Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bible Alive! A Journey Through the Bible with Maps and Pictures

Bible Alive: A Journey Through the Bible With Maps and Pictures, written by Penny Boshoff and illustrated by Helen Jenkins and Tony Kenyon, is a book about what the Middle East looked like during Bible times. It is packed full of maps, drawings and photos, along with short bits of information about the history and people of the region as they relate to Biblical text.
The text for the book is broken down into small sections. Each chapter contains information about various places or people in the Bible. For instance, the sections about Abraham’s journeys give short descriptions of places Abraham traveled during his lifetime, as well as a short narrative about his life and family (which is also broken down into smaller sections). Most of the text is directly related to the scriptures, with the Biblical reference made under the section headings.

As for illustrations, the book contains 14 maps, starting with Map #1, “Lands of the Bible,” and continuing through Map #14, “The Worldwide Church.” With the exception of the last map, all the maps relate to the early times in the Bible. For instance, Map #5 depicts “The Promised Land,” while Map #13 chronicles “Paul’s Journeys.”

The book also contains many full-color drawings of places and peoples from the Bible, as well full-color photos of what some of those places look like today.

What I Like: Everything. The book is compact in size, but full of interesting facts and information. It’s a great reference book. Although it is written for children, when I read it I learned some things I didn’t know about the way the world looked back in Bible times! I also found the book to be a refreshing break from dull, dry reference books.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Age Appeal: The publisher suggests 9-12 as the target ages for this book. Because there are so many colorful illustrations in the book, and the text is broken down into short sections, I think younger children, perhaps 5-8-year-olds, would be able to understand most of it, if read through with an adult.

Publisher Info: Abingdon Press, 2005; ISBN: 0687360013; Hardcover: $12.00.

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