The power of story cannot be overlooked, nor replaced, ever. There is something about story, a story, a tall tale that can transform the way we look at everyday life, and yet be a simple message that a child could understand. Not a child who is skeptical and does not except what he is told because somehow it seems impossible. Just because he has never seen giants fall by a single rock or men re-emerge from the belly of a fish does not mean that it is time to stop listening to such stories. No, not even a bunch of dead baseball players walking out from a cornfield in the middle of Iowa should stop the child from leaning in even closer to pay attention. There is a moral of every story, and that is what the child will tune into when he gets older.
Story is the way to communicate to children, and we must never forget that even though we mature, at heart we are always children. The more we attempt to break down and formulate the story, deciding at the end of the day that either it is impossible for a man to survive in a great fish, or that he actually did survive in a great fish, disrupts the moral of the story and wastes precious time that could be used in carrying out that moral.
Jesus spoke in parable so as to allow little children such as us to understand the ways of the Father as best as we can. We began right away attempting to break it down and play connect the dots with ancient texts. The meaning, the moral of the story is the only thing that God Himself expects of us to understand, because not everyone can become a professor of theology.
Besides we did not write the story, so how can we break it down? We can only listen and obey It's command.