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    Books & Reading

    Blessings from the Past

    April 4, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    When I was 12-years-old, I started a small business tutoring elementary-aged children in reading during the summers. I invested most of my profits back into the business, buying up illustrated children’s books at our local Christian Bookstore. More than half of my clients were not being raised in Christian homes, and I felt it was a unique opportunity to teach them Bible stories using these colorful books.

    It is ironic that I remember feeling a slight sense of regret at the end of the summer, when I had fewer earnings to show for all the hard work, and no more children to read those beautiful books to.

    Fast-forward almost 17 years, and here I am, reading those books to my own little boy.

    I wanted to include a picture of the books that are my favorites, but, alas, they are no longer in print. How wonderful that I bought them while they were available! I will give you the title of the series, though, in case you ever see them used: The Kidderminster Kingdom Tales.

    When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. –You’ve Got Mail

    There are many illustrated children’s books that tell the stories of the heroes in the Bible {Jonah, Esther, etc.}. But these books are different, based on Jesus’ parables, and include the original text at the end, so that you can explain to the child how the story is like a story that Jesus told.

    As a disclaimer I will say that the author’s detailing of wealth is not to my liking in that he tends to leave the impression that wealthy people sit around drinking tea and eating treats all day. {Maybe they do–but I don’t want my children thinking sloth is ever an acceptable vice.} Nevertheless, the stories are pretty true to Jesus’ intent when telling them.

    The main purpose I am reading them to E. this week is to help him better understand what Si is reading to our family during evening devotions. Now we can say, “This is a lot like the story of Nicholas and His Neighbors!”

    Anyhow, it is interesting to me that now, years later, I am incredibly grateful that I did not run out and spend all my money on the latest trends in clothing and makeup. The investment I believed I was making in the students I had then turned out to be an investment in the students I have now.


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  • Reply Brandy April 5, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    Si–Thanks. 🙂

    Your Highness–I thought of you when I put that in! 🙂 I do love the dialog in that film!

    “I’m going to the nut shop where it’s FUN!”

  • Reply quote queen =) April 5, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Personally, I just like that you used a movie quote! And from such a delightful film at that!

  • Reply Si April 5, 2006 at 7:11 pm


    I appreciate how deliberate you are with our kids. Their minds and characters will be all the better because of the time you spend reading to them.

    Also, I commend you on becoming an HTML queen! Your pull quote is a nice touch.

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