We are doing lots of summer reading to keep my second and third grader’s mind sharp and to improve their reading skills. Since we read every day, a new book is always a welcome diversion and gives my kids a whole new level of interest in reading. We just read The Great Carp Escape and I had my eight year old read to my six and two year olds since it was a bit more advanced for my youngest reader.
The story is an allegory of God’s love for all creatures great and small, ugly and beautiful. My kids didn’t quite get what an allegory was when I tried to explain it to them as I think it’s a concept a little bit over their heads. They did, however, understand the intended message of the story.
Beth and Paul are a brother and sister who have the good fortune of living near the shore. Their days are spent swimming and exploring God’s creation. One day they find a carp and they think it’s the ugliest thing they’ve ever seen! Later they find that the carp is stuck in a pond along with many others, unable to get back to the lake.
As a family, they dig a trench from the pond to the lake so that they can get back safely. Many people hear of their work and come to help them. Regardless of the way that the carp looks, they want to help save them. Beth and Paul realize that all creatures are just as important to God regardless of their appearance. They are not a lesser being because of the way that they look.
This is a message I’m really trying to focus on with my kids as they are starting to notice the differences between people and the way that they look. Beauty should come from within and not be based on someone’s appearance. God does not love someone less just because they don’t live up to the beauty standards of the world.
This is something I especially want my daughter to understand, growing up in a world where the standards of beauty are hard on women.
The illustrations in this book are captivating and brought me back to my own childhood spent on the shores of lakes in New Hampshire and Maine. The Great Carp Escape is the perfect summertime read with a wonderful message for little ones to learn.
About the Book
Tadpoles, clams, and minnows―wow! For siblings Beth and Paul, growing up on a lake is fun… until they’re startled by a “fishy” find along the shoreline. When they discover the scaly, moustached carp, they become afraid.
Seasons pass, and Beth and Paul avoid the swampy reeds at all costs―until a flood brings about a life-or-death situation for the creepy looking carp, right in their own backyard!
With guidance from their father, will Beth and Paul be able to overcome their apprehensions about the carp and help save them before it’s too late?
“Acceptance of all of God’s creatures beautifully portrayed in this delightful story!”
―Henry K. Ripplinger, Bestselling Author, Pewter Angels.
“The Great Carp Escape truly captures the magic between children and nature. The story paints a beautiful picture of how all creatures on earth are God-given and shows how compassion shouldn’t be based on popularity or defined beauty. This delightful and touching story carries such an important message of acceptance and simply joy. A pleasure to read and surely a popular addition to any child’s home library.”
―Illustrator Lisa Taron
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