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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In this fast-paced world of trinkets and high tech toys, it is so easy to get caught up with the newest and latest toy, discarding the old toys with random abandon. There is a growing need to take a step back and visualize what’s really important in life and how to create useful objects out of nothing. For one little boy, his ability to make ingenious and useful objects out of discarded things defined him as being very resourceful. In fact, it became a way in which he could earn a little bit of money and enjoy himself as well. A chance encounter with an old woman sitting by a stream turns into a very lucrative enterprise. When the boy asks the old woman what she is looking at, she simply says, “Trouble and treasure.” The boy asks for an explanation and she tells him that the scattering of branches in the stream is causing a blockage that the fish can’t swim past. And the treasure? That’s what the boy will discover when he bundles up the branches and allows the fish to swim past freely. And it’s not what you would think.
Karl Beckstrand’s picture book story, The Bridge of the Golden Wood: A Parable on How to Earn a Living, is exactly what its title suggests: a parable. There was once a time when we would sit at the knees of elders and listen to stories and parables. We would learn from these parable because there was always a hidden message buried within the story lines. The tale unfolds like a story being shared by a clever storyteller. It is colorfully illustrated to help move the events along. At the end of the book, once the treasure is revealed, the author allows the reader to peruse some further ideas of how to build one’s own treasure and make a little bit of money. A very educational resource and a good story as well.