Janus is the Greek god of transitions, beginnings, gateways. He has one face looking back and one looking forward. Whatever 2020 held for you, we’ve now stepped forward into 2021, full of its own potentials and unknowns. As you seek to foster holy imagination in the children you love during the coming year, we’re here with you—we’re on your side.
Around the Web
How Hobbits Teach Us Courage
The folks over at Rambling Ever On have pulled together a set of short notes on what they’ve learned from Hobbits on courage. May it encourage you as you face what’s to come.
- Hobbits, in particular, have taught us many valuable life lessons. We hope that a few of the lessons we have learned will be of some value to you. And once again, we will be forever grateful for Ben’s endless imagination and enthusiasm.
Someone Will Catechize Your Kids in 2021. Don’t Outsource It.
Collin Hansen reminds us that children will be taught, and we have the privilege of doing it.
- Catechesis is not just an option you can take or leave. Because someone will catechize your children. Maybe it will be your church. But how much time does your child spend there each week? Maybe it will be their school. You know public schools want to shape your children into a certain kind of person. No matter how hard you may try to shield your children, the world will attempt to catechize them.
The Prince Warriors Series by Priscilla Shirer with Gina Detwiler
Betsy at Redeemed Reader reviews a fantasy series for upper middle grade/young adult.
- Battles on earth mirror those in the spiritual realm, and these young Prince Warriors learn to wield their spiritual armor in both places in this engaging middle grades fantasy series.
Top 10 Best Family Board Games
We’re headed into the dark months after Christmas, so you may be looking for something to do in the evenings. Check out these recommendations for family board games!
- One of the best ways to spend time together as a family is to play a board game. That is one of the reasons why this top 10 list of the best family board games was so important to me.
And it had to be good! Not just another top 10 list on the internet. I wanted family-tested board games that are actually FUN to play regardless if they are on the shelves of your local toy store.
Around the Warren
James D. Witmer’s The Strange New Dog
Laura Peterson reviews our own managing editor James D. Witmer’s new book.
- This winter welcomed the release of James D. Witmer’s new mystery chapter book, The Strange New Dog. Story Warren readers might be familiar with his delightful book of short stories, A Year in the Big Old Garden, featuring tales of squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits. This one flips the script and takes us indoors, into the world of household pets.
Reframing Faith Through Fantasy
Justin Patton takes a look at how faith is revealed in fantasy.
- Have you ever tried to move something with your mind? Maybe there was a pencil on the table, and you thought really hard about making it roll. Do you remember what it felt like to try to use a power that you don’t have? Maybe you frowned, gritted your teeth, clenched your fists, or burst a blood vessel in your eyeball – and the pencil didn’t even budge. This is exactly how I felt when, as a younger person, I tried to work up what I considered to be “adequate faith” in this man called Jesus.
Tom Bombadil Hospitality
John Sommer digs into the hospitality we find in Tom Bombadil.
- While reading aloud The Lord of the Rings to my two oldest daughters for the first time, I have been repeatedly struck by something: the power of hospitality. The larger world that Frodo and company are thrust into can be perilous, even a bit grim, but it is never over much. Why, one might ask? They are weak and inexperienced hobbits after all. It is not overwhelming, because right in the midst of the hard times, when the mist rolls in thickly, or the black riders are right on their heels, or the trees of the forest are surrounding them in threatening ways, a door always opens. A hot meal is prepared. Songs and laughter are shared. Comfortable places are offered for sleeping. Hospitality spreads wide its arms and provides warmth and light in the midst of the hobbits’ darkness.
Picture Books in 2020, The Year of Outdoors
Laura Peterson looks back at some great picture books featuring the great outdoors in 2020.
- As we turn the corner of a new year, I’m trying to list some of the good things that have come out of 2020. For many of us, I think one benefit has been spending more time outside, either visiting with family and friends or just enjoying nature after being cooped up in the house.
Something to Do with Your Kids
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, the next month will be pretty dark and pretty cold. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Check out these January family bucket list activities.
Something to Watch
Did you eat pecan pie this year? Here’s a great video about the preparation of pecans.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team