The book, The Legend of Gid the Kid and the Black Bean Bandits, by Christopher and Allan Miller is a retelling of the story of Gideon as found in Judges 6:11-7:25 but now set in the American Old West. The book is told in rhymed verse that sometimes goes awry, as in trying to rhyme "tow" and "known" or "charge" and "harmed." Still, the story is cute.
The town of Promise is known for its wonderful black beans, but one day a gang of 13 bandits comes in and steals all the beans and announces these thefts will be a weekly event. The people panic, and one young boy named Gid even tries to hide his cans of beans outside of town in an old mine shaft. However, the White Rider (symbolizing God) tells young Gid to stand up to the bullies and fight back. Gid goes back to town, puts on the sheriff's badge and organizes a posse of 21 good men. However, the White Rider tells him to reduce the number. Finally, it gets reduced down to only Gid and two other men. They stage a daring midnight attack on the camp of the bandits, banging pots and shining lights. The bandits run into each other in confusion and wind up being captured by Gid and his partners. They haul them back to town amidst cheering crowds.
The artwork is computer animated, and as such, the pictures look like the old ViewMaster prints, where the foreground is sharp and clear of Gid and the townsfolk but the hotel in the background is blurry and out of focus. The comical horses, bandits, buzzards, and other cartoon characters, all in bright colors, will be eye-appealing to youngsters.
Additionally, there is an internal game going on throughout the book, in that the authors have hidden pictures of two dozen geckos on various pages that the readers have to try to find (and it's not easy). There also is a recipe in the back of the book for Black Bean Chili and a list of "Ponderin' Points" to help start a discussion about what the moral lessons of the story were.
All in all, it's a fun story that will make children chuckle while also causing them to think about issues of bravery, decency, fairness, and accountability. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
In this Wild West adventure of biblical proportions, everything in the town of Promise looks calm, but there’s trouble brewin’. In the first book in the HEROES OF PROMISE series, The Legend of Gid the Kid and the Black Bean Bandits, Christopher and Allan Miller introduce young readers to our hero, Gid the Kid, and his rivals—some of the most notorious villains the West has ever known—the legendary Black Bean Bandits.