Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Passkeys Foundation -- Good News Express books

Have you ever picked up a book, glanced through it, and had some doubts as to whether your kids would enjoy it?  That's how I felt when I received the book, The Special Wish,  from Passkeys Foundation.  It had colorful pictures, and the story was cute, but it seemed to be long for the intended age of 3 - 5 years old.  I was surprised when I sat down and read it to my 3, 5, and 8 year old children.  They did enjoy it, and have asked me to read it to them several times since then.

The first time I read it, my younger children were all listening, asking questions about which pictures fit which characters, and making guesses about the outcome of the story.  When I finished the story, my 5 year old took the book and continued to look at the pictures with the 3 year old.  They asked me to play the accompanying CD and tried to follow along with the story in the book. 

The Good News Express books are written for preschool - kindergarten aged children.  The desire of the author and the founder of Passkeys Foundation is to encourage the development of good character in our children and our country.   It's a noble purpose, but it is a secular non-profit organization.  Teaching character without also teaching about God, His Word, and His gift of salvation falls somewhat flat.  Good intentions that are missing the mark.

I admit that I was disappointed in the book, not only because it is coming from a completely secular (and generic) position, but also because the story seemed bland to me.  It's a cute story, and my kids enjoyed it, but it certainly isn't great literature.  It is obviously a story written expressly to make a point about friendship.  Rather than an excellent story that also makes a point ... it is simply an okay story that makes a good point.  I'm afraid this would fall in the category of twaddle for those Charlotte Mason families. 

Despite my disappointment with this particular book, there is nothing objectionable about it.  The Good News Express appears to be a series of safe books to give to your preschool and kindergarten children.  They do teach good values, even if they don't address any Biblical reason for those values.  The pictures are colorful and cute, and the hardcover book is well-made.  My 3 - 5 year old crowd enjoyed the songs and story on the accompanying CD, although I felt it needed a "turn the page" signal for the non-readers trying to follow along with the book.

The Good News Express books are reasonably priced at $7.50 for each individual book with the accompanying CD.  All four Good News Express books (with CDs) can be bought as a set for $20.00.  Passkeys Foundation also sells additional character-building books for older children, and adults.  Some of the other Homeschool Crew families received different books in the Good News Express series, and you can find their reviews HERE.

This book was provided to me free by Passkeys Foundation to be reviewed.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  Thus ends the required public service announcement per the new blog review regulations.

Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting in Him,

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