Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Book Review: Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation

Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation
Second book in the Mr. Pipes series by: Douglas Bond

Written by: Douglas Bond
Illustrations by: Ron Harris
Reviewed by: Hannah DeLadurantey

In Douglas Bond’s first book, Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers, Mr. Pipes, a devout Christian living in England, evangelizes to two young American children who are summer vacationing in England, named; Annie and Drew. After Annie and Drew go back to their home in America, Mr. Pipes continues to develop his relationship with the two youngsters by sending them hymns to learn and thoughts to ponder. As you may gather from the titles from Bonds Mr. Pipes series, Mr. Pipe’s, Annie and Drew develop a budding relationship over hymnody and psalmody that only blooms more deeply in this second volume entitled; Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation.

This book exudes the power and majesty of hymns in a very easy, delightful, and creative way, which is perfect since it was written for young readers!
Bond interweaves very artfully, the tales of many hymn writers while Pipes, Annie and Drew tour Europe. The book is divided up into 12 chapters, where 10 out the 12 chapters focus on a different Reformation hymn writer; Luther, Nicolai, Altenburg, Heermann, Gerhardt, Franck, Neander, Rinkart, Schutz, and Calvin.
But, Bond does not stop there! Instead, he craft fully adds other dimensions to the story by weaving in various historical and architectural discoveries that Pipes shares with Annie and Drew. E.g. History of Westminster Abbey, purpose behind Gothic Architecture etc.
And not to forget mentioning that you can practice reading your French and German in Bond’s book, since Pipes speaks both languages in various occasions while touring outside of England…..A Dieu!

There were a few small words, references and phrases I wished Bond would have left out; fairy tales and eye rolling were mentioned twice, “what a bummer”,   “ what on earth are you doing?” dirty rotten thief, creeps and cabbage head as well as kraut breath are words used to address two bully’s that are throwing rocks at Pipes Annie and Drew. Drew is gently reprimanded for using the ungodly language when Pipes reads a hymn that addresses our language, so that is good, and Drew does repent of his ungodly speech, but I’d still rather not have that type of language in a book for children. We’re sinners enough, we don’t need any other words and phrases added to our mental vocabulary, even if we do know they are bad. You never know when they might come out!

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