Sunday, July 20, 2008

A First Bible Story Book

This is one of the loveliest first Bibles our family has read together. A First Bible Story Book by Mary Hoffman and illustrated by Julie Downing is a pleasure to behold. Covering thirteen of the major events in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, allows this book to cover many of the classics that we expect in a first Bible while not being overwhelming.

An introductory, illustrated book covering the main events of the Bible is a must have for Christian families. The illustrated events take on a deeper level of significance for children than simple text. Well-developed illustrations allow the text to sink in deeply and make the characters and details easier for young children to remember. I still have memories of Bible stories and the accompanying illustrations from my own childhood.

What I Like: The layout of the text and illustrations is unique – each page different and creatively arranged. This seems to make the illustrations more meaningful, as they are superbly integrated within the text itself. Executed in soft watercolors and ink, the illustrations are authentic and realistic. The illustrated table of contents and cast of characters, “Who’s Who,” at the end of the book are unique. My oldest daughter, 5, loves the illustration of Israel’s family, a depiction of each of the 12 brothers. “Which one is Joseph?” she asks. I feel that the style and arrangement of the illustrations are such that these retellings of Bible events will remain with her for years to come.

What I Dislike: The "Introduction to the Bible" section opens with the text: “The Bible is a collection of some of the best stories every told…However, the Bible is different from other story collections. Not all of these retellings are happy…” I prefer books that present the Bible as true and accurate – not simply consisting of stories. I agree that the Bible is different than another story collection - not because some of the events are unhappy or unsettling – but because it’s inspired by God, and all of the events are true.

Another similar case is found in the last section that focuses on Christ’s resurrection: “Christians believe that Jesus was sent to die and rise again to save the world.” While this statement is true, I think we should state it as fact rather than as a belief. I still give this title an excellent rating due to its other strengths.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 4-8.

Publisher Info: DK Children, 1998; ISBN: 0789415550; Hardcover: $12.99.

Buy it now in hardcover at - $11.04.

This title is also available in the following formats: with cassette in paperback at - $9.99, with cassette in paperback at Christian Book - $7.99 and with CD in paperback at Christian Book - $7.99.

Special info: For more beginner Bible recommendations read Our Favourite “First” Bibles compilation review.

No comments: