Book Reviews - Kingdom Tales

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Book Reviews - Kingdom Tales

Unread post by 4Truth » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:46 pm

Kingdom Tales... better than Nancy Drew!

Okay, we just had Box Day (ECC 2nd edition) this afternoon, and my 13yo has already read about half of Kingdom Tales. This is 3 books bound together in one volume, with questions added at the end of each chapter by MFW. Here's a bit of what Kayla says about it:

"better than Nancy Drew"

"better than any horse book I've ever read"

"The best book I've ever read!"

"There's so much detail in just a few pages of each story... so tragic and wonderful and magical, but so real!"

"You actually feel like you're there and you know what's going on."

She describes it as "Christian fairy tales" ... and at this point she believes she could read this book over again every single day for the rest of her life and wouldn't get tired of it. She says it just HAS to be the best book ever written besides the Bible! In my dd's estimation, Kingdom Tales beats Nancy Drew, horse books, Narnia (yes, Narnia! 8O ), Dangerous Journey, Pilgrim's Progress, and anything else she's ever read. This girl is an AVID reader and has read MANY, many books in every genre.... so this is really saying something! :-)

She says it's "indescribable," but it sure sounds like she's doing an awful lot of "describing" to me! ;) She's standing here going on and on about it.... And she hasn't even finished the book yet! 8[]

I was going to wait until after July 4th to start ECC, but I think we may have to start on Monday or else I'm going to be behind! (Hubby just finished God Speaks Numanggang.) :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

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Re: Kingdom Tales... better than Nancy Drew!

Unread post by MercyMamma » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:53 am

I LOVE the Kingdom Tales books, they are absolutely precious. I read them as a child.
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Kingdom Tales- Wow, what book!!

Unread post by doubleportion » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:14 pm

I just wanted to post a little note about Kingdom Tales, which is part of the 2nd edition of ECC. If you will not be doing ECC again in the future, you need to pick up a copy!!! For those who have 1st edition but get the upgrade, it will be in it. It would also make a great devotional read aloud just so. This book is fictional allegory, but truly meaty. Don't miss out on it! I'm not good with summaries, so I won't attempt. The extra questions in it by David and Marie are great!

I will say that my almost 8 yr old isn't quite ready for it yet. I will have to wait until dd is 9 or so for her to be able to handle it. (Very sensitive)

We are happy to add this to our family library. I am enjoying reading it myself this week and find myself challenged spiritually as I read.


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Re: Kingdom Tales- Wow, what book!!

Unread post by sarajoy » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:54 pm

My mom read these books (originally a set of 3) to me when I was a kid and I absolutely loved them and the copies I have, have such beautiful artwork. I am so excited to have them as an "assigned" part of school...I can't wait to share them with my kids (again).


PS- I always loved the story of Amanda and the Dragon, and, of course Sighting Day is fun too.

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Re: Kingdom Tales- Wow, what book!!

Unread post by MammaBear » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:43 pm

We love this series! I was so excited when I saw MFW was using them. I have them all, but I want to get this set with the questions, because I know there is so much more I could get from them.
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Kingdom Tales

Unread post by flkoll » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:42 pm

We are new to MFW and just started ECC a couple of mths ago. I thought I would share a review of Kingdom Tales from my own personal experience:

I have heard the question, "Is 'Kingdom Tales' like 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Narnia'?" My answer to that is no. We do not do Lord of the Rings or Narnia (well I should say my husband likes Narnia and I don’t but we are both in agreement on Lord of the Rings.)

We have all loved Kingdom Tales. I was a bit concerned when I first looked at it. I was new to MFW and I thought, “Okaaay, not sure if the Hazell’s are off their rocker in choosing this book…” So I decided to read the first one (the one that had the warning) alone. I kept thinking, “I know there must be a purpose to this” and at the end I understood. But then I wondered whether or not my daughter would “get it”. Would she understand this allegory?

My daughter is 9 ½. Not only did she understand the spiritual connection but it led us to some wonderful family discussions. Each Chapter ends with a ‘nugget of truth’ and what amazed me was how much of that my daughter was able to internalize and share her own insight at her level. In fact we have loved these times together as a family so much (we read them at night with dad) that on days it is not scheduled, even though we do other read alouds together, my daughter asks for it.

I must say that this book has also touched my husband and myself.

You know your children best so it’s not my place to tell you whether or not to use this book. But I encourage you to pray about it. It’s added so much to our schooling- and it’s a time we all look forward to. I definitely don’t place it in the same bracket as Lord of the Rings and Narnia.

