Saturday, October 23, 2010

Five-Minute Bible Stories

Five-Minute Bible Stories, written by Lois Rock and illustrated by Richard Johnson, is filled with stories retold from the Bible. There are 20 stories all together: the first 12 from the Old Testament and the rest from the New Testament. The topics covered range chronologically from the Creation to Jesus’ Resurrection. Each story begins with a short paragraph or two of background information leading into the story’s action.

The pages are illustrated with paintings mostly in shades of brown, greens and blues, like the one on the cover. Each page contains at least one illustration as all the pages have a small picture in either the upper left- or right-hand corner. Most of the pages also contain an additional illustration, most of which cover half a page or less. There are only a few full-page illustrations.

What I Like: I like the range of stories. This is a nice collection of Bible stories that those already familiar with will enjoy; it is also a well-rounded collection of stories for those unfamiliar with the characters and concepts of the Bible.

I also like the length of the stories, as young children’s attention spans tend to be quite short.

And, I think the length of the book – 20 short stories in 96 pages – in a hardcover book is a great value for the price.

What I Dislike: Because the stories are so short (even though I like the concept of the short-story format) much gets left out of the retelling. For instance, in the story of Daniel, we are told that Daniel is thrown into a pit of lions, and that he survived the night. But, there is no mention of how he survived and of why the lions didn’t kill him. I think those are important concepts, too.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: The publisher suggests 4 to 8 as the appropriate ages for this book. That might be true if these were read-aloud stories only. This age group can easily sit and enjoy these stories, as they are short enough to be read in five minutes or less. However, older children, 9 and up, will be able to sit down and read the stories themselves.

Publisher Info: Augsburg Books, 2005; ISBN: 0806651253; Hardcover: $17.99.

Special Info: Read our reviews of other books written by Lois Rock.

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