The Shadow and the Promise

Marty Machowski
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The Shadow and the Promise
The Shadow and the Promise
The Shadow and the Promise
The Shadow and the Promise
The Shadow and the Promise
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Take a front row seat along with the animals who watch as a terrible shadow mars God’s perfect world—yet redemption is not far behind!  

While two newly created rock badgers explore their growing world, they encounter a dark foe—the great dragon, the serpent of old. The sinister creature interrupts the badgers’ joyful exploration of the growing landscape to reveal his wicked plan to destroy God’s creation. When the enemy takes flight, the badgers race to warn Adam and Eve of the impending danger. With every thunderous flap of wings, the serpent draws closer to his perch in the forbidden tree. Will the badgers make it in time to expose the evil plan? 

The Shadow and the Promise by bestselling author Marty Machowski follows the adventures of the animals who witness the events of Genesis and Exodus unfold before them. Join badgers in the Garden of Eden, an array of animals in the Ark, groundhogs at Babel, Abraham’s donkey, sheep from Joseph’s herd, the cats in the palace in Egypt, and a dog and oxen present at the Passover. 

  • First of four books in the Redemption Tales series for ages 8-12, retelling Bible narratives from the perspective of the animals who could have witnessed the events firsthand. 
  • Includes discussion questions to acquaint kids with the “truth behind the tales.” 
  • Offers a new point of view of God’s overarching story of redemption found throughout his Word. 


Marty Machowski is a family life pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over 30 years. He is the author of a number of family devotionals, curricula (including the Gospel Story for Kids), children's books, and parenting titles. His latest releases include The Light before Christmas and The Treasure. He and his wife, Lois, have six children and several grandchildren and reside in West Chester, PA. 


Blair Files is an illustrator and textile designer based in New York City. She is inspired by colorful characters, travels abroad, and of course, great stories. Her work and sketchbook can be found at

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“I can hardly wait to share The Shadow and the Promise with our grandchildren. What a creative way to engage the imagination and stir the interest of children in telling key narratives from Genesis and Exodus. We parents and grandparents can find such help in applying these stories in a Christ-focused way by tapping into the included questions and answers.”
Larry E. McCall, author of Grandparenting with Grace: Living the Gospel with the Next Generation

“The Shadow and the Promise captivates young (and older) minds while recounting significant stories from Genesis and Exodus. All three of my children asked for ‘just one more chapter’ again and again! The questions at the ends really turned reading the book into incredible discipleship time!”
Megan Jenkins, Owner of His Kids Company

“In his typical creative and gospel-centered style, Marty traces the biblical storyline throughout redemptive history from the ground level. The Shadow and the Promise will make you laugh, think deeply, and help young people truly appreciate God’s grace in creation, the fall, and Exodus—all from the perspective of animals in the story.”
Leo Parris, Pastor of Community and Care of Covenant Fellowship Church, Glen Mills, PA

The Shadow and the Promise is unlike other biblical fiction—in the best way. It doesn't add to or embellish the stories in Scripture but faithfully retells them alongside an easily distinguishable fictional storyline of eyewitness animals. Read these wonderful retellings to not only delight children but also to show them how these events are a shadow and a promise of Christ.”
Korrie Johnson, Good Book Mom, Christian children's book reviewer at

“With his trademark creativity, a Bible teacher's deft touch, and a heart that beats for the next generation, Marty has crafted another wonderful story that is sure to delight young readers and sow seeds of eternity in their hearts.”
Joshua Cooley, New York Times bestselling author of I Can't Believe My Eyes!, the Heroes of the Bible Devotional, and more

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5 Reviews

  • 5
    An engaging book with a fun twist

    Posted by Brittany Hill on 06 08 2024

    This book provides a unique perspective of the Bible stories found in Genesis and Exodus. It is written from the point of view of animals who may have witnessed these events. My son who is almost 5 enjoyed it as a read aloud and was very intrigued by what was going to happen next! I love that author added Bible study questions and reading at the end. We are looking forward to reading the next book in this series! I received a free copy of this book from New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review.

  • 5
    Imaginative, Truth-Filled, Fun!

    Posted by A Good Book Hunt on 03 28 2024

    My favorite thing about this book was that it makes you “sit” in these stories a little more. As someone who has read all of these stories many times, it gave me a different perspective, really imagining what it would have been like to be there… the real people, the real animals, the conversations that might have taken place. While each chapter is a different story from the Bible and thus different animal narrators, there are two animals that make appearances throughout the whole thing: the serpent(s) who often lurks in the shadows and is always behind the deception of God’s people, and then a dove who teaches and gives insight into God’s plan and promises. I also love the study questions & answer key in the back of the book which includes references for further study and discussion with your kids. Highly recommend this one if you’ve got an elementary/middle schooler in your home.

  • 5
    Yet another great book by Marty Machowski!

    Posted by Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Michele Landis on 03 23 2024

    I was excited to see this book and curious about what it would be like, since I have several of Marty Machowski's picture books already. I was not disappointed! This offers Genesis history in a fun and engaging way, and balances laughter with seriousness as it teaches kids about the Bible through the eyes of animal characters. What a great find!

  • 4
    Fun way to promote Biblical learning in young readers!

    Posted by Megan on 02 27 2024

    What a fun little book! This book shares stories throughout both Genesis to Exodus from the eyes of animals. I thought this was a creative and fun way to share Bible stories and Biblical truths to young readers. I really appreciated the Truth Behind the Tales which includes study questions referring back to the Word of God. I could see this book/ series being used for a Sunday school class or Bible school, complete with animal puppets for re-enacting the stories within. I think my favorite story was "Are you an Ostrich?" Gabi was such a likeable character, and I can see young readers laughing aloud at her antics. In two other stories, the following quotes really stuck out to me and made me think about the application in my own life: "Then I will not turn away...I will watch God's plan unfold (through my master)" Even when things look dark or hopeless, we should trust His plan and not look away, but look to Him and watch His plan unfold. And: "Complaining closes your eyes to the blessings around you." I believe this wholeheartedly and often share similar advice to my husband and kids, we have to look for the good (sometimes it's hard to find, but it is always their) because Jesus is our Lord, Savior, friend, protector, etc. The list goes on. I would absolutely recommend this for young readers and families.

  • 5
    Kids Book or Theology?

    Posted by Debs @ Lucy's Library Book Reviews on 02 27 2024

    You'd think that a book of Bible stories being narrated by animals would be childish but this is not. The author did such a beautiful job choosing his animals. Groundogs almost caught by diggers building Babel, cats in Joseph's palace that kill snakes to protect the humans & oxen that can't decide if they are better off free from Egypt or stay in slavery. These stories go deeper than you'd expect. A dove named Daniel always shows up to tell the creatures how what they are living out will be tied to Jesus and the ultimate promise. Since each chapter is a different Bible story, I think this would make a really fun book to read together as a family. I promise it will generate conversation both serious and fun. Note: The book has more stories than I mentioned. They are all Old Testament, but all are linked to Jesus.

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