---I just asked my husband if he would put KT in the same category as these two. He said, “Absolutely not!” :) He said that KT is a deliberate allegory of Christ whereas the others you have to try to read into them.

Just my thoughts.
Lisa in AZ


Re: Kingdom Tales

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:26 pm

donutmom wrote:From all those wonderful reviews, this book is a must on my wish list for Christmas--if I can wait that long based on everyone's comments!! The grandparents are helpful in purchasing "extras" at Christmas. I'll be sure to give them a MFW catalog with Kingdom Tales circled (and maybe a few other items!! ;) ).

Has anyone also read the other books (Tales of the Resistance and Tales of the Restoration by these authors)? Wondering if I want to add them to the list also.
The edition of Kingdom Tales that MFW has reprinted and is selling, includes all 3 of the books
Tales of the Kingdom
Tales of the Resistance
Tales of the Restoration

but wait... there's more.... the MFW edition includes discussion questions to really make it fruitful for family devotion and discussion.

the resistance is over.....
to the King!
To the restoration!


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Re: Kingdom Tales

Unread post by 4Truth » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:36 pm

Just adding a hearty Amen to all the above. :-) My oldest snatched the book up as soon as our box arrived and read the whole thing in less than a day (or so). Now that we've actually started ECC, we're reading it together in the evenings with daddy. It's brought tears and sadness, smiles and gladness, and great anticipation to the next chapter every evening!

I do have to add a warning, though. The stories in this volume will convict you of some your own sins and wrong thoughts. ;)
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Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by my3sons » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:11 am

I just wanted to say how much my boys are loving these stories! They look forward to them each day and I love the spiritual symbolism of each one. I am also very appreciative of the discussion questions - they are wonderful! It helps to have the "answers" to help me facilitate the discussion as well. Two thumbs up from this family!
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Re: Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by Amy C. » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:09 am

Same here! My sons love the Kingdom Tales as well. They beg to continue on at the end of each chapter. I have really grown to love them myself. And to think I almost did not read it out loud to them because I thought they were to young/sensitive. We would have missed a huge blessing, not to mention the spiritual lessons we are learning! 6 thumbs up here (2 from me and 2 from each of my two older sons)! Thank you MFW !!

Amy C.

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Re: Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:20 pm

I have to admit, I do not like this book. Even as a kid, I thought Pilgrim's Progress was weird, and I never really got into Narnia and haven't read the Rings. I know -- people think I'm odd. My dd is so similar to me and so sensitive, I was afraid to use Kingdom Tales with her, but we read it anyway. And she loves it!!! My dh sat in on our reading one night, and he got a little frustrated with all her girating around while I was reading, but then was amazed at her answers to the questions! He said that she got more out of it than he did! I explained that it was because she ACTS IT OUT while I'm reading. Crazy. She wants to re-read the stories now that we're on a break from that book in the curriculum.

I will say, though, that Princess Amanda and the Dragon is an incredible story that would benefit anyone. I love that one!
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Re: Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by sarajoy » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:57 pm

happyWImom wrote:We are planning on using ECC next year, but I have an older TM. I do want to get Kingdom Tales though. Where are the discussion questions-I mean am I able to have access to them somehow, or am I out of luck since I don't have the newer manual? (always planning ahead)
The questions must be in the books, because I have a 2nd ed. ECC and the original books of the Kingdom Tales and am missing out on the questions. [Editor's note: Yes, the questions and answers are inside Kingdom Tales]

However, the artwork in the original print of these is so powerful in itself. I love the illustrations and won't trade them for the world. Loved these books as a kid too. I remember reading them with my mom. I really identify with the juggler's story. I love to (worship) dance but I have no rhythm, at least none that anyone else can follow along with...I was a horrible pompom in college.

When the king sacrificed himself at the end of the [second] book, I was crying so hard that my dh had to finish reading for me. I just get carried away by a story, ykwim...


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Re: Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by kerby » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:48 am

We have only begun this book and I think it's fabulous! I too liked the Juggler's story - and that our differences are what make us special and can be used for wonderful things. I can't wait to continue on - thanks for the heads-up about the other stories, I will probably need to have tissues on hand. ;)
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Re: Kingdom Tales in ECC

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:14 am

I though these would be scary for my children when I read the first chapter of the first book, but they have loved the first and second books and can't wait to read more! The spiritual lessons really are so deep, but the story gives us a more concrete mental picture in our minds to help us understand and apply it to our lives.

