Sir Wyvren Pugilist, who’s name means Dragon Fighter, previously published Dragon Slayers: The Essential Training Guide for Young Dragon Slayers (Paraclete 2011). That book taught young readers how to battle the dragons in their life using insights from ‘the Ancient Manual,’ AKA the Bible. His new book, Secrets of the Ancient Manual Revealed examines the shape of the Biblical story: how we got in the mess we are in and what the Mysterious Three did to set us free. [Joyce Denham is the secret author but don’t tell your kids].
Sir Wyvren’s guide is split into three sections called epeisodions. Epeisodion One describes the ‘Agreement Antiquatus’ (the Old Testament). Beginning with Creation, Sir Wyvren tells the story of Mighty One‘s grand plan. This isn’t a complete overview of the Old Testament. The focus is on the story of Genesis (chapters one through eight), and Exodus (chapters nine through twelve). However chapters thirteen and fourteen give a nice overview of the story from Canaanite conquest to exile and chapter fifteen provides a summary of the entire ‘Agreement Antiquatus.’
Epeisodion Zero is a two page interlude which names the silence of God and the continued suffering of Israel at the hands of Greek and Roman oppressors.
Epeisodon Two, ‘The Agreement Novus Un-Parallelus,” tells the tale of Jesus, the chief dragon slayer, his great and final battle and the community of dragon slayers formed in his name. As with the Agreement Antiquatus, Sir Wyven’s treatment of the New Testament is not exhaustive but focuses on the historical books–the gospels and Acts–and the end (Revelation).
There are a plethora of children’s Bibles and kids’ devotionals on the market. Yet there are not many books which describe the Bible’s contents in manner accessible to children. Secrets of the Ancient Manual is just this sort of book and does it imaginatively. Our guide, Sir Wyvren, is a medieval-styled Dragon Slayer. Each chapter has words and phrases in bold, and underlined keywords. Sir Wyvren has his readers write down these underlined words to help unlock the secrets of the Ancient manual (a glossary in the back provides definitions of these key words). This, combined with Sir Wyvren’s conversational tone, makes this an interactive way to learn.
I think this is fun and entertaining way to learn the Bible. This is listed as a book for ‘all ages’ and indeed I enjoyed it very much and found it edifying. My own kids are between the ages of eight and one. My eight year old is entering the age where she can appreciate what sort of book this is. My five and six year old aren’t there yet. I give this five stars and recommend it especially for kids age eight to twelve.
Note: I received this book from Paraclete Press in exchange for my honest review.