Friday, June 22, 2007

Diligence the Dragon: A Pre-Biblical Fable

Diligence the Dragon, A Pre-Biblical Fable
Written & Illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-933090-25-1
Copyright 2005
Children’s Picture Ebook

“A long time ago, before the Holy Bible was written, there was a place upon this earth known as Doubt. This prehistoric place was before the dawn of civilization, and only two creatures were known to live there; a boy named Jezubah, and a dragon named Diligence.”

Thus starts this 22-page Christian fable ebook, which is divided into three chapters: The Beginning, The Questions, and The New Pathway.

In spite of their closeness, Jezubah and Diligence are very different. Jezubah is never curious about anything, while Diligence is always asking questions. Because of their different natures, they’re worlds apart even though they’re friends. The dragon, feeling misunderstood and having no one to share his questions with, always feels alone. But he always cares and provides for the boy.

One night, huddled by the warmth of a campfire, Diligence wonders where the rocks, the mountain, himself and everything else comes from. The boy is driven out of his wits: “You drive me nuts!” the lad would shout. “Why do you question everything? What is here is simply here!”

Then winter comes and Diligence goes to a mountain top where a mysterious tree grows. With a blast of his nostrils, he sets the tree on fire, and it’s not too much later when he starts asking himself where fire comes from. To his astonishment, a mysterious voice responds, a voice that’s not exactly spoken language but one that deeply touches his heart and answers all his questions. Where does this voice come from? Will Jezubah believe Diligence’s story? If so, how will he react?

Diligence the Dragon is a thoughtful story for children, I would say, between 5 and 9 years old. It is the type of story an adult should read to children in order to help them understand its symbols and message. It is the sort of book which invites young minds to think about the meaning and history of Christianity. In spite of the colorful illustrations, the tone is quiet and serious. In this sense, it is not a light, fun book, but this doesn’t mean it is not one that can’t be enjoyed by children before going to bed, provided an adult is there to explain or clarify the hidden messages. Another factor in making this book appear ‘serious’ is that there’s a lot of text in comparison to the amount of illustrations—only three. More artwork would have definitely added a brighter atmosphere to the story.
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