Written by Julie McConnell
Somewhere in my parent’s house, there is a stash of old VHS tapes. The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, home videos of my sisters and I, and many Adventures in Odyssey tapes. They even have an old VCR. It’s fun to go back and relive memories on occasion (braces, bad hairdo’s and outfits we seriously question my mom about). And now that I have kids of my own, I want them to enjoy everything I enjoyed as a child, because, childhood in the 80’s and 90’s was pretty great if you ask me. When I wasn’t dressing up Barbie’s in my favorite color combo of pink purple and turquoise, or riding my bike through the neighborhood, or playing on the giant hill in our backyard, I LOVED watching Adventures in Odyssey. These kids had the greatest adventures! How cool would it be if I could step into the Imagination Station and see what it was like for David when he faced Goliath? I was super jealous of the kids in these videos.
Fast forward to adult life. Childhood adventures are a distant, but fond memory. My current life consists of what often feels like endless busyness, paired with trying to make sure my girls have great memories of their childhood’s just like I have of mine (and it would seriously help if time would slow down a bit!) One of the memories I want my girls to have is of reading together. We read Bible stories together every night at bedtime, and read other books together when we can. My oldest, seven, loves books. Absolutely loves to read. I feel like my house is a library, and yet I’m always looking for new books that she will enjoy, because a new book puts the biggest smile on her face. So I’m super excited that she’s now a strong enough reader to start the Imagination Station series! She can do her favorite thing, read, and I can share some of my childhood memories with her as she reads about all the adventures Patrick and Beth have traveling back in time on Biblical and historic journeys!
Imagination Station – A Series My Whole Family Can Get Into!
If you don’t know about the Imagination Station series, it’s definitely worth checking out. These books take cousins Patrick and Beth on journeys to different time periods and different countries, all through Whit’s virtual reality machine. The books teach kids about time periods, places, and events they would likely not know about otherwise. Some of the adventures relate to Biblical stories, like David and Goliath, and teach kids Christian values, while others are historical adventures that spark imagination. They’re easy to read books, with a bit larger print that makes reading easier for kids. And they’re long enough to enjoy together as a family throughout several reading sessions (time to make more memories), but short enough that my seven year old could finish it in a couple hours. My four year old doesn’t yet know how to read, but enjoys listening to stories. If there’s ever a night we decide to skip Bible story time before bed because it’s so late, she’s a very unhappy little girl. And with her very active imagination, I’m pretty certain she’s going to love listening to these adventures!
Teaching Faith in a Fun Way
One of the things that I’ve found difficult as a parent is teaching my girls faith in a fun way. There is so much media bombarding them with secular messages, and the songs and books and all are FUN! And if I’m totally honest, I have to say that sometimes, some of the Christian media out there just isn’t quite as fun as its secular counterpart. So I was excited to look into these books further, to see if they were as much fun as I remember the Adventures in Odyssey videos being in my childhood. While each book builds on the one before and it seems best to start from the beginning, the stories do seem to stand alone as well. I think we will start at the beginning and work our way through with my girls, but I couldn’t wait to take a look at one of the titles that sparked my interest the most!
The fifth book in the series is called Showdown with the Shepherd. Since the cover shows a giant, I could assume it was about David and Goliath, which has always been my favorite kids Bible story! I love the lesson for children that even though they are little, if they have faith, they can do BIG things for God! All they have to do is obey! Sure enough, Patrick and Beth travel back to the Holy Land in the 10th century B.C. and face a giant, just like David did! But it’s all as a part of a much bigger story, where the kids are trying to get back a ring that was stolen by a character named Hugh, and return it to 1450s England. On their journey, they face various dangers that teach them to have faith, and they meet young David and watch as the battle of David and Goliath unfolds. Patrick and Beth learn about trusting God even when failure seems certain, and that having a BIG faith is more important than having a BIG warrior on your side!
Looking to the Future
After reading this book, I am even more excited to share these stories with my girls! The Imagination Station series has excitement, adventure, and Biblical truths that will make learning about faith fun! Seriously, check it out for yourself. I think you’ll find it to be the perfect way to engage your young reader’s imagination. I’m looking forward to snuggling my girls while we begin reading through a book together, and trying to relish each moment since time just won’t slow down. As I teach my girls about faith in God, I hope that our times reading together will be one of the memories they cherish years down the road, and that through these moments, they will know just how much they are loved, by me, and more importantly, by God.
Julie is a life-long Hoosier, wife, and mother of two. When she is not working in her pharmacy, she spends her time with her husband and daughters in Indianapolis. She is a member of Geist Christian Church and enjoys playing outside with her girls, finding fun things to do in Indy, watching football, and reading bedtime stories.