Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bible Storybooks for Children: A Review

We are excited about Easter Sunday around here and have been preparing for it by reading our Bible storybooks. We are still not into bunnies and eggs (and I don’t think we will be), and we are sticking with Jesus and His story.

Last year, in preparation for Advent and our Jesse Tree, I went into a Bible storybook-hunting frenzy. We now have three which we read one after the other. Same stories, different styles, valued just the same.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

The Little Children’s Bible Storybook retold by Anne de Graaf and illustrated by Jose Perez Montero

This, for me, is a perfect first Bible for children aged two to four. The highly simplified text and colorful pictures provide a fun (yes, fun!) introduction to the Old and New Testament.

What kids would love most about this book, though, are the action suggestions for each story. As we say in Kindermusik, movement is the key to learning. Children learn and remember more when words are accompanied by movement. Consider this activity for Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem:

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people cheered for him in a parade. They waved palm branches up and down. Wave your hands. Hooray for Jesus!

Or how about when Jesus rose from the dead?

See if you can find signs of the miracle of new life outside: a tiny tree, a flower, the morning sun.

I got our copy from my sister, but you can get it from Learning is Fun for P294 or from Amazon.

A Young Child’s Bible by Elisabeth Gilles-Sebaoun

I wanted a beautifully illustrated Bible storybook, and I found it in A Young Child’s Bible.  The illustrations, which look like paintings, are just lovely and make me want to jump into the page.

In my haste to get my beautiful pictures, though, I neglected to check the text. :) While the book makes for a good-enough read-aloud, the stories are too condensed that important details are left out. I was incredulous when there was no mention of Joseph’s colorful coat, a detail we needed for our Jesse Tree. The whole Passion narrative is also just glossed over in this book, making the story quite incoherent and… passionless

I bought our copy from Books for Less for P289.

First Bible Stories

My husband sighed with relief when I found First Bible Stories in a bazaar stall. Unlike A Young Child’s Bible, this one looks thick enough to contain some of the Bible’s important details. And it does. 

The illustrations are nice and clean, and the words appropriate for the 4 to 8 age-group. I like the glossy paper as well as the page margins composed of miniature images of one or two elements of the story being told. In the story of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, the page margin has the picture of silver coins. It is an interesting detail that we use as a discussion starter: What are those coins? How many were there?

This is my favorite among our three Bible storybooks. I see us referring to it again and again as my children grow. It’s a steal at P294 from Learning is Fun (though I paid more at the bazaar, hmmm). It is also available at Amazon.

Do you have a good Bible storybook recommendation? Please share in the comments. :)

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Shella D Pacis said...

I want this to be my child's first bible storybook :)

Aphrilross0479 said...

i want to have this for my child. so He could fully understand bible in a child's way.. he will enjoy reading it for sure..

ammeable_kate said...

this is good for the children

Chris said...

we love the beginner's bible :) 

Rheea said...

We've been using the My First Hands-On Bible (wrote about it here: http://www.rainydaysandmomdays.com/2012/01/06/review-my-first-hands-on-bible/) and now we're trying the 100 Read & Sing Devotions from Tommy Nelson. I also have the Hands-On BIble, which is for slightly older kids; will probably use that next year when my older daughter turns 6. Before these, we used the Little Children's Bible Story Book too :)