In the midst of the myriad of Christian children’s literature today, which often times feels over commercialized and pre-patterned, it is often times hard to find a unique gem – a book that is unique, personal and new. I believe Dawn Trappen has created a new wheel, as it were, in the children’s genre with her recently published book, The Plumpest, Purplest Grape (2017). It is personally written and hand-illustrated, and though it is not a well-known book, much more attention should be given to these kinds of local upstarts.

The Plumpest, Purplest Grape is filled with both echoes of the fall and reflections on the life of a true believer. This children’s book follows the story of Francis, a plump and purple grape, who lives in a vineyard within Kingdom Valley. He is initially contented to stay on his vine and enjoy the care and love of the vinedresser. But then everything goes terribly wrong. A sly snake tricks him into leaving the vine and all that he holds dear for the chance at a wild adventure filled with fame and glory. Francis initially enjoys his new-found freedom, but quickly realizes his mistake when he begins to shrivel up and stink. He learns humility, but also the need to return back to the vine dresser who cares for him and the vines that nourish him.

This wonderful book teaches children big theological truths in simple ways, much in the same allegorical fashion as Aesop’s Fables and other classic stories. It is suitable for preschoolers and young elementary age alike, and it also offers ample opportunities for parents to begin talking with their young ones about biblical concepts like sin, the fall, our life in Christ and more.

The Plumpest, Purplest Grape isn’t just another children’s book that you can buy off the shelves of your local Christian bookstore. Both its narrative and aesthetics offer something new for young readers and parents alike. It is a wonderful story filled with good truths, and I highly recommend adding this gem to your child’s home library.

Learn more about Dawn Trappen and her book series here.

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