Author and illustrator Joey Allen begins the book by having Gabe, a lively and friendly little boy, introduce himself. "The Bible is the most important book in the whole world!" Gabe says.
Gabe asks readers to consider what life would be like if our parents never spoke to us, or never taught us to tie our shoes or say our ABCs. Then he asks us to consider what it would be like if the one who created us never spoke to us and never told us how best to live. "But God has spoken!" Gabe exclaims. First, he points out that creation can tell us some things about God. Then he says we can learn even more about God by reading the Bible.
Gabe explains that the Holy Spirit directed specific people to write the Bible. He describes the tone of the Old Testament and says the "entire Old Testament points to" a Savior, who would come in the future.
"When Jesus came to earth, He showed us what God is like. Jesus acted like God and talked like God because He is God! When we learn about Jesus in the Bible, we are learning about God."
Gabe explains that "people who believed in Jesus gathered together all the books that come from God" and put them in one book, called the Bible. He tells us about 40 people wrote the books of the Bible, including a fisherman, a doctor, and a farmer. He explains that the Bible wasn't written in English originally, but that God protects the message of the Bible, no matter how many languages it's been copied into.
Gabe explains that God always tells the truth and always keeps his promises. Therefore, "every morning when you wake up, you can be happy because the Bible says God is with you, and one day you will be with Him in heaven." The Bible, Gabe says, teaches us how to live as God wants us to: loving God and other people. The Bible also helps us grow and protects us from sin and other things that can hurt us. If something in the Bible is tough to understand, Gabe urges us to find someone who's been a Christian for a long time, and ask them if they can help us understand it better.
What I Like: This book speaks truth with such clarity; what an ideal introduction to the Bible! All the assertions are backed up by biblical verses, and the cartoonish (but not crude) illustrations are inviting. I also like the child-friendly size of this book (about 6 inches by 6 inches).
What I Dislike: The term "Holy Spirit" is never explained, so parents should be prepared for questions on that. Also, there is paragraph in this 32 page book that offers so weak an argument, it doesn't belong in this otherwise fine volume. Gabe says the Bible is like no other book because "you can tell that it comes from God because it does not sound like something a human would make up."
Overall Rating: Excellent!
Age Appeal: 4 - 7.
Publishing Info: New Leaf Press, 2005; ISBN: 0892216158; hard back, $5.99.
Special Info: Read our review for another book in this series.