Book Review: Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L Taylor

Little Pilgrim's Progress: From John Bunyan's Classic

Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor is a retelling of Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. The language has been simplified and the characters adapted to be more accessible to children. The characters may still need a little explaining to younger children, but most make sense without too much assistance.  As in Pilgrim’s Progress, we start in the City of Destruction following “Little Christian” as he travels from the city to the Cross and finally to the Celestial City.

The story is told without any lessening of the characters. We still feel their struggles and see them stumble, be rescued, fall, and get up again. Little Christian and his companions slowly make their way towards the Celestial City, encountering many of the issues that a Christian has to face in their walk with Christ – doubt, despair, pride, worldly wisdom, and so on. Here those traits are introduced as people and are seen as a fatal flaw. At times Christian is tempted to follow or join them and always pays for those failings when he does in some way.

As with Pilgrim’s Progress, there are two stories – Little Christian and Christiana. Both follow the original story as faithfully as can be expected in an adaptation. My daughter was captivated by the story and couldn’t wait to see what the next trial or rescue would be. She was pleased when Christian finally made it to the Celestial City and entered into his rest.

My Thoughts: I think this is a pretty faithful re-telling of the story. The characters remain largely unchanged. The language is significantly more accessibly than the original, and it can be read by a late Elementary age child without too much assistance. I’d definitely be ready to help with concepts or ideas as they come up because this is sure to raise some questions. If you want a version of Pilgrim’s Progress that can be read more easily or by a child, I’d recommend this. Of course, remember that it’s an allegory and not meant to be taken literally at any point, but that’s part of the charm of the original and this version.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book with no expectations on the part of the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.

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