As an avid lover of fairy tales and lover of the Greatest Story Ever told, this book jumped off the shelf at me. A beautifully written, exquisitely illustrated childrens book, “This Is No Fairy Tale” wonderously invites children to be a part of the happily ever after Jesus offers. Authored by Dale Tolmasoff and illustrated by Corbert Gauthier, the combination of story and illustration is a match made in Heaven.
The story uses the fairy tale genre to help little ones to understand Jesus’ Story as truth. John Piper in his introduction to the book invites readers to “believe it and build your whole life on it.”
Author Dale Tolmasoff, explains, “some people think the story of Jesus is too wonderful. They think that it must be just another fairy tale. How can we be sure it really happened?” He cleverly begins each page with “If this were a fairy tale…” followed by “The truth is…”. The impact of these phrases put God’s redemptive plan in clear black and white. It solidifies the truth as kids understand it – in the concrete.
I love the vivid contrast of the truth versus fairy tale. “If Jesus had been born a king he would have had servants, but he served other people. If Jesus had been born a fairy tale king, he would have been too important to talk with little children. The truth is Jesus loved spending time with children.” Once again the clear use of black and white makes this very easy for children to understand.
The illustrations do more than offer pictures to accompany the story. They actually lay the foundation for the text. On each page there is an illustration for the “If this were a fairy tale” text in cartoon! Then it is followed by beautiful realistic illustration of “The truth is…” The illustrations strengthen and support the text, again in the vein of clarity, in black and white.
The writing has real emotion to it. As I read the book to myself, I felt a calm and joyous peace come over me. As I read it aloud to my children, I found my voice a gentle whisper and as I finished the last sentence, “We really will live happily ever after!” there was a smile on my face and a tear in my eye.
In the age of all things Disney, I was concerned that the glamour of the “fairy tale” Jesus would lure in children more than the “truth” Jesus. But truth is truth, and is shines through gloriously in this story. A poor baby, born in a stable, with callused, hard worked hands who died on a cross because of his overflowing love for us, so that we may be with him forever! That’s what I call “happily ever after!”
“This is No Fairy Tale” is available from WTSbooks and Amazon for around $12. It would make a beautiful coffee table book or a loving gift for a child this christmas.