This a beautiful anniversary edition full of pen-and-ink illustrations. Christian and Christiana are children. While this is a major change and could potentially ruin the book, Taylor executes it tastefully and remains faithful to Bunyan's tone and attitude. To most children the record of Christian's pilgrimage is attractive simply as a story of adventure. But now Taylor has simplified the vocabulary and concepts for younger readers, while keeping the story line intact. The result is a classic for youth, a delightful book with a message they can understand.
One thing to appreciate about this junior version is Taylor's decision to not cut the violent parts of the original story, even though Christian is a child. During a fight with Self, Christian is wounded and must stab his way to victory. At Vanity Fair, Christian must watch his friend Faithful (also a child) suffer a martyr's death in a crowd of men with weapons. A Pilgrim's Progress with no real hardships is useless. Useless, because it portrays an unrealistic world where doing what is right is merely a stroll in the park, or maybe a slightly tiring hike up a hill. No real-life Christian at the end of their life would agree with this philosophy, and children a few hundred years ago would have witnessed enough death and suffering to see right through the illusion. Children can benefit from Pilgrim's Progress just as much as adults can, and it is vital that they hear sooner than later about the hardships of a life dedicated to Christ.
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