by Simonetta Carr
60 pages / 2014
Like her seven other children’s Church history books, Simonetta Carr’s John Knox is a gorgeous production. The full-color picture book includes 42 illustrations in its 60 pages, including a dozen full-page paintings created just for this volume. And the hardcover and quality binding mean this is strong enough to bear up to children’s use and still be passed on to the next generation.
John Knox, sometimes known as the Scottish John Calvin, is a fascinating subject starting his Reformed journey as a bodyguard, then getting sent to the galleys to row as a slave, and finally becoming a minister to a king and a thorn in the side to queens.
Carr does a solid job of telling Knox’s story, but this is more history book than storybook, a great educational resource, but not necessarily a book that a child would want to read on their own. So I wouldn’t recommend this as a present from the grandparents…unless they intend to read it to their obliging grandchildren. But for anyone intent on teaching Church history, whether Mom or Dad, or in a school setting, this would be a great purchase. I would recommend this for Grades 2 to 6.
One bit that struck me as humorous was that Carr chose to refer to Knox’s most famous work – or, rather, most infamous – by the first part of its title, rather than its full title. In this book Knox argued that women should not rule countries, and Carr refers to it as The First Blast of the Trumpet, but the full, and very politically incorrect, title is: The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.