There once was a king who ruled over a darkened kingdom. Crops were planted and then failed, houses were built and then neglected, people were impoverished and dispirited. But when a traveler arrives at the crumbling palace, he shows the monarch his kingdom through the lens of an enchanted spyglass — a spyglass that shows him his kingdom not as it is, but as it could be. The king’s imagination is ignited by the spark of faith, and with faith comes hope and change. By sharing his vision and inspiring his subjects to work alongside him, the king restores his land to glory.
Faith is at the heart of master storyteller Richard Paul Evans’s moving new fable, which is brought to life by the rich, magnificent oil paintings of artist Jonathan Linton. Together, author and artist have created a powerful story that will inspire readers young and old to see their world through the eyes of faith.
Published October 1, 2000
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
K-Gr 5-This original fable offers a lesson about faith through the fall and rise of a kingdom. A once-great realm has declined into poverty, both of wealth and of spirit, until a passing stranger loans a magical spyglass to the king. Through it, the ruler and his subjects can see “what might be.” A barren pasture appears as a fertile field and a crumbling cathedral looks magnificent when viewed through the spyglass. These images restore faith to the people, who then work together to restore the land to its past prosperity. The stately tone of the narrative keeps readers at a distance, inviting observation rather than true involvement. Children and adults will grasp the obvious message without difficulty, so when the stranger returns to explain the power of faith to the monarch, the revelation lacks impact. Handsome full-page oil paintings accompany the tale, though some figures appear posed and sterile, which adds to the artificiality of the story. Despite these limitations, The Spyglass does succeed as a discussion starter. Those who are looking for substantial storytelling will need to look elsewhere. — School Library Journal, Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.