Smooth stories to make the point

Badger Assembly Stories with Christian Themes By Andy Seed, Barbara Seed and Sally Maynard Two books: KS1 and KS2 Badger pound;19.50 each

Christian Assemblies Edited by Jan Thompson Pfp publishing (Electric Word) pound;59 + pp

Stories are invariably at the heart of successful assemblies, so any decent collection of tales will be greeted with open arms by all those who have to "stand and deliver" on a regular basis.

The Badger collections are decent, a sensible mixture of Christian (ie biblical) stories and those that make a Christian point; they are smoothly told with the biblical ones probably the easiest to digest. Of the two, the KS2 is the better age-group match but you might prefer to tell rather than read stories at KS1.

Christian Assemblies comprises 40 presentations and 13 OHT masters and is firmly aimed at church schools, though use by others is not precluded. The material is divided into 10 themes to follow the pattern of the Church's year. Each starts with a summary and has sections titled "engagement" and "message" and includes Bible readings. Prayers and responses complete each assembly. This approach will be too "churchy" for some but these are well-shaped offerings fronted by a brief nettle-grasping introduction.

I have reservations about the price. Do we need the ring binder and OHTs? And the absence of any reference to music is surprising, as is the inclusion of three different versions of the Lord's Prayer - one of few occasions when the book loses its sure touch. Apparently the version I have used all my life is a Catholic one. Really?

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