Book Review of The Labyrinth by Thomas and Peter Weck
By Sylvia Cochrtan – Parenting by the Book
Authors: Thomas Weck, Peter Weck
Publisher: Lima Bear Press
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Age range: 5 to 7 Years
You have to love the Lima Bears. Sure, the authors say that The Labyrinth deals with jealousy and forgiveness, but there are other stories within the story. Lighthearted rhymes and heroic actions of the smallest protagonist — combining brain with courage — come together to serve up a tale that is fun for kindergarteners and young grade schoolers.
The storyline is simple and you have heard it before. The old king steps down and makes his daughter queen. A jealous usurper tricks the queen in an effort to get rid of her, so he can take over the throne and kingdom. A loyal helper saves the queen and her kingdom. After being outsmarted, the usurper is caught in his own trap, but the loyal helper agrees to lead him to safety — if he agrees to leave the kingdom forever.
What sets apart The Labyrinth from other storylines with a similar message is the fact that there is no forced successful conclusion but rather a natural progression of events. The usurper is not made to apologize and swear fealty. Much as the forced apologies on the playground are elicited by parental threat, rather than a child’s learning experience, this would have been a cheap ending (which is nevertheless seen far too often in children’s literature).
Rather, the child learns to accept another’s shortcoming (jealousy) and forgive it, even if no apology is rendered. The child learns to move on and let the other person be. Is this not an excellent lesson for the sports team, the school’s spring play, or the playground tiff over who is chosen during soccer?
I highly recommend this book. Of the series — there are also “The Cave Monster,” “The Megasaurus” and “How Back-Back Got His Name” — The Labyrinth is the best installment (in my opinion).
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