Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Child's Bible

A Child's Bible by Sally Ann Wright and Honor Ayres is a sweet choice for older toddlers and preschoolers. The book retells 57 sections of the Bible, beginning with the story of creation; moving on to Adam and Eve; following Noah and Abraham and Jacob and Joseph; telling about Miriam; the plagues of Egypt; David and Goliath; Naaman; Daniel in the lion's den; Jonah and the big fish; Jesus' birth; many stories of Jesus and his parables; Jesus' death on the cross; Jesus' resurrection; and a bit about the apostles.

The stories tend to flow together nicely. For example, after the authors have described the Fall, the next chapter (on Noah's ark) begins: "God's beautiful world was spoiled." The language isn't the most creative I've seen, but it's simple and straight forward. The ten commandments, for example:

"Don't talk to any other gods instead of me.
Don't pray to statues, pictures of the earth, sky or sea, instead of me.
Think about how you us my name.
Do not swear or use my name carelessly.
Remember the day of rest I give you and keep it special.
Love you mother and father and listen to what they say.
Do not plot to kill anyone.
Be faithful to your husband or wife.
Do not steal.
Do not tell lies about other people.
Don't look greedily at things that belong to other people."
Psalm 23:

"Imagine you are a lamb, playing in a big field.
God is like the loving shepherd who looks after you.
God makes sure you have everything you need.
He finds green fields where you can rest.
He leads you to quiet streams where you can drink.
He guides you along safe paths..."

and so on.

And The Lord's Prayer:

"Our Father in heaven,
holy is your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us when we do bad things,
just as we should forgive those who are unkind to us..."

and so on.

Notes about where each story or prayer can be found in the Bible are given at the very end of the book.

What I Like: The wording of this children's Bible is close to a modern paraphrase (like The Message). It is simple, but doesn't stray too far from adult versions of the Bible. (Except to leave out details that may be too mature for young children.) The illustrations are gentle and sweet, done in a watercolor-type style. Most stories are told in one or two pages, which makes them easy for young children to digest.

What I Dislike: Nothing, really. But this is not the most exciting children's Bible I've seen for this age group.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 3 and up, but I think preschoolers will enjoy this more than toddlers.

Publishing Info: Standard, 2005; ISBN: 0784717761; hard back, $19.99.

Buy Now at Christianbook.com for $14.99.

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