Pilgrim’s Progress has been a classic for hundreds of years for good reason, but… it can be a little difficult to get through at first, especially if you are reading it as a family. I’m giving you five ways to “read” one of the best books ever written– picture book, kids’ version, movie, and more!
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Last night I was reading one of our family’s favorite books to the kids before bedtime. Whenever I read it, they hang on every word. We have read this story probably a dozen times, but they still ask for it again and again.
It’s not only them, though. Every single time I read this story to my children, I am encouraged, convicted, or usually both. So it’s no wonder that I’m a pushover when they ask for another chapter.
Do you want to know how to make reading aloud to your kids a regular habit? One of the most effective ways to stay consistent is to read books that everyone (including the parents!) wants to read.
Curious what we were reading last night? We were reading Dangerous Journey, a picture book copy of one of our favorite stories– Pilgrim’s Progress.
John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress from a jail cell in 1676. Certainly he was inspired and gifted by the Holy Spirit because Pilgrim’s Progress has been one of the most widely translated, most widely loved, and most enduring books ever.
Four Reasons You Should Read Pilgrim’s Progress As a Family
- Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the most widely read books of time. I’m not one to tell you to jump on the bandwagon, but in this case, that’s what I’m doing. This book is a classic for a reason and is definitely worth reading.
- Pilgrim’s Progress is an easily understandable, relatable, and accurate description of the Christian life. John Bunyan drew on his vast understanding of the Bible and human nature to write this allegory. The illustrations, characters, and lessons in the book are applicable to all ages and at all times.
- Reading Pilgrim’s Progress (and other Bible stories, myths, legends, etc*) will help you to better understand and recognize the numerous references to this classic allegory in other literature, music, movies, and so on.
- Spending time reading Pilgrim’s Progress together as a family will provide countless opportunities to discuss Biblical themes and common struggles with your children. Moreover, as you all learn the story and take it to heart, you will find yourself referencing Bunyan’s words and lessons in everyday conversations and hard discussions.
Convinced to put Pilgrim’s Progress on your “To-Read” list? Here are five ways to introduce the story to your family.
Five Ways to “Read” Pilgrim’s Progress as a Family
1. As a picture book.
I can’t recommend Dangerous Journey enough. Dangerous Journey is a picture book with beautiful, engaging illustrations that your children will love. What’s more, the story uses selections of John Bunyan’s original words in a way that is accessible for all ages. I am always encouraged when I read this to my children, and they are always begging for just one more chapter!
2. As an adapted children’s version.
Little Pilgrim’s Progress is the classic story of Pilgrim, but written from the perspective of a child setting out for the Celestial City. It’s not a replacement for the original, but it is a well-written and faithful adaptation that can be great as a longer introduction of Pilgrim’s Progress for younger children.
You can also get Little Pilgrim’s Progess in audiobook format.
3. As an audiobook.
This is the audiobook version that we have so I can recommend the reader (so important with an audiobook!). It is the unabridged original story. We often will turn it on in the car or in the house. Once you know the story fairly well, you can listen to small sections and benefit just as much.
4. As an animated movie.
I am very excited about this animated Pilgrim’s Progress movie! We added it to our video library and have watched it several times. It is also currently available to stream for free online!
While I hope that this movie serves as a way for a wide audience to benefit from John Bunyan’s story, I definitely do not think it is a sufficient substitute for the written work. Hopefully after seeing the movie, people will be more interested in reading the book and enjoying the story in its entirety.
5. Read the original.
Of course, once you get a taste and an introduction to the story, I think everyone should read the original in one form or another! This version is updated in modern English and has over 100 illustrations.
Have you read Pilgrim’s Progress as a family? What is your favorite way to “read” it?
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JEFF LAI says
You might check out this new children’s one that’s on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. I know the author and maybe he can send you a pdf to read, if you’re interested.
Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey: Pilgrim’s Progress for Kids, via @Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littlepilgrim/little-pilgrims-big-journey-pilgrims-progress-for-kids?ref=android_project_share
Adding this book t my read list. Thank you for shedding some light on this book. Must say I am fascinated and looking forward to reading it soon.