Book Review: Journeys of Hope: A Star Shall Lead Them, by Kevin Scott Collier

Journeys of Hope: A Star Shall Lead Them
Written & illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier
Guardian Angel Publishing
ISBN: 1-933090-28-6
Copyright 2005
Ebook, 26 pages, $6.00
Children’s Picture Book/Christian

Journeys of Hope is a delightful picture ebook that includes five fables: Hope from Above, Follow the Star, Hermit without a Home, War and Peace, and Eye of the Beholder. The star of these fables is a very cute angel fish named Hope.

But Hope is no ordinary angel fish. For one thing, she has wings instead of fins. In fable number one, she also carries with her a special secret. The problem is, not everybody in the ocean believes her. They see her astounding story as a fantastic tale. Nonetheless, Hope doesn’t give up and continues spreading the word that she believes to be true, that “There’s brightness above the surface of the ocean.” Then one day, she learns that there’s a cold creature living at the bottom in total darkness. Filled with courage, Hope swims to the bottom to tell her story of the brightness above to the dark creature. Will the creature believe her miracle story?

In fable number two, Hope learns that there’s a cave at the far west end of the ocean that leads to a pond called Salvation. The problem is, it is extremely dark out there. However, soon a miracle happens: each time Hope says the word “Faith”, the Starfish who inhabits the cave glows brilliantly. Will Hope reach Salvation now that she has discovered the secret into finding it?

In fable number three, there happens to be a large Hermit crab living in a great barren trench at the bottom of the ocean. The crab has no friends and lives by himself, embittered by his own loneliness. Will Hope be able to befriend the crab and open his heart to the miracle of friendship?

In fable number four, Hope finds a great area of twisted metal wreckage at the bottom of the ocean. She wonders what it is and where it comes from. Learning that the wreckage comes from war, Hope has one big question in her mind: Why are there wars? Egan, an elderly electric eel, is more than happy to answer her questions. He also makes her realize that there are no winners in war, and that the only way one could really be a winner is by following the road of faith and goodness.

In the last fable Hope is as invited by her friend Mabel the Manatee to be a guest at a beauty pageant. To Hope’s surprise, Mabel tells her she is one of the contestants and, what’s more, she’s even sure she’s going to win in spite of being overweight. Hope wants to be encouraging, but how can she when all the other creatures are more sleek and graceful than Mabel? Soon the other fish begin to snicker and call Mabel names. But what do you think happens when the judge—a manatee!—shows up? A lovely fable about how beauty is not only within us, but in the eye of the beholder as well.

Though this is a book that early readers can read on their own, I would recommend an adult to read it to children the first time, if only to make the Christian messages and symbols in the story clear to young minds. Collier’s signature illustrations are as always bright and colorful and a real treat to the eye. The prose and dialogue are engaging. This is a book the whole family can enjoy and one that invites children to ponder and ask questions. It is also the kind of book that teaches without preaching. Recommended for young Christian readers.



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