Thursday, August 23, 2012

Christian Liberty Press: Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers

We have too many books. I had a friend tell me that very thing lately, and she encouraged me to do a purge. Which is probably long overdue, but there are a few books that I would not be giving away, and Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers by Douglas Bond is one of them.

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What It Is:

This book, published by Christian Liberty Press, follows two modern day children, as they vacation in England. They befriend an older man, Mr. Pipes, who takes them on adventures in England. On the way, he tells stories and details about some of the many hymn writers from England. Each chapter narrates the life of a different hymn writer:

Thomas Ken
Isaac Watts
Charles Wesley
William Williams
John Newton
William Cowper
Augustus Toplady
Thomas Kelly
John Bunyan

There are also chapters on Scottish and Anglican hymn writers, and a chapter of women hymn writers as well. Through the pages, the reader will see personal insight into these great lives, what obstacles they overcame to write, and what influenced them as Christians. There a few tastefully illustrated pages which, if we were reading this aloud, my younger children would enjoy.


What You Get:

I received the pdf version of the book; it is also available in soft cover. The ebook is $8.79 on their website. At the end of each chapter, a couple of the songs written by each hymn writer is shown, just as you would see it in a hymnal. This makes is very easy to sing the hymn together with your children, a perfect aid to studying these great Christians.

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How I Used This:

As a part of our summer studies, I gave the book to Bookworm to read (of course); I also read through the book. Hymn writers intrigue me, and have been inspiring to me before in our homeschooling journey. If you have read my blog for a while now, you will remember that I was involved in a co-op where in our Circle Time component we studied through three or four hymns in a year. I was the one that taught that segment of our co-op, and I will tell you that having this book would have been such a help for me as the teacher. At the time I spent a lot of time researching the composers and writers, figuring out why they wrote what they did and more about their background. This book has all that and more. Intriguing stories about their childhood, education, life influences; which is very inspiring and uplifting to read.


What I Thought:

I quizzed Bookworm about the book after she read it. She felt that parts of it were a bit dry; she actually told me that a lot of the information about some of the hymn writers she already knew about from our co-op hymn study. (All that teaching did pay off!) I liked how the story flowed; there was more to the story about the composers and you saw the relationship develop between Mr Pipes and the children. I also really appreciated the depiction of the great faith that these men and women had; what an incredible testimony to God's faithfulness. This was in an ebook format which I don't really care for. I can either read it on the screen which is hard on my eyes and ties the computer up, or I can print out all 242 pages. But that is easily solved; there is a hard copy version available from the website. While perusing the website, I was also excited to see four other books in the Mr. Pipes Series.

You can see what other reviewers thought about this book by clicking below.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, for my honest and humble review. All opinions are mine.

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