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Julie in MN
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Kingdom Tales versions

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:37 am

tawbur wrote:I'm planning on using ECC this Fall and noticed the book Kingdom Tales. I bought the 3 books last year from Lamplighter at the h/s bookfair, and we are reading them aloud. The kids love them, but now I realize that MFW republished them in a single volume with their added discussion questions, which we are missing out on.
I haven't bought ECC yet, but is it possible, when I do, to get those discussion questions from MFW separately from the book, since I really already have the book, albeit in a different format?
I don't know how they'd do that, since they are embedded in the book after each chapter. However, I think it would be worth it to call the office & find out for sure.

For what it's worth, we have both versions. We like to look at the illustrations in the hardcover version, and as you mention the discussion questions are good in the MFW version. You could probably think of your own, since it is usually two questions about the story and one about how it applies to your own life, but of course it's always easier to have them already prepared.

I do also like the MFW spiral version for ease of reading, rather than holding the hardcovers open. Just another thought.

Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kingdom Tales versions

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:35 am

tawbur wrote:I haven't seen the MFW version, but I'll look it over at the upcoming bookfair.
Is it paperback with no illustrations, or is it just that the illustrations in the hardback versions are better?
thanks again!
aw, the fun of MFW getting reprint permissions on out of print books. They were able to get reprint on the text... and able to add discussion questions. Thank you MFW!

but, There are no illustrations in the MFW edition (printed in 2009) except front cover. They were not able to get copy permissions for those illustrations from the original hardback version. and didn't add any of their own. Maybe they need a customer contest to submit top notch illustrations (giggle)

Yes, the mfw edition is paperback in spiral bound.



Re: Kingdom Tales question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:24 am

RB wrote:I need to place our final MFW order with the bits and pieces we still need for CTG. (I was SO excited about those new student did I forget to order the extra sets???)
I see a couple of new ECC resources, such as Kingdom Tales. Can anyone tell me about this? Would it be worth getting to read this summer? What's the deal with the 3 volume set with pictures that is available elsewhere? Are they pretty much the same other than price? Thanks
Kingdom Tales that MFW sells is the 3 volume set in one. MFW's edition includes discussion questions to help for family devotions.
The original books went out of print to the best of my knowledge. You can find them in rare book collections and amazon and stuff like that.
Originally, the books were illustrated with color pics/drawings.
The books were reprinted about 10 years ago ish with b/w drawings with another illustrator.

MFW got the rights to the stories and text. But not to either illustrations out there. The text for the whole 36 collection is reprinted by MFW and includes discussion questions.

I loved doing this book last summer when it came out from MFW. We had finished ECC and getting ready to move. The lessons in the tales were great for family devotions.

so, what is KT like on the allegory?
Kingdom Tales is not "talking animals" allegory (no debate, some of us do that, others don't.. just saying what the book isn't). It is the journey of how one boy escapes the horrors of living in the Enchanted City and goes in search of the King who loves him and wants to transform and redeem his life. Along the way there are stories of others on the same journey.
MFW includes heads up notes for the intensity of the first chapter. My sensitive child (middle gal) did not have a problem with that chapter as I slightly retold it. (yes, I rewrote that chapter if anyone needs that after they get the book and have concerns. it's probably illegal for me to do so, but I did it as an example to show how easy that chapter can be revised and read aloud if needed to lower the intensity level without losing the Kingdom Impact. those on this board who know me, know I do "low impact aerobics at medium intensity levels)
I personally think it is obvious that the Enchanter is the bad guy and the enemy of the King.

I loved this book! If you can get it, I hope you like it as much as we did. My kids loved it too. We all cheered for the main character as he was in search of the King. I related a lot to many characters and situations in this story.


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Re: Kingdom Tales question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:35 am

I'll just add a few details to the different editions, since we've had at least one volume from at least three different printings of Kingdom Tales.

1. Our oldest edition had one colored picture per chapter, & they were cloth-bound with dust jackets. The pictures are very imaginative and apply to the chapter well.

2. The next edition we have is still available from Lamplighter. It is $25 for each volume, so $75 total.
These have those covers that are shiny with pictures - like modern hardcovers. The color & cover illustration are identical to the original dust jackets. Inside each volume, every chapter has the same colored picture as the previous edition (one per chapter), but then portions of that picture are also printed in black and white on a couple other pages of the chapter (small, close-up sections of the same picture, but in black & white). So there is still one picture per chapter, the same picture as in the original edition, but it is printed in a couple ways.

3. MFW's is the exact same wording, without pictures, but with discussion questions (with answers) added at the end of every chapter. Spiral binding, which is much easier for me to work with. Price is very good :) [about $30 for all 3 books in 1 volume, vs. about $75 for 3 separate volumes]


Postby Julie in MN » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:41 pm
Cyndi, the dragon chapter was one of my favorites, too <sniff, sniff> -- so applicable to my own soul...

