I must admit to being a bit sceptical when the sales rep produced a new Jungle Doctor series from his folder a few months ago. With 19 books in the Jungle Doctor series, I felt that really we were Jungle Doctor-ed out. However, we were persuaded to order a set and they duely arrived a few weeks ago. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. This new series is the Jungle Doctor's fables (as opposed to the first Jungle Doctor series which is about the Jungle Doctor's experiences while a missionary in Africa). It is a series of short stories using animals as the characters and each with an underlying gospel message. As such they are aimed at a younger audience than the first series. I am often unsure about whether children really understand allegories, or whether they just accept the story as it stands and miss the point behind it. Having a houseful of willing 'guinea-pigs' I took home one of the books and tried it out. Our children love them! The animal stories have obviously grabbed their imaginations and they always ask for Jungle Doctor at bedtime. What I am most pleased about is they also 'get them'. Without any prompting our five year old this evening said, 'so the elephant is really like God isn't he?', our seven year old piped up 'of course he is, he is The Way, and Crunch the Crocodile is like Satan'. This lead on to much further discussion about the dangers of the deep dark pool and the safety of the Great Rock that some of the animals use for shelter. Each story helpfully ends with some Scripture references and pointers for bringing out the deeper meaning to the story.
So, next time I see the rep, I will thank him for being so persuasive and I will order more of this series!
To see all the titles in the Fables series click here