to read them, they both wanted this one.
These books can be a little hard to track down today, but if you find a copy of Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods, pick it up. You and your kids will enjoy the story while being reminded what is truly important in life.
Now, to actually go out and live that way.