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on June 7, 2002
Character Sketches from the pages of Scripture, illustrated in the world of nature, is a wonderful book about nature. But, I've owned this book since 1976 and have just begun to question some of the character sketch portions. For example, the character sketch about Abigail (page 301) states that she made a wrong choice by initiating her own course of action when her husband made the foolish choice of rejecting David's request for modest provision. David and his men had been protecting Nabal's flock and when his request was rejected, David immediately set out to take revenge. You can read the story in I Samuel 25. A reading of this passage in the Bible shows that Abigail saved her entire household from destruction and kept David from sinning by wisely taking immediate action. She clearly acted in faith. Abigail's story speaks to Christian women today. We need to boldy use God's wisdom in protecting those under our leadership and care.
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on November 11, 2009
While I admire the concept and many of the profiles of the animals, I cannot recommend these books due to the questionable Biblical interpretations. Another reviewer commented on the story of Abigail and is spot on in her critique of how this book handles it. While reading the section on responsibility to my daughter, the book pretty much suggests that Moses is a bum because he shirked responsibility multiple times and asked God for help. It also suggests that it was foolish for Moses to listen to his father-in-law Jethro in dividing up the responsibility of judging the people. In fact it says that this lead to Israel's fall from grace. I have never heard any respectable Bible scholar make that assertion. The entire character sketch of Moses is painted in a negative light, which is astonishing to me. Yes he had weaknesses, as we all do, but to say that he shirked responsibility is more than a stretch. Aside from this story, the books handling of Dinah(Gen 34) was enough for me to get rid of it. In Dinah's case it is essentially blaming her for her rape. While I agree she was unwise to go "out to see the women of the land," the real story is her brothers vengeful overreaction to the crime. This apparently did not fit the author's worldview. There are character sketches that are done well however, as not all are like this. However the pattern I saw had become more than an anomaly.

On a side note, the animal profiles are done well for the most part but often lead to suffering of the animal, which my young daughter even noticed as a pattern.
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on June 4, 2000
Character Sketches is one of the best books I have ever read or used for a type of devotional. I used to have this book until I lent it to a friend a long while ago. This book has informative information on nature as well as good bible sketches. These sketches review the parts of important historical figures in the Bible and show how they lived and the lessons that they learned. These lessons are applicable to our own lives today.
I cannot recommend this book more highly.
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on November 30, 2006
We have owned this 3 book series for about 15 years or so. BTW, they are still in print and available from the publisher, iblp. All our children have grown up on them and love them. We are a home educating family and our girls always said this was the painless way to get nature science. These books help form a great foundation for education, as character is the foundation for learning. Now our grown children are desiring their own copies for their homes and children.
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on October 26, 2001
I am sad to see that this book is out of print, but thought I'd submit a review anyway. As a child, my parents read a passage to me every night before going to bed. I'm amazed at the fact that, twenty some odd years later, I still remember many of them. That goes to show the lasting impact these stories have in terms of life lessons and the development of character during the most formative years of a child's life. The stories are just as heart-warming and applicable to adults as well.
If you ever come across a copy, grab it! You'll recognize it easily as it is comprised of two large volumes with the title on the spine of both books (my parent's copy came with a white, hardbacked sleeve that stored both volumes).
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on July 1, 2004
This is one way to get children really interested in learning about God and His character. I recommend this to homeschool parents and anyone with children who love animals (what child doesn't?). We love this book!
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on November 2, 2014
My friend loaned me one of the sister books of this series to share with my Jr. Church kids. I am saving this one for my husband for Christmas, since he loves animal stories that also have a biblical base. It is of such fine quality, I may buy more for my grandchildren. They also enjoy animal stories.
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on July 22, 2014
This book has very nice and interesting facts from the nature. And it is very well related to very important christian and biblical moral values. It has been a good resource to get my kids and their friends, to getting interested in nature and spiritual values.
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on March 5, 2002
Biblically-based nature correlations. My 5 year old, nature boy, loves the animal facts about racoons, bears, geese, osprey, shrew and others. These are related to scripturally-based lessons (24) in four sections on loyalty, responsibility, courage,determination, initiative and decisiveness. This is Vol. 1, there are 2 more, all are coffeetable-worthy. A wonderful way to share faith through stories with readers of all ages.
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on October 16, 2012
I gave this 3 volume set of book 4 stars because my children and I wore the pages out. Learning about the very distinct characteristics of certain animals was quite fascinating. Twenty years later I still remember some of those stories such as the killdeer bird which will feign having a broken wing to lure predators away from its nest and how another bird, I think it was a woodcock, beats its wing on the ground to imitate rain so the worms will all scramble to the surface to prevent drowning and become dinner... pretty clever I would say. The objective of these volumes was teach us how to employ and strategize these characteristics of wild animals to our pursuit of Christian character. These books were produced by Bill Gotherd's Institute in Basic Life Principles and had 3 volumes of corresponding coloring books. Considering how beautifully illustrated and well written these volumes were and the corresponding biblical stories I had to give 4 stars but I held back one because of the slant to male dominance and female subordination that was riddled through each story. Clearly an interpretation that is consistent with the patriarchal slant taught in most Christian doctrines since Constantine.
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