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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Children's Storybook Bible Reviews (with Giveaway)

This week we are reviewing lots of children's Bibles!  View the board Bibles review if you missed it!

  The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name*The Jesus Storybook Bible- This Bible is an incredible story of how Jesus saving the world was planned from the very beginning when God created the world. Sally Loyd-Jones writes beautifully and powerfully as she weaves God's plan into each and every story. (This is also the Bible that I most wanted to share with readers in case they didn't know about it...and now I'm sharing all of our Bibles, plus some for review!)  We began using this Bible when our daughter just turned three years old. We do like it for her, but often skip words/paragraphs that are just a bit too difficult for her to understand or too lengthy.  (Some are a bit wordy.)  The illustrations are unique.  (Some would love them; others would dislike them.  The cover gives a good idea of what the others are like.)  We like when we have to turn the Bible sideways to read the story and see the picture!  My only disappointment with this Bible is that there are not more stories included.  (When I was preparing to teach children's church and needed the story of Esther, it was not included.)  This Bible teaches what many adults find confusing: that God had a plan all along to rescue us from our sin.  That plan was Jesus!  I highly recommend this book and think every Christian family should own it because of the special way author Sally Loyd-Jones brings Jesus into each story!
Amazon price: $11.55, published by Zonderkidz
Outstanding feature: There are several good features, but it is special in the way Jesus comes into every story from the very beginning to help children understand God's special plan to save us!

Classic Bible StorybookThe Classic Bible Storybook is a great balance of simple, yet detailed storybook Bible.  If you grew up with Taylor's Bible Story Book or The Living Bible Story Book, some of the artwork in this Bible will be familiar.  I love realistic illustrations in children's Bibles!  Author Kenneth Taylor is pretty well-known, having written several children's Bibles AND is the translator for The Living Bible which was later revised to become the New Living Translation.  (Pretty neat, huh?  A heart for translation and children!)  With 121 stories included in this Bible, it covers much of the Bible thoroughly, while focused on the Truth.  This Bible is geared for ages 4-8, and I do think that is accurate.  Each story is followed by three or four questions to help the child remember the story and draw attention to the important parts of the story.  
Amazon Price: $11.04, published by Tyndale House.
Outstanding feature: This is an incredibly thorough, well written Bible.  Included are great illustrations and passages with plenty of detail to engage children and challenge them to learn more.  The follow-up questions help the reader to understand the story further.  I think this Bible would grow well with a child from age 4-8, as well.

Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book *Mighty Acts of God is "A Family Bible Story Book" written by Starr Meade.  It's targeted toward elementary aged children, and is intended to be used by families together.  Ninety stories are included (which is more than our other story book Bibles).  I like that this Bible has a key verse (sometimes found in the story, other times it is from elsewhere in the Bible), as well as the story's chapter and verse references.  These stories include a lot of detail and are quite lengthy with more than two pages of text per story, plus illustrations.  The stories themselves are well-written with clear explanations.  I appreciate passages, like this one, that looks at the "big picture" to help children to understand: "One day, in the garden, a serpent spoke to Eve.  From other places in Scripture, we know that this serpent is Satan." Vocabulary words are in bold-faced print and important sentences are even typed in red.  I think this is especially helpful for parents to know at a glance to use their voice to show emphasis.  Each story ends with "As for Me and My House" which offers questions, discussion topics, and often helps the parents to focus on the key verse.  Though our family is not quite ready for this Bible, we think it will be a great resource for us and are happy it's part of our collection.
Amazon price: $16.49, published by Crossway
Outstanding feature: This Bible is intended for family use.  It uses colorful and bold-faced text to help parents know the special focus as they are reading.  Follow-up discussion topics and questions really engage families to think deeper after reading a great text.

My Story Bible: 66 Favorite Stories My Story Bible: 66 Favorite Stories is a charming Bible written by Jan Godfrey and illustrated by Paola Bertolini Grudina.  The target age is 3-6 years, so though the stories are of medium length, they are still simple enough for a three year old and detailed enough for older children, too.  Even some two year olds would enjoy this, too!  Immediately, the illustrations capture the readers' attention with all the emotion (despite the cuteness) in them.  The stories are typically about 1 to 1 1/2 pages in length (in a medium-sized, child-friendly font).  As stated in the title, this Bible contains 66 popular stories from the Bible, and each one ends with Bible references so that the parents or child can look for the story in a regular Bible, too.  Some of the stories may be very simplified and others may have some liberties taken for the "fun" of the story in My Story Bible, but it does seem to be very friendly for a young child.   I think independent readers would also enjoy reading this.  I also like that it includes a table of contents and index.
Amazon price: $11.04, published by Tyndale Kids. 
Outstanding feature: The illustrations are so charming and sweet in this Bible!  The length of the stories include just enough detail to keep little ones and beginner readers interested.

