I started out reading this aloud to the family. The older kids weren't interested and the younger kids kept asking, "How much longer are you going to read?" Unfortunately, neither are a good sign. However, I decided to press on and read it myself so I could share my thoughts. Honestly, I originally felt the same way as the kids. I think because there is a lot of descriptive language used and I just don't care for that and the story is a bit contrived and predictable. However, the more I read the more I enjoyed it and ended up reading the end of the book to the kids too. I can't say I've ever done that before. We'll have to finish the middle at some point.
I struggled a lot with the pdf version of this book. I don't like reading off of the computer so I put it on my Kindle (regular keyboard kind) and had a hard time with the size of the font. I did finally figure out that I could get the font a little bigger by turning the text on the Kindle to the sideways view but then you only get half a page so the illustrations are chopped in half and I have to hit the turn the page button twice as often. This would probably work great for someone with an iPad or Kindle Fire where it is easier to read pdf's. (Or for a younger person that isn't on the verge of needing bifocals!) So, if this sounds like something your family might enjoy, you might want to consider a physical copy.
I love the pencil illustrations in the book. They look great on the Kindle too. I do like how the gospel is woven into the story as well. The biographies of the hymn writers are woven into the story. As the kids go on various adventures, Mr. Pipes tells them the stories of the hymn writers .
You can view a sample for yourself to see if it's something you might enjoy. I think this book is a different way to learn about hymns and those that wrote them. One of the things I love about this book is that at the end of each chapter several hymns written by the featured writer, complete with music are included. Since I have the pdf version these would be easy to print and sing with the family.Download the pdf version of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers for $8.79 or order a hard copy for $9.89. The other titles in this series include: Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation , Mr. Pipes Comes to America, and The Accidental Voyage:Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries. A complete set is also available.
Christian Liberty Press has been publishing homeschool materials for over 25 years. They publish a full range of curriculum. Check them out if you haven't already. We've used many of their books over the years.