Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Story of the Ten Commandments

The Story of the Ten Commandments, by Patricia A. Pingry, does a great job of explaining to young children what the Commandments are and how they came to be.

The author begins by telling us that the Commandments are God's rules for us to live by. She then explains that God first gave these rules to the Israelites; she explains Moses and the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from Heaven, and Moses speaking to God on Mt. Sinai. Here, the author tells us, "God wrote ten rules on two stone tablets. We call these the Ten Commandments." Then the author lists the Commandments in language that's easy for young children to comprehend:

"1. There is only one God.

2. Bow down to no one but God.

3. Speak God's name with respect.

4. Give one day each week to God.

5. Respect your parents.

6. Do not kill.

7. Be faithful to your family.

8. Do not steal.

9. Do not lie.

10. Do not want what others have."

What I Like: It's great that the author has not only offered a basic understanding of what The Ten Commandments are, but how they came into existence. The illustrations, by Stacy Venturi-Pickett, are colorful and use both modern and biblical-era scenes. Unlike so many other books, the biblical-era illustrations are actually interesting and colorful.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: According to the publisher, infant to preschool, but I'd say toddlers and preschoolers.

Publishing Info: Candy Cane Press, 1999; ISBN: 0-8249-4165-9; board book, $6.95

Buy Now at Amazon for $3.99.


Dr. Bob Rogers said...

Thanks. I found it very interesting how the author paraphrased the Ten Commandments for children. The most challenging one was the adultery commandment, which I noticed was paraphrased as "be faithful to your family." I wonder if a child understands what that means, however.

Kristina said...

Brother Bob, thanks for your comment. I agree that it's a challenge to word the Commandments in a way that small children can understand them. This is why I quoted the text so extensively; I wanted parents who can't see the book in person to be able to decide for themselves if they liked the wording.

In a case like this, I read the book straight through a few times, but then start talking to my daughter about the meaning behind the words. Eventually, the true meaning will be clear to her, I'm sure.