Cottonmouth And The River

Saturday, April 25, 2015
“Fredrick, the river knows your pain. The river feels your sorrow. It has decided to bless you by giving you new life. It wants you to have joy.” Tug said, gingerly taking the egg in his shovel-sized hand. “It wants you to life a life not in waiting, but in doing!”

Book: Cottonmouth and the River  by C. S. Fritz, David C. Cook, 2014

Genre: Fantasy/Allegory
Target Audience: Boys 9-14
Subjects: Salvation, Forgiveness, Love, Loss
Summary: He’s so lonely. And sad. The only comfort Fredrick finds is in pouring out his sorrows to the river, the river that quietly listens, never questioning, never doubting, just running right on by. That all changes the day he finds the black egg. With it comes a friend who promises to give him joy and adventures and most of all, the companionship and caring he longs for. It comes with only one simple requirement though: don’t eat the egg. Fredrick joyfully agrees until the day the doubt comes and the sadness returns. Now he gets to see firsthand the consequences of rebellion. Will the joy ever return?
Notes: This three book series is promoted as “Polar Express” style books. There is text but there are also whole pages with nothing but photos. The pictures very much help tell the story. It’s almost like a picture book for older kids. The story is very allegorical. Someone familiar with the Bible can see the story of Adam and Eve facing temptation, the story of Jesus sacrificing His life for us, the story of the Holy Spirit being sent to help and guide, the story of Jesus going to Heaven to prepare a place for us, the story of satan tempting believers, and the story of the great commission. It's a great allegory for explaining the gospel message to young people. The downfall is that you have to know the Bible stories to know that’s what they’re referring to. The author does not mention anywhere in the book what the allegory is about. So readers are left thinking it’s just a nice fictional story, not that it’s based off of a real story that can change lives as much as the character’s was changed.
In this first book, the author covers the story of the character being offered life, rejecting it when faced with temptation, and of the Jesus figure (in this book it’s a huge monster type creature named Tug) sacrificing His life for the character.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 1/5 for the average audience, 5/5 for readers very familiar with the Bible
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 10:10-11 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 


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