Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Read with Me Bible for Toddlers

If you're looking for a Bible storybook with simple stories and terrific illustrations, look no further than the Read with Me Bible for Toddlers by Doris Wynbeek Rikkers.

Dennis G. Jones' illustrations are what make this book outstanding. Not only are they full of fun details, but Jones' style is stylized, making Jesus (for example) look like a superhero from The Incredibles. They bring great life to the book.

The stories themselves are told in a simple fashion. We have the story of creation; the fall; Noah and the ark; baby Moses and Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt; Jericho; David and Goliath; Daniel and the lion's den; Jonah; Jesus' birth; Jesus and John the Baptist; Jesus calming the storm; the parable of the good Samaritan, the lost son, and the lost sheep; the story of the ten lepers; Jesus with the children; Jesus' death and resurrection; and Jesus' ascent into Heaven with a promise of sending that he will return again.

What I Like: I love, love, love the illustrations. They are different and fun for both kids and parents. Overall, this is a delightful book that elicited many responses from my four year old. For example, she laughed and told Jonah he was naughty as he was swallowed by the big fish, and sighed with happiness as I read her the section about Jesus loving the little children.

I also like how some sections of the Bible are summarized. For example, in the section mentioning the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years, we see a board game-like illustration, complete with dashed movement marks and little sections showing people gathering manna, chasing quail, worshiping a golden calf, etc.
What I Dislike: While I think the writing in this book is generally good, I have a few problems with it. For example, the snake in the Garden of Eden is never described as being Satan. In addition, sometimes things or people are mentioned, but no explanation is given. For instance, in the story of Jericho, the ark of the covenant is mention - but going by this book alone, we have no idea what it is. In the story of Jesus praying in the garden, Judas is mentioned - but once again, going by this book alone, we have no idea who he is. In addition, we never see Mary meeting with an angel to tell her she's giving birth to the Savior.

Overall Rating: Despite these flaws, the illustrations in this book are so exceptional this might be my favorite pick for a Bible storybook for toddlers. I give it a rating of Very Good.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, baby to preschool, but I'd say toddlers and some preschoolers.
Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2009; ISBN: 978-0310718772; hardback, $12.99
Buy Now at ChristianBook.com for $9.99
OR buy at Amazon.com for $9.35
Special Info: Visit the illustrator's website for a look at his artwork.

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