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The King Without a Shadow Hardcover – November 1, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
As I read this book, I thought of the quote by C.S. Lewis that applied, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." This truth, that God is the center of the universe, the absolute truth, and the meaning and purpose of life, is the core of what Dr. Sproul is communicating to young readers with this book. It's great to see so many great children's books on the market today by some of the leading Christian authors and teachers of our day.
In this work, Dr. Sproul attempts to describe the indescribable in order to bring us face to face with the God we cannot see. The writing is superb. The illustrations are very well done. A great addition to children's literature bound to one day become a classic.
Given the intended audience (anyone under 12) this book is terribly written. It takes a message (the gospel) which is generally easy for children to understand, and makes it very difficult. The text is SO LONG and COMPLICATED that I could never read this to a child under the age of about 13, even by splitting it up into sessions. There is just nothing that is going to capture them in the text. Mr. Sproul certainly can write for an adult audience, but has absolutely no idea of writing techniques for children - things such as pacing, sparse text, strong storyline, no digressions...these things are all lacking in this book. For example, on one page the king's wise men explain to the king, over three full-text pages, the science of light.
My six year old, who will happily sit and listen to 20 minutes-plus of any chapter book, and will calmly listen to me read the bible to him (the NIV, not a kids' bible), would never make through even half of this book by R.C. Sproul.
Sorry R.C., but stick to writing theological tomes, and we'll all be better off!
The story is beautifully illustrated with paintings of a king who bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Sproul himself, and the young boy with his friends closely resemble the grandchildren pictured on the flyleaf of the book. It is a rare pleasure to find such a deeply-developed Christian lesson, crafted carefully and lovingly for the third generation. Although it doesn't have the dramatic action of The Squire and the Scroll: A Tale of the Rewards of a Pure Heart or The Prince's Poison Cup, it does provide a gently reflective meditation on God's character, with enough of a story to provide a satisfying reading experience.
It is probably best suited to an older elementary audience, and could make an especially enjoyable family devotional reading.
All these are very popular books on Amazon, and our children have absolutely LOVED their story lines. As parents, we have appreciated the deeper messages these books contained.
Based on the great reviews, we purchased R.C. Sproul's books with a "kingdom" theme.
This book, The King Without a Shadow, was beautifully illustrated, and contained deep truths such as why God, the King of the Universe, has no shadow because He has no sin (a very deep and difficult message to convey). The story line, however, is long and drawn out, with much description about the aspects of light, holiness, and God Himself, and not much "story action" is really there.
The book description states that this book is for ages 4 and up, but I lost my preschoolers attention about halfway through the book. My 8 and almost 10 year olds stuck with the book until the second to last page that became a theological discourse, rather than a climatic rush, as the other books we have been enjoying. My 11 year old, who loves to read historical fiction and missionary adventure stories, gave up on this book less than half way through due to the "long and drawn out" descriptions.
I'm sad to return this book after reading such rave reviews on Amazon, but I'd rather have books around that are loved to "pieces" rather than those that collect dust, especially if the wonderful truths they contain are not absorbed because "boredom" sets in. Perhaps a more condensed approach would be better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5 stars today for another great book by RC Sproul. I purchased it to read with my nephew and niece and we all thoroughly enjoyed the story. Read morePublished 27 days ago by John Doyle
Great book with a great message! My daughter and I both love it.Published 1 month ago by sarah dillon
Very good resource to teach children about the holiness of God. For He is the only One without a shadow. It's a bit slow going for a children's story, but still highly valued.Published 3 months ago by b.h.
RC Sproul's The King Without a Shadow (P&R Publishing, 1996/2012) is a beautiful storybook for 4-8 year olds. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Danika Cooley
Superb! R.C. Sprout tells a masterful story! One of the best children's books ever! Get one for your family and others too!Published on January 28, 2014 by Pen Name
Kids enjoyed this short story. I gave it away to some friends with young children and they enjoyed it also.Published on January 6, 2014 by Ted Siok
I wasn't impressed with this story. Not the best work of R.C. Sproul, who typically writes excellent children's books about God and our relationship with Him.Published on November 26, 2013 by W. Shepler