Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Review of The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living

by Karl Beckstrand, illustrated by Yaniv Cahoua
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars
The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living is a children’s book for ages 5 and up written by Karl Beckstrand and illustrated by Yaniv Cahoua. Set in the Far East, the book is about a boy who chooses to help others and finds treasure as a result. It begins with “There once was a boy who loved to make things,” and the tone of an old parable is maintained throughout the story.
Beckstrand was inspired to write The Bridge of the Golden Wood after visiting several schools and realizing there was no curriculum provided to young people about ways to earn money. The message from The Bridge of the Golden Wood is a positive one: helping others for free gives you experience, a good reputation, and can lead to an idea for ways to make money. The events in the story are sweet and simple. However, the main character’s particular experience is not be something modern children could re-create for themselves. What pushes the book all the way up to five stars for me is the discussion guide at the end.  Children are guided through ways to look for opportunities in everyday problems and provided examples of ways to earn income by serving others and solving problems.
The Bridge of the Golden Wood is recommended for ages 5 and up.  I read this book with a three-year old and she loved the soft, cheerful illustrations. She was especially interested in the animals in the story.   I do think the money-making lesson largely went over her head, though we did talk about the importance of helping others.  She was also fascinated by some of the mysterious aspects of the parable. I read this book with her knowing the story is targeted towards older readers. Overall, The Bridge of the Golden Wood is a very welcome addition to children’s literature.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie's Book Review Team. 

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