Abigail and the Widow Mary

Book cover: 'Abigail and the Widow Mary'
Noel Trimming
The Pentland Press
Number of pages: 
62 pages

Mr. Trimming has created several very engaging stories about some of Jesus' most beloved miracles told from the point of view of children. These stories fall into the category of historical fiction. In other words, they are based on real events, but include some fictitious characters and dialogue. This technique allows us to see the story from a different point of view (in these stories, it is from a child's point of view) and more fully understand the story because of historical details such as customs and ettiquette of the day. The author develops these stories in such a way that children more fully understand the significance and joy of these miracles. For example, the first story is of the miracle of the Wedding at Cana, when Jesus turned the water into wine. This is told from the viewpoint of Abigail, the young sister of the bride. The story relates how important certain customs related to the wedding ceremony are and how nervous everyone is about the wine being in short supply. We see that running out of wine during the celebration would be a devastating blow to the family and the bridal couple and how even young Abigail fearfully awaits what will happen. After understanding this background, how much more joyous, particularly to the young reader, is it when they see how Jesus (with some encouragement from his mother - "the Widow Mary") comes to their aid? I believe these kind of stories are an excellent way of portraying to children how great Jesus' love is for us.

My children were familiar enough with these stories from the Bible that they delighted in figuring out which story was being told (the background development gives them a little chance for guessing). So enjoyable was this story, in fact, that I was coerced by my daughter into reading the entire book in one sitting. I have to admit that I found the task not at all unpleasant.

In order to give you a sampling of the book, the story of Reuben's Basket, which is about the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, may be read online. Note: A character in one of the stories makes a joke that some may find offensive. Keeping in mind that the author is British (and some of the words involved in the joke have different connotations to British than to Americans); I don't think the joke is a real problem, but you can decide for yourself as the joke in question is included in the chapter that you can read on their website listed above.