Children of God Storybook BibleChildren of God Storybook Bible is a brand new children's Bible-not even released yet retold by Desmond Tutu!  (Yet by the end of this review, maybe you'll be convinced to put it on your wishlist!)  From the moment I opened this children's Bible, I knew I liked it!  The table of contents displays the clear titles (no guessing which story you want), Bible reference, and page number.  The fifty-six stories are included in this children's Bible all point to the gift of God's love for children everywhere.  The stories themselves are well-written and include enough details to help a child learn the actual Bible story.  (For example, in "The Trial and Death of Jesus" the Garden of Gethsemane is named as where Jesus was praying, and it explains that Pontius Pilate was the Roman ruler.)  The recommended ages for this Bible are 4-7, but some younger children may enjoy this.  Each story (and illustration) is over a two page spread.  There is a main title and then a subtitle explaining how it relates to God.  (For "Jonah and the Big Fish" the subtitle is "God loves everyone, even our enemies" with the reference Jonah 1-4.)  Each ends with a short prayer.  Tutu titled the story of the Beatitudes "Jesus Teaches the Secret to Happiness," which I think is incorrect.  I don't think the goal here is for us to be happy, but to glorify God.  The illustrations are amazing, and this Bible has twenty illustrators!  They were invited by Archbishop Tutu to portray the stories with the style and richness of their own cultures.  Though that means Jesus may look different from one page to another.  Also, because the illustrators reflected their own cultures, Jesus is sometimes dark skinned and other times pale.  I do not believe Jesus was a white man, nor do I believe that he was black, so some of the illustrations are misleading to me.  All in all, I do recommend this Bible!
Amazon Price: $12.81 (pre-order price), published by Zonderkidz
Outstanding feature: The stories are detailed, yet simple enough for many three year olds.  The illustrations are amazing.  The attention to detail is above other Bibles.  Each story reminds the reader of God's love.

Isn't it wonderful that we have so many Bibles to choose from for our young children?

Here's the fabulous part for you!  Zonderkidz has given me an additional copy of Children of God Storybook Bible for one of my readers!
To Enter: (mandatory)
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite Bible (children or Adult) and why you like it or why you want this particular Bible.  (Of course you can do both, too, in one comment.)  (1 entry)
Additional Entries: Leave a separate comment for each additional entry.
Be a regular commenter on this blog (other than giveaways). (1 entry)
Follow this blog. (1 entry)

Giveaway ends Sunday, August 15 at 7 pm.  Winner will be chosen by
Giveaway is now closed!

*Notes that these Bibles are our own and were not provided by the publisher.
The Children of God Storybook Bible, My Story Bible, and the Classic Bible Storybook were provided by the publishers for review purposes.
All opinions are my own.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


Mozi Esme said...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

As for favorite Bibles - it changes as they get older! I'm excited about The Bible Story set by Arthur Maxwell that we just got - because it has those lesser-known stories included...

This one by Desmond Tutu intrigues me - being married to a South African and all... I think I'd like the international flavor!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Mozi Esme said...

I'm a follower!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Miller Moments said...

My favorite Bible is one that I had as a child called The Picture Bible. It was written in comic book style and as a kid I thought it was wonderful. In the second grade I read the whole thing and I really think that's how I first read most of my Bible stories for the first time on my own. I don't even know if they make it any more...

As an adult I like the Message.

Miller Moments said...

I'm a follower.

Miller Moments said...

I think I'm already a regular commenter. :) I love your blog.

Shonda said...

My favorite Bible is NIV and I would like to give this Bible to a non-Christian mom friend.

Shonda said...

I follow this blog.

Linda Kish said...

My favorite Bible is my old King James version Bible that I got from Sunday School in 1956.

I would give this to my DIL's niece.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Ticia said...

I'm with you. I love the Jesus Storybook Bible because of how it weaves Jesus in, but I am ambivalent about the pictures.

Ticia said...

I comment often.

Ticia said...

I follow.

Genre Reviewer said...

I apologize for being annoying, but since you like reviewing children's Bibles, I thought you might be interested in entering my The Action Bible giveaway.

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