Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beloved Books (review)


Did you listen to audio books growing up?  I think I had a few children's books with accompanying records that made a funny, magical sound each time I was to turn the page.  Then, I believe, the times they changed.  My younger sister had books and tape cassettes that did the same.  Enter 2012...  surely with all the high tech goodies on the market my three littles wouldn't be interested in "listening to a story" on CD without even a book mind you.  WRONG!!!

Beloved Books was created to share wholesome, life-affirming books and audio resources with Christian families.  Their collections include missionary stories, classic allegories, historical fiction, and beloved series.  My kiddos were totally enthralled and enamored with the Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CDs we had the opportunity to review.

PhotobucketThe past month has found our family crammed in the van for many back and forth trips from TN to KY.  Depending on where we go, we log 3-3.5 hours one way.  That just so happened to be the perfect amount of time to listen to one complete story.  After the first story, the kids were hooked.  They were the ones that emphatically reminded me to grab the CDs when loading the van.  Oh we forgot necessities like pajamas and toothbrushes on occasion and the ever important DSi charger, but never the Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CDs.

Produced by Moody Press, Volume 1 of the Sugar Creek Gang CDs includes 12 CDs with the following stories:
  • The Swamp Robber
  • The Killer Bear
  • The Winter Rescue
  • The Lost Campers
  • Chicago Adventure
  • The Secret Hideouts
In each of these stories, written by Paul Hutchins beginning in 1939 and later dramatized by Paul Ramseyer, the kids were entertained by a gang of boys:  Bill Jenkins, Poetry, Dragonfly, Big Jim, Little Jim, and Circus.  These boys have great adventures including:  fishing, swimming, a robber, a bear, bullies, befriending an eccentric Old Man, great rescues, etc.  Amid all the action, the characters faith grows by leaps and bounds.  They openly share the love of Christ, pray for one another, pray for their enemies, lead others to Christ, and truly learn to follow Christ in their day to day lives.  These are definitely characters I want my children to be drawn to and emulate. 

One caution... even though the CDs are very overtly Christian, have wonderful messages, inspiring characters, and important life lessons, I do encourage parents to listen along with their children.  Because we did our listening in the van, I was a captive audience as well.  Thankfully so, because my 6 and 7 year olds needed some things explained to them.  For example, they had no idea what an alcoholic was and couldn't understand the behaviors of Circus's or Tom Tilne's Dad.  We had several conversations following the introduction of those characters.  Also, being from the Independent Christian Church background, our theology doesn't align completely with the Sinner's Prayer, so we were able to discuss the plan of salvation on as well.

I do recommend the Sugar Creek Gang series.  My children were great fans and they were definitely a God-send to us during our times of travel.  I appreciate their wholesome Christian stories, and I do foresee more listening in our future. 

If you want to try out the first full story without buying a whole volume, you may purchase the complete "Swamp Robber" for only $4.95.  The Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CDs (12 CDs) are available for $54.95 with free media rate shipping. Volumes 2-6 also retail for $54.95.  Also, you may purchase the entire Sugar Creek Gang Collection (72 CDs) at a $50 savings for $279.70
Don't just take my word... visit other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members by clicking the button below and read about their experiences. 

Disclaimer:  I received Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CDs in exchange for my honest review. 

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