We got this book as a gift a few of years ago:
And I thought to myself: “Oh, my goodness this looks a bit tricky.” But I gave it a try and started reading a couple of pages a night. And guess what? The kids totally loved it and cried out for more. They pleaded, they cajoled. They loved the story and completely got the allegory and what the book would be about. Wonderful. What is more – I love this classic and don’t mind rereading it to them. I always find places in the story I re-remember. This book has everything: intrigue, the good are so good and the bad are so bad, it is has dragons and suspense and really is quite gripping. The Pilgrim has so many trials on his journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.
So I wanted my kids to know more about the author John Bunyan and what an amazing story his life makes. We got this great activity book:
This book provides a timeline of his life, it is short but provides enough detail to explain the main points of his life: Where and when he lived, how he landed in jail, how he wrote this epic that literally changed the world. And it has activities that go beyond the run of the mill activities that help the key points stick!
The Christian History Institute is a fabulous resource for biographies. If you are looking for printables for your kids to read then here they are: John Bunyan: Part One and John Bunyan: Part Two, with a quiz and a maze. And here is the more grown up version and here.
The Torchlighters Hero’s of Faith Series has a dvd on the author John Bunyan, as well as a fabulous website full of useful resources. There is a brilliant kids activity book to print as well as the teachers version full of ideas. There is a downloadable movie preview as well.
And finally: an animated version on You Tube… I wouldn’t normally recommend video downloads. I showed it to a class of kids (from youngsters to tweens) in parts – and they loved it. Download the chunks it is worth it they are all about ten minutes long. There was a slightly scary patch, for the little guys, in Part 6 when Faithful meets her demise but we managed to talk our way through it. The kids were outraged at the event, which was fantastic because it was a non-cronfontational way to tell kids the story of Christian and his epic journey. They loved it – we watched it over two days and we did activities between parts so that nobody got too wriggly!
This is the sort of book you won’t mind reading to your kids over and over again. If you haven’t read it yourself, then just do it. Getting started is the hardest part but once you have got going you will not want to stop reading. Holding your breathe all the way to see if Christian reaches his goal.