Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tiny Bear's Bible

Tiny Bear's Bible is the newest offering from Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of three best-selling children's Bibles. (She also wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible, which is a Top Pick here at CCBR.) This newest children's Bible is a boardbook version illustrated by Igor Oleynikov. Its novelty is found in the fur. Both front and back covers are wrapped in a thick, soft bear's fur.

Inside readers find eleven Bible stories told through rhyming verse. A distinction between this children's Bible and all others is the voice. Each story is told as if a parent is reading to his child, more specifically, that a mother or father bear is reading to "Tiny Bear." Each Bible story is one or two paragraphs (typically four stanzas long) followed by one paragraph (two to four stanzas) of application, spoken directly to Tiny Bear.

Here is chapter list showing the included stories:
  • God Makes the Whole Wide World, Genesis 1-2
  • God Promises to Rescue Noah, Genesis 6-9
  • God Keeps Moses Safe, Exodus 1-2
  • David Fights a Horrible Giant, 1 Samuel 17
  • God Protects Daniel in the Lions' Den, Daniel 6
  • Jesus Is Born, Luke 2
  • Jesus Stops a Scary Storm, Mark 4
  • The Lord's Prayer, paraphrase of Matthew 6
  • The Friend of Sinners (Jesus befriends Zacchaeus), Luke 19
  • God Makes Jesus Alive Again!, Matthew 27-28
  • "I am with you always", Mark 10
Illustrations fill the pages. For each chapter, the left page shows the biblical account while the right page shows Tiny Bear living out the story.

What I Like: The illustrations are so unique! They are filled with colors, but the style sets them apart from from all other children's books. They are sophisticated, somewhere between a stippled design and impressionism. As a former art student, I was quite taken by them. My son loves the fur! He has been hesitant to read through many children's Bibles, but he loves this one. I love the applications with each story. It forces parents and children to think about what each story means for us today. As always, I appreciate the biblical references provided with each chapter.

What I Dislike: Between the fur, the text and the illustrations, this book seemed inconsistent to me. After playing with the outside, the inside completely surprised me. The outside is cutesy; the inside is not. It seems an odd combination to me. Also, I felt the Bible stories were simplistic and incomplete. There is never any explanation of why these things happened.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: Infant - Preschool (Reading level is grade 6 and above.)

Publisher Info: ZonderKidz, 2007; ISBN: 0310710820; board book; $12.99

Buy it Now from Christianbook.com for $10.99!

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