Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury {TOS Review}

One perk of being on the Homeschool Review Crew is that I get to review for companies I might not find on my own.  The Familyan is one such company.  Todd Wilson is a homeschool father of eight, author, speaker, and former pastor.  He started Familyman Ministries as a way to reach out to fathers and remind them of what is most important.  Even though the mission targets fathers, The Familyman still has encouragement and products for everyone.  Recently we were given the opportunity to review The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection.  These are original Christmas stories that are engaging, without confusing truths with myths.  They also come in book form.
The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
The audio collection includes six CDs with one story each, but as part of the review we received the Digital Downloads of all eight stories, and I received one of the stories on CD as well!  Even though it wasn't quite the Christmas season when these arrived, my family loves audio books and it was a fun little way to get us in the Christmas spirit.

Captain Chaos and the Manger Blaster
Cootie McKay's Nativity
The Stranger
The Bishop's Dream
Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest
Gladys Remembers Christmas
The Secret of the Snow Village
It's Called Christmas

The stories are all written by Todd Wilson.  The audio versions are read by Jim Hodges, who is a master storyteller in his own right, and one we've enjoyed in the past.

We received The Bishop's Dream on CD, so the kids listened to that one first while I was busy downloading the digital files and taking care of the toddler.  We've been listening to the others during lunch.  Food {usually} keep little mouths quiet so everyone can hear, and a story {usually} keeps little bodies still so they can concentrate, so this works well for us when we don't want to wait for the next car trip to listen to a story.

Though I have four kids, it was mostly the 7 and 9 year old boys that I targeted with these stories, since the girls are only 1 and 3.  Overall, I found the stories acceptable for all ages.  We found the stories interesting and engaging.  They are rather short, ranging anywhere from about 13 minutes to about 30 minutes.  I find this ideal for their ages.

The stories have a wide range of depth to them, and the story lines are vastly different from one book to the next, with very different approaches.  While some stories are silly, and some are more serious, they all explore the truth of Christmas.  For instance, The Bishop's Dream was about St. Nicholas, and had a very traditional ("Christmas play") feel to it.  However, when we listened to Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest, you have this image of a grumpy old man and walk through his transformation, and it kind of had that sentimental Hallmark movie feeling.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Captain Chaos the toy blasting away the manger and eliminating Christmas altogether, and a story like It's Called Christmas, which talks about colonizing Mars and sending messages from the future.  What boy wouldn't be immediately drawn into stories like these?  I feel like Todd Wilson has done a superb job writing to different audiences, capturing a range of emotions for both the young and young at heart.

It's hard to find new Christmas stories that aren't twaddle, but these are well written, and the audio versions are engaging.  Overall, we liked the stories, and I like that we have new Christmas stories to add to our collection.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
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  1. We also have enjoyed this collection, though with my girls we didn't get quite the enjoyment of the futuristic story or the Captain Chaos one that I imagine boys would. Quiet a fun, different style of audio for Christmas. - Lori

  2. What a good idea to listen during lunch! My boys loved It's Called Christmas.

  3. Story teller Jim Hodges has a great voice that brings the stories to life and the recordings were high quality. I especially appreciated that these stories are short in comparison to many others that we have listened to in the past.

    ~Dana S.@College Reine Marie