Monday, October 23, 2006

From bibles to bears!

My thanks to Richard Bauckham (Professor of New Testament Studies and Wardlaw Professor, in St Mary's College) for having kindly sent me a signed copy of his new children’s book, The MacBears of Bearloch (Aultbea Publishing Company). As a friend suggested in personal e-mail correspondence: ‘Bauckham should win some kind of award for being “the most diverse Christian scholar on the planet”’!

I plan to enjoy a few evenings this week reading it together with my wife; it shall make a delightful change from my usual evening reading! I’m really looking forward to starting it actually – not only children can enjoy children’s books!

I’ll let Richard explain what it is about. He prepared the following text originally for the St Andrews University staff magazine:

The story is a humorous fantasy about a family of bears and their friends who live by a secret loch in the forgotten lands of the north, a country rather like Scotland. There is grumpy Grampa MacBear, reliable Mother MacBear, and her four 'bearns' (as bear cubs are known in Bearloch): sensible Duff, imaginative Beth, mischievous Tosh, and Baby Brother. The adventures include islands that move, a mysterious horse, a haiku contest, the oldest creature from the depths of the ocean, and much more.

Richard said: “I wrote the kind of children's book I enjoy reading. It's a bit different from the kinds that are mostly being written now. It's a fantasy that is not a struggle between good and evil, and not about witches and magicians or kings and queens. It is also, I hope, funnier.

“The children's books I'm most conscious of being influenced by are the wonderful Moomin books of Finnish author Tove Jansson. I hope it has something of the spirit of the Moomins. Bearloch is related to Scotland much as Moominvalley is related to Finland.

“It was tremendous fun to write, and a refreshing change from most other
things I do!”
The MacBears of Bearloch is available at £4.99 from Amazon here.

See also here for another theologian’s comment on Richard’s book. Mike Bird writes: ‘Your kids will love it! It’s a good way to get them exposed to NT scholars at a young age’!


At 10/24/2006 4:05 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

If you hadn't included the Amazon link, I'd have thought this was another Chris Tilling special (a.k.a. hoax). Why isn't his name on the cover? I would have thought including it would have made them walk off the shelves.

Bears riding horses?

Why don't you go and review it for Amazon?

At 10/24/2006 4:07 AM, Anonymous byron smith said...

So is this the real reason he is 'retiring'?

At 10/24/2006 5:23 AM, Anonymous Ben Myers said...

Thanks, Chris -- Bauckham continues to astound!

I can't wait to read this one myself, and I know my daughters will be fairly enthusiastic about anything involving horse-riding bears.

Also, with any luck the royalties will be better for children's books than they are for books on christology, Moltmann, the Book of Revelation, early English apocalypticism, the Synoptic Gospels, etc., etc....

At 10/24/2006 2:38 PM, Anonymous Jon said...

Mummy Bear turned to Duff, "What did you say?"

Duff turned, startled... "Why... Simply that I felt the Rudolph Bultmann is somewhat sloppy in his biblical exegesis..."

"Wash your mouth out!", said Mummy Bear. "With his formulation of form criticism and his masterful style, Bultmann is one of the most sought-after exegetes of the New Testament"

(an extract)

As for me... I thought it wasn't amazing... Stick to New Testament...

At 10/24/2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Sivin Kit said...

looks like one book for my son and I to enjoy :-)

At 10/24/2006 11:27 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

This is no hoax, Byron

Jon, we dealt with Bultmann on a previous post - I don't think there is anything left to say.

Welcome, Nikola, I'll have a look

Ben, have you ever considered that we write in the wrong genre? Perhaps we should hang our boots up and just do the Grisham thing ...


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