Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Jesus is Risen! (The Beginner's Bible)

Jesus is Risen!, another book in The Beginner's Bible series, retells the story of Jesus' resurrection. The book, illustrated by Kelly Pulley, begins with the simple words:

"Jesus was God's son. But some leaders didn't believe him. They made Jesus carry a cross. The soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. Jesus died."

We learn that Jesus' "friends" put him in a tomb that was guarded by soldiers. Then the ground shook and an angel open up the tomb, making the soldiers flee. "Mary and her friends" went to the tomb; they "missed Jesus terribly." They met the angel who told them not to be afraid; Jesus had risen. The women see Jesus, who tells them to "Go and tell my friends that I am alive." Mary runs off to tell everyone the good news.

What I Like: This is a tough subject for young children. In reality, Jesus' death was brutal, but Jesus is Risen! doesn't offer gruesome illustrations. Instead, we see a weary Jesus carrying a cross while a mean-looking Roman guard looks on; later we see the bottom of the cross - with only Jesus' scraped legs visible - as a woman clings to them. So young children get the idea without being frightened. I also like that the book focuses only on Jesus' death and resurrection, ending with the wonderful words: "Jesus is alive!"

What I Dislike: We don't really learn why Jesus had to carry a cross and die, either from a theological standpoint, or from the point of view of Jesus' earthly enemies. Even just one sentence summing these things up would have been helpful. I'm also not a huge fan of the cartoon-like illustrations, but they are bright and colorful, and my toddler seems to enjoy them

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: Infant to preschool.

Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2006; ISBN: 0310711150; board book, $5.99.

Buy Now at for $2.99.

Special Info: Read all our reviews of The Beginner's Bible series by clicking here.

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