I want to thank Grace and Truth Books for providing me with a copy of How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life in return for my honest opinion. Grace and Truth Books is a wonderful online resource for Christian books on parenting and for Christian children’s books. I appreciate their quick shipping, great prices, and fantastic selection.
I love early morning devotional times with our kids. We are very intentional about our Bible study, and about family worship in the evenings, so during our devotions, we have the opportunity to read from a number of interesting books.
Our new favorite is How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life and 51 Other Great Stories by Tony Hutter (DayOne Publications). Minister Tony Hutter has taken 52 stories from the life of Spurgeon–and from his grandfather James’ life–and transformed them into short, 2-page devotions for children under the age of 12…..
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is often called “The Prince of Preachers”. More than 100 years after his death, Spurgeon’s preaching is still highly regarded among Christians of many different denominations. His life was filled with interesting events, large and small, which Mr. Hutter shares with children through his book, How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life. Many of the stories center on Spurgeon’s childhood and early preaching career (which he began at the age of 17!). This makes the stories especially relatable to young readers.
Each devotion begins and ends with a Bible verse. The stories chosen by Mr. Hutter help illustrate the verse so that children can apply the line of thought to their own life. The stories are addressed directly to children, using “you” to speak to the reader. Many devotionals that employ this technique veer into the territory of becoming preachy. Yet, Mr. Hutter manages to avoid preachiness. Rather, his devotions have the tone of a grandfather telling stories around the fire on a stormy evening.
I read several of the stories in How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life to my children, much to their delight. They particularly loved the title story about a special spider. It was a true story which Spurgeon’s grandfather James used to tell Spurgeon as a child–about a man fleeing martyrdom who hid in a kiln. This man would certainly have been caught, had it not been for a spider who spun a web over the mouth of the kiln just before the man’s pursuers burst upon him. The angry men reasoned that the man could not possibly be hiding in the kiln. After all, who could sneak past a fully formed spider web? Thus, the would-be-martyr was saved. The boys and I had a great discussion about God’s providence and sovereignty, and about the persecuted church throughout history, after reading the devotion.
This year, we’re covering the 1800’s. Although I read the entire devotional, I’ve talked the boys into waiting for the week we study Spurgeon’s life in Christian History. We’ll be reading a book from Christian Focus Publications’ Trailblazers series: Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers by Christian George.
How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life by Tony Hutter is charming, engaging, and informational. I highly recommend it as a family read-aloud.
You can find additional books in the 52 Spurgeon Stories series at Amazon:
- 52 Spurgeon Stories for Children Book 2: The milk’s been stolen again
- A Fly On the Nose and 51 Other Great Stories (52 Spurgeon Stories for Children)
More Books for 4-7 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- Return of the White Book: True Stories of God at Work in Southeast Asia by Rebecca Davis
- Words About God to Help You Worship Him by Nicholas Choy
- Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Gospel, The Scripture, The Mission, and The Trinity by Joey Allen
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- 44 Animals of the Bible by Nancy Pelander Johnson
- The Priest with the Dirty Clothes by Dr. R.C. Sproul
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.