Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Poor Doreen

If you don’t already know, the Goodgames are huge Sally Lloyd-Jones fans.  Her (NYT best selling) Jesus Storybook Bible is our go-to for “home church” when someone is sick or if we just need a Sunday morning at home, and “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” is an invaluable help to me as a parent journeying through the gospel life with 3 kids.

So it was with great and giddy glee that I got to record Sally reading some Scripture for Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs.  On Monday I will continue my series to help parents think through Sing the Bible songs with their kids with “Rejoice”, (Philippians 4:4-8) powerfully delivered by Ms. Lloyd-Jones, but today I’m celebrating the release of her new children’s book Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale. 

I drove my son Jonah (age 11) with me to Logos – our neighborhood Christian bookstore – but they didn’t have it yet!  So we trudged on to Parnassus Books, a wonderful independent bookstore just down the street from Logos, and there was Poor Doreen, squished away and packed tight on an old shelf like an oyster in an ancient bed. Come to think of it, Doreen is sort of round and pearly, but I digress.

Jonah read it on the way home, and when he was finished, he snapped the book shut, held it out with two hands and said, “THAT was funny.” And I rejoiced.

This morning, I read Poor Doreen to my 6 year old son, Ben. And he loved it. Sally has that rare gift which couples vivid descriptions with efficient use of language. The whimsically wonderful watercolor illustrations drew Ben and I through the storyline with shifting perspectives and a flair for the dramatic, which the story provides ample opportunity for.

Which brings me to the story! Like my older son said, Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale is really funny. It’s got a little Mr. Magoo, and little Lemony Snicket, but it’s really just classic Sally, who knows how to get on the level with kids and be funny with them instead of at them. The fish in question, Doreen Randolph-Potts, embarks on a treacherous journey, completely oblivious to the perils around her. She stumbles from from doom to doom with child-like excitement, at one point reminding me of young Ellie the explorer from PIXAR’s classic film Up. Meanwhile, the voice of the narrator is gravely serious, as she recognizes the dangers but, of course, can not help poor Doreen.

In the end, things turn out all right. But it is really fun getting there, so go get yourself a copy for you and your kids! Click here to purchase it on Amazon.

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