Anyways, RB,
I need to correct something I said above because I like to be exactly correct when I say something out loud, and Scott at the office, bless his heart, has helped me be very exact on this.

When I said, "MFW's is the exact same wording," I need to be more correct. I should have said something more like, "MFW's is the same wording with only slight differences." These differences won't be noticed by most people, but I shouldn't have said "exact same." It's basically the same, just things like -

- MFW added the questions, of course

- over the 3 volumes there are three or so "MFW notes" suggesting parents preview the most dramatic chapters.

- MFW made very slight corrections/clarifications, without changing the meaning. For instance in the chapter ds and I just read, "Traffic Court," my Lamplighter book says "began for procession" and my MFW book says "began the procession" (which makes more sense to me).

- MFW very occasionally toned a few words down a tiny bit, again without changing meaning. The one I noticed was in the very first chapter:
MFW version: He loved fire, loved its power. Long ago he had decreed night to be day...
Lamplighter version: He loved fire, loved its power. He called it to himself and used it to cast spells. Long ago he had decreed night to be day...

Another reason MFW's version is excellent?!
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Re: Kingdom Tales question

Unread post by RB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:02 am

(thanks for the great explanations :) )
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Re: Kingdom Tales question

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:16 am

You're already sold, but I'm sitting here crying just thinking about the dragon chapter. *sniff* Whew, that was an impactful one. If you're anything like me, your dc will ask you "why are you crying?" a lot while reading this book. Don't judge the book by the first chapter, which almost made me throw it out without reading the rest. I should get Crystal's version. That's one book where I had to force my dd to sit away from me and not follow along . . . there's just some things that have to be eased up for a very sensitive child. (My dd is having trouble going to bed alone this week because of a play in VBS - she's just that way.) It's not a book I'd leave on the shelf for the kiddo's to grab whenever they want, but it's a great book, and the questions that MFW added really help the discussion for each chapter.
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Give Kingdom Tales another try!

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:18 pm

...Oh yes, please give Kingdom Tales another try. My dd9 couldn't get enough of Kingdom Tales. She LOVES Kingdom Tales! We both do! We have read the first two books...Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance. We have both loved the missionary biographies, but Kingdom Tales is our absolute favorite! The stories are amazingly beautiful allegories about the kingdom of God. Use the discussion questions at the end of each story included by MFW and really look at each story after reading it to see how each story represents the society we live in, God's great love for his people, and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made by coming to earth and giving his life for us. Many times after reading each story, all I could say was "Wow!" Get past the first couple of chapters and you won't be able to put it down! :-)
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Re: Kingdom Tales - you could have warned me

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:30 pm

One of each wrote:That I needed to have tissue handy when reading this book! :) Whew, bawled my way through the "Trial By Fire" chapter today. However, my kids didn't see what was so touching about it. :~

They love the book though and beg me to read the next chapter. So glad MFW has it in the curriculum. I'd never heard of it before.
giggle.. but we did. honest. giggle giggle...

maybe we should retitle the archive thread on Review as
Welcome to the MFW Tissue Box Book Club - Kingdom tales reviews.

dragon eggs... tissue warning... what was the chapter name? that's not Trial by Fire, was it? no.. the first dragon eggs was 2 chapters before that. oh sniff. That's not fair, because lately I haven't felt like I am a princess. you brought up trial by fire... sniff..

just saying... sniff... ... 418#p62418

just keep several boxes. I wept many chapters. still do 2 years later....


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Re: Kingdom Tales - you could have warned me

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:46 pm

dragon eggs. I'm bawling. but it was such a cute little dragon. *sob*

And I will *not* go get it and reread it right now. I'm too hormonal. I probably should, though. I'm wondering which one "trial by fire" is, but I will not go get that book right now!

You're gonna need lots of tissues. Consider yourself warned. ;) And be prepared for lots of "Mommm! Quit crying!"
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Re: Kingdom Tales - you could have warned me

Unread post by amelasky » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:54 pm

I just have to add that my daughter told me that she loved Kingdom Tales so much that she was keeping it for her kids when she was older! WOW....another tissue moment. I think we will read it again over our next break for a "refresher!" It's just that good. The discussion questions were wonderful and lead to some awesome and really thought provoking conversations at our house.
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Re: Kingdom Tales - you could have warned me

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:57 pm

Just warning you now... I always have a box of tissues handy for ANY read aloud recommended by MFW :) Really. My kids are always like, "What's wrong mom?" They just don't always get it...

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