The Journey Begins
Adventures through the Bible with Caravan Bear and friends
by Avril Rowlands
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Pub Date 20 Apr 2018 | Archive Date 08 Jan 2019
Lion Hudson Ltd, Lion Children's Bks
One morning, Rabbit discovers a birthday parcel addressed to him. Inside is a Bible and on the flyleaf is written 'Read Me'. As he wonders at this odd present a brightly painted gypsy-style caravan hurtles down the road - and narrowly misses him. Rabbit picks up the book and joins the caravan travellers - Hector the horse, Caravan Bear and Whitby (female) the dog.
The Animals' Caravan, has echoes of children's classics such as Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland as Rabbit leaves his home to set out on an unexpected journey - a journey to find friendship and make sense of the world around him. He also finds himself on a journey of faith as he and his new friends wrestle with some of the often difficult concepts in the bible, thereby gaining fresh insights and understanding of God's loving involvement and care for the world.
The travelling life of the caravan and its occupants provide the opportunity for Rabbit to share these tales with other animals they meet and they join Caravan Bear, Whitby and Hector in listening - and learning from - the stories. He is frequently interrupted by questions from his listeners, the kind of questions any child - or adult - might ask.
The real and often humorous events that happen to Rabbit and his friends are mirrored by the stories from the Bible enabling children to realise that the stories have relevance and meaning today.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
I know that nowadays there are some people who get really uptight about allowing children to read anything to do with the bible, citing child abuse, and the religious people claiming that this is all that should be read. What a boring world for both types as they miss out on some great tales, not only from the bible as here, but legends and myths from other cultures. So although an atheist myself I have no problem with children reading something like this book, or reading it myself, after all this is a fun read.
Avril Rowlands is an English author who used to work for the BBC, but nowadays writes quite a bit, with a number of books in publication. Here she is joined by Kay Widdowson, who provides a number of wonderfully fun illustrations throughout this book. Here then we meet Caravan Bear, his dog Whitby, and the horse Hector, who pulls their gypsy caravan as they start out on a journey for pleasure.
Our three friends then meet Christopher Rabbit, who is feeling rather alone as it looks like no one has turned up for his birthday. However, he has just found that something has been left for him – a Bible. Meeting others as they travel about, so Christopher tells the other animals of tales in the Old Testament, and we get their reactions to what they are told.
What I liked about this is that it is fun, and the stories are told quite quickly and easily, with longer ones abridged to just a certain incident. So we read of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and others with the animals’ exclamations. The animals ponder and ask questions that children would ask, and they work out the answers between them, so this really makes you think of friendship and helping each other as well as the particular aspects of the tales that are read out. With the illustrations as well, this is something good to read to little ones, and those that are slightly older will be able to read by themselves.
I was kindly provided with a review copy of this by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes.
I really liked the idea of animals and adventures through the Bible. My kids were excited to read it too; however, they lost interest very quickly. The book is less about the adventure and more about a group of animals talking about the Bible stories. It felt somewhat dry and rehearsed. I am sorry to say that we did not even finish it.
Interesting way of introducing Christian beliefs through the book,the topic is dealt with in an unusual way without being bias.
Written with simple language so children can understand the theam.
An interesting way of telling Bible stories. This would be a good chapter book for a first or second grader.
The Journey Begins
By Avril Rowlands
The Journey Begins follows a group of animals who are brought together during their individual travels. While traveling Bible stories were shared and discussed by the group.
Just for reference, I read this with my 7 and 3-year-old sons. I really liked the idea of this story but I didn’t end up liking this book. The names of the characters were challenging to keep straight during this story. They were too long and we were constantly having to slow down and reread to distinguish who was who. The story itself was slow going, to begin with, and my boys got bored pretty quickly. I don’t like giving negative feedback but I don’t think I’d recommend this book.
“Can we read the next chapter in Caravan Bear?” My kindergartener asks several times every day.
📌 We received a copy of The Animals’ Caravan: The Journey Begins from NetGalley, and what a privilege! This book is so much fun! Animals on vacation and Christopher Rabbit has a Bible. He reads stories from it in the evening, and though somewhat abridged, they are accurate. And usually applicable to something else happening in the Story.
The Journey Begins: Caravan Bear's Fun Bible Stories I don’t know what reading a book or watching a movie is like at your house, but around here there is frequent interruption with questions and wondering why. In the Animal Caravan, the animals will connect random truths and ask and answer many of the questions that you or your family may be asking. For example:
“So why didn’t God choose Aaron instead of Moses?” asked Whitby.
Hector suddenly looked up.” it’s a bit like Jonah, isn’t it? He didn’t want to do what God asked him either.”
“Did Moses end up in a big fish too?” asked Whitby eagerly.
“No, Moses didn’t run away like Jonah did…”
The animals ask all kinds of things and Caravan Bear usually has a good answer, while Whitby the dog and Hector the Horse are more Creative. Then Christopher Rabbit either has a Biblical answer or says “I’m sure God had his reasons” then continues to tell the story. Note, there is occasional name-calling between the animals (stupid being the worst), which I didn’t care for, but its easy to skip.
Beautifully written and illustrated book. I love that there is a message behind this book, and it introduces Christianity. Very lovely book, my boys enjoyed it.
This was a really fun book to read out loud to my 4 year old when we were in the car. I really like how it uses fictional characters on a journey to introduce a few Bible stories. I also appreciated how the characters ask very valid questions about the Bible stories that my son probably would have asked if they weren't written in the book.
This is a great small chapter book for young readers, or to read with little ones who can't read on their own yet. There's a few pictures spread throughout which I thought were an excellent addition to the story, and helpful for little ones to better comprehend what was going on in the story.
*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
This is a fun way for youth to enjoy reading and learning about the Bible. This is designed as a way to help youth become involved in reading the Bible in a different and interesting way. They are interested to find animal friends going on adventures. Christopher Rabbit gets a gift of The Bible to read. He begins to travel with other animals and not only does his journey of reading and learning about the Bible begin, but his journey with new friends begins too. He starts reading and telling the stories he learns through the Bible. The other animals ask questions and there are other animals they meet along the journey too.
The illustrations and writing are well done in this book. The stories are also interesting and a cute way of teaching Bible stories found in the Old Testament. It is a quick read and easy for youth to read or have read to them. It is great for reading a little here and there such as at bed time. Maybe it would be nice to use as an interesting Bible study. It brings up thoughts children have about Bible stories and is a great book to read aloud.
Children enjoy animals and will enjoy these characters. The idea of this book is wonderful. Yet, you will get characters discussing stories and ideas of the Bible more than the stories, which might be more helpful to go along with the actual Bible story. Perhaps you’d like to read the full Bible story in the Bible first and use this book to help explain it. Another idea is to read another children-geared book telling the story from the Bible in a way children will enjoy and understand. Then get this book out as a way to help them better understand the ideas of the story because it is written in a way to help them understand.
I don’t recommend this book for younger children. It is better suited for older elementary because it can sometimes be difficult to follow some characters. There are lessons to learn and times when characters are not nice to help teach the lessons. If this is something that the reader finds uncomfortable knowing it is included is something to skip if you don’t want to read it, but review it to decide how you’d like to handle it. Perhaps a lesson is there you’d like help teaching, which might be helpful and not harmful.
Welcome to the Animals’ Caravan as I am glad to have read this and see the potential this book has to offer youth in learning Bible stories. I am eager to read other books featuring these characters.
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