Sunday, December 27, 2015

Book Review: Adam Raccoon at Forever Falls by Glen Keane

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Entertaining parable about salvation
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Adam and Aren
Bring salvation truth to life
In fresh parable

Salvation Comes Alive at Forever Falls

Back in the late 80’s Glen Keane released a series of picture books starring Adam Raccoon.  These books were designed to be parables for kids illustrating Biblical truths.  While I was outside the target audience, my brother had them, and I enjoyed reading them to him.  Now that my niece and nephew are the right age, I’m finding out how well they hold up.  On a recent visit, I read them Adam Raccoon at Forever Falls, and we all enjoyed it.

If the name of the author sounds vaguely familiar to you, Glen is the son of cartoonist Bil Keane, the creator of the comic strip Family Circus.  Additionally, Glen had a career working at Disney during the animation renaissance as a supervising animator, responsible for Ariel, Beast, and Aladdin among other characters.

This book finds Adam Raccoon doing one of his favorite activities – swimming.  He would swim all day if he could.  However, King Aren, the ruler of the forest where Adam lives, has one law – no swimming in the pool above Forever Falls.  But Adam just can’t resist taking a quick swim there.  Will he be swept downstream?

The theme of this book is salvation, and it comes alive in a great way as we see the consequences of Adam’s actions and King Aren’s rescue of our hero.  This is a picture book, so things are simple, but the theology is sound for a parable.  We can’t save ourselves from the consequences of our sin, and Jesus paid the price for us.  We even get the resurrection.

As in a good parable, we aren’t preached at.  Instead, the book is filled with a good story and good characters.  Yes, it is fairly easy to see who these characters represent, and parents can use the book as a springboard to a more serious discussion about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross.  But their kids will want to read the book over and over again because it is fun.

And it is filled with wonderful full color pictures.  That shouldn’t be a surprise at all with Glen’s background.  The illustrations are a bit cartoony, but they fit the story perfectly, and there are a couple that are beautiful to look at.  It’s easy to see why Adam finds the forbidden pool so tempting.

Unfortunately, these books are out of print, so it will take a bit to track them down, but they are totally worth it.  Adam Raccoon at Forever Falls is just as great today as it was when it was first published.

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