Are you looking for an illustrated book you can read to your children that teaches them something valuable while engaging your own mind as well? The best shared reading times happen when both parent and child enjoy a book and benefit from what it teaches. A Good Life was written to be read to children while provoking meaningful thought in adults.
This inspirational story follows a young orphan boy who leaves his home town and difficult background to find a good life. As he journeys, he meets people of various professions (farmer, composer, teacher, soldier, artist, etc.). Each character gives the boy a different metaphor for thinking about life. For example, a farmer tells the boy that life is a garden.
“Life is a garden . . . Its soil can sprout forth both good and bad plants with equal opportunity for both to thrive. It is up to us to pull and cast away the weeds, and to plant, water, and nurture the good things that we desire to grow.”
There are ten metaphors for life explored in the book. Life is a garden, game, race, canvas, test, symphony, battle, journey, story, and gift. The characters explain each idea to the boy as the farmer explains the garden metaphor above. As with all metaphors, each offers a host of implications creating different food for thought each time one reads the book.
The final metaphor explored in the book is “life is a gift.” After praying for a place he can call home, the boy is taken in by a couple who adopt him. Though written for all parents and children, the story is sure to be a special encouragement to foster care and adoption families.
The themes and values for discussion in the book include overcoming adversity, happiness, hope, focus, discipline, beauty, hard work, relationships, interpersonal harmony, vigilance, protection, wisdom, perseverance, faith, prayer, creativity, and love. For older children, the book can create opportunities to discuss the concept of constructing a life philosophy.
A Good Life is Jeremiah Pent’s first children’s book. He and his high school sweetheart have seven children and live in Franklin, Tennessee. The book features 22 beautiful watercolor illustrations by Ukrainian artist Dmitry Morozov.
“Is there anything in the world like the tale of an orphan boy setting out to find the good life? Unnamed, and with past sorrows vaguely hinted at, he is you, he is me, he is every child who at every age of man sensed something true and worth the search if he would only seek and not give up. I commend A Good Life to children of all ages who still look for truth.” Andrée Seu Peterson, World Magazine