BY: ALISA WONG
Originally written in 1993, "Adam Raccoon and the Race to Victory Mountain" is more than just a childhood memory. It reminds me of the period I came from—a time of growth. This book is part of a series of children’s Bible parable books by author illustrator and Disney legend, Glen Keane. The series follows Adam Raccoon and King Aren the Lion as they help kids learn biblical truth.
In this book, young Adam Raccoon deals with the outcomes of his decisions when he doesn’t stay on course during a race.
Before the race, King Aren the Lion tells Adam, “Just remember to keep your eyes on the course, Adam. It can be a little tricky.”
Just like any other reckless child, Adam remembers King Aren’s words throughout the race but fails to stay on the course as he detours at a food stand, takes his time at an abandoned amusement park, and gets lost following a “shortcut.”
King Aren catches Adam as he realizes his mistakes and poor decisions, encouraging Adam to not quit and get back in the race. King Aren runs with Adam back onto the course all the way to the finish. With all the strength he has left, Adam finishes to the end and wins the prize.
My dad read many books to me as a child, but this is one of my favorite stories. When I was alone and scanned my bookshelf for something to look at, I often pulled out my old books and analyzed them. As my love for running and creativity began its roots in elementary school, I was fascinated with the art of movement drawn on each page of the books.
I would open "Adam Raccoon" and examine every illustration—from the roundness of Adam’s belly, to his defeated character hanging over a cliff. I was inspired to be consistent in my own drawings, coloring, shading, and depiction of character.
At 21 years of age, I still look through the pages and find inspiration.
One of the key values of having faith is realizing God’s grace. As I look back on this tale today, I am reminded of the grace given to everyone who runs the race of life because of the detours and desires that we set for ourselves.
“It’s easy to get off track. But when you do, get back on course and finish the race.”
Like King Aren, it is Christ who runs alongside us, and encourages us to endure and press on toward our ultimate goals, whatever they may be.