Timothy: A Little Fish with a Big Purpose by Brad Riley and illustrated by Krystahl Goodale, is published by Vox Dei. It is a children’s book of a mere 28 pages, and my copy is a paperback. It’s a children’s story about a fish, a coin, and miracle.
Timothy is a great little story. You have a cute little fish who is swimming back and forth between his mom and his grandma. He ends up being the little fish in Matthew 17, who has the tax money for Peter and Jesus. The overall point: being faithful in small obedience leads to being used for amazing things.
Taking the story apart even further, there is also the underlying message that we do not always know how God uses our obedience. There could be a side item about catch-and-release fishing, but I doubt this is within the authorial intent.
Riley’s use of Timothy’s heritage of Lois and Eunice for the fish family in the story is a nice added touch. While I would love to see a fish with a good father as well, I understand why Riley’s Timothy is in this situation. So, I do not feel this is a shortcoming for the work.
The illustrations are wonderful and cheerful. The people do not look like White Americans, which is necessary. (I recommend Downhere’s song “The Real Jesus” with its great line: Jesus isn’t white.) They bring the story alive, and kept the attention of the kids not only here at home (age range: 7-12) but at church (3-12).
If I had to pick a shortfall here, it would be that there is no caution to be careful what you pick up in the street these days. Had little Timothy lived in Lake Maumelle after the Pegasus Pipeline failure, he would have poisoned himself picking up stuff. However, that is certainly not enough to downgrade this one.
I loved it. My kids loved it. If you are using the Bible to help frame your children’s view of the world, I think you’ll find it a great addition to the shelf.
I did receive a free copy of this book. I did agree to review this book in exchange for that free copy. I do not typically do children’s books and was pleasantly surprised by this one.