Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life, by Peter J. Leithart

Legacy Communications/Great Christian Books, 1995. ISBN 1-880692-23-6
reviewed by Ian Pape

Before using Wise Words, I had read many Bible story books to my children. When Wise Words appeared, things changed - the stories are in the style of Grimm's fairy tales, and yet they illustrate wisdom from Proverbs. They are not a substitute for learning the proverbs but are another tool for imparting wisdom to children.

There are eighteen stories in the book, and each one takes about five minutes to read aloud. They are aimed at five to twelve year olds, but my four and six year old girls seemed to enjoy them too. But even as an adult I found them interesting; each story seems to have many levels of meaning, and parallels can be seen with other Scripture (maybe even more than the author was conscious of, his mind being steeped in a Biblical world-view).

My favourite story tells of a bleeding tree. The tree looks across the valley to a temple and hears the songs of worship coming from it. He wishes that he could partake of it, that he could become part of the song. One day the temple burns down; the men come to chop the tree down. Finally, he becomes part of the temple itself. His painful experience as he is made into the temple is surely illustrative of our experience as believers, as we are made into the temple of the Lord.

Copyright © Family Matters 1997