Rain Forest Adventures by Horace Banner
Horace Banner tells the story of the Eva missionary family in the midst of the Amazon rain forest in his book entitled Rain Forest Adventures. The short chapters are great for young children wanting to get a handle on the animals and culture of the rain forests of the Amazon. In fact, my five year old daughter loved hearing about the stories about tree frogs, anacondas, and the blue butterfly. At the end of each chapter, Horace ties together a particular theme that came out in his stories about life in the Amazon in relationship to a biblical theme. Whether its committing oneself to Christ, understanding the nature of sin and its scars or marveling at God’s good creation, these stories bring together the truths found in God’s Word that are reflected also in God’s first book, the book of nature.
In one unique story, a boy named Manuel is fascinated by the deeper parts of the river. Racing down the path and splashing in the water, Manuel has no concern for what lies beneath the deep waters. Horace writes, “Then one day, when Manuel dived, he came up against something long, smooth and supple – something alive! And, before he could come up to the surface, something covered his face and things like knives cut into his cheeks….Manuel’s cheeks will always bear the marks of the river serpent’s teeth but he has learned his lesson. He is taking no more risks” (11-13). The good thing about this story was that the snake was unable to get ahold of something solid to anchor itself to in order to crush its prey by suffocation. Manuel was fortunate by God’s grace to be alive after this incident. Horace bears witness to the weights of sin and its scars that are left upon the human race which are only remedied by the forgiveness in Christ Jesus.
One other story that was very powerful was the time that Donna traveled to a leper colony near the mouth of the Amazon. She distributed money, care, and prayed for the lepers there in the colony. One man responded with a letter that ‘demanded that you make no further visits and no further gifts without his permission’ (44). He also complained that Donna was trying to make a Christian of his wife by helping her. Horace makes the point here that whether we take a stand for people by word/actions, we will often be met with disapproval and anger, but this does not keep us from promoting his name.
I really enjoyed this book and thought the short chapters were great for younger children. The illustrations went along well with the themes of the chapters also.
Thanks to CF4K and Cross Focused Reviews for the copy of this book in exchange for review.