The book by Douglas Bond “Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation” belongs to the rare category of literature for children that speaks both to hearts and minds of readers, so that one is almost warranted to be glued to it. Moreover, this book, which introduces readers to the exciting historical account of creation in the Reformation era of hymns the heritage of which, as the author correctly observes, is imperishable until today, may be equally interesting and engaging for parents as well, especially if they choose to spend time reading the book together with children. What helps the author produce such an impression with his book is his ability to present historical events in fictitious form.
The book tells us about adventures of two young Americans Drew and Annie who are traveling around Europe and befriend Mr. Pipes, an elderly Englishman very interested in hymns. During their travel, children learn from Mr. Pipes many aspects of the history of the Protestant Reformation, and particularly historical backgrounds of hymns of that period. But in the course of the book we can see that its young characters not only become knowledgeable about the roots of many of Reformation`s hymns and their authors and deepen their understanding of the Bible, but as well spiritually grow in the new faith by learning more about the essence of the Christianity as such, and by being challenged by Mr. Pipes and by their adventures to contemplate on their beliefs, for example in relation to music, and on their actions.
On ground of what we have observed, we can conclude that the combination of historical information and the fictitious form of representation has indeed been masterfully used by the author to inform and inspire young readers for whom this book may become an important stepping stone for the development of a deeper interest in the foundations of the Christianity. And, personally, I believe that this book should be recommended to a wider audience at least because it manages to establish what can be perceived as a live connection between the sixteenth century and our modern time, which is an achievement in itself.
Bond, D. (2000). Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation. Christian Liberty