Friday, November 9, 2007

101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck

When I was asked to review some products for Kregel Publications, I was honored. I was told that I could pick what book(s) I'd like to review. I perused the catalog over and over again, but I just couldn't decide. So, I gave Amy free reign in choosing for me (and my family).

I was thrilled when one of the books we received was 101 Hymn Stories. I wanted it, but hated to ask (because I knew that a good friend was reviewing this book also). We received the book and have been using it in our homeschool for the past few weeks. I am loving this book! The girls and I are picking a new hymn to learn each week~ we sing the hymn together (hymn pages are included with each story), listen to a recording of the hymn (so far, we've been able to find recordings for each hymn that we've selected), and read the story behind the hymn. We're all really enjoying this.

In alot of today's churches, hymns are becoming a thing of the past. I was, however, raised on hymns; and, even though we don't sing them nearly as much as we once did, I still find them to be a very important part of my Christian walk. I love music and I love to sing; and, to me, there's nothing like listening to a good old hymn sung in 4-part harmony. I want my children to have the same appreciation for the hymns. It's up to me to instill this appreciation in them. 101 Hymn Stories really helps.

Some of the features that I love about these hymn stories are:

Each story starts off with the actual hymn, so I don't have to go searching my hymnals for copies of them.
The stories not only include the author of the hymn and the story behind it, but also information on the composer and a bit about him/her as well.
There is a corresponding scripture verse included at the beginning of each story. We enjoy looking them up and seeing how they tie in with the stories and the words to the hymns.
The meter is included with each hymn, which was a great way for me to introduce a music theory lesson to my girls.
Some stories conclude with pictures, poems, or quotes.

Check out 101 Hymn Stories for yourself. Not only is it a great book to share with your children in your homeschooling journey, but it would also make a great devotional, or a tool to use in your church services to introduce hymns. Maybe you already own (or have read) 101 Hymn Stories; if so, you need to expand your horizons a bit~ check out 101 More Hymn Stories or click here to see even more books by Kenneth W. Osbeck.

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