Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Busy Bible

Have you found it difficult to get your toddler interested in a Bible? If so, The Busy Bible rushes to the rescue.

"$56 for a child's Bible!" you may cry when you check the price. But trust me, it is worth it.

This approximately 10.5 x 8 inch Bible is handmade in cloth by a company that understands wiggly, activity-ready toddlers. The Bible opens and closes with a toddler favorite: Velcro. (I don't know about your toddler, but mine adores Velcro, and can spend all morning ripping the Velcro pieces apart and putting them back together.)

But the inside of the Bible is even better. First, there's a picture of the Earth. The fabric making up the Earth is divided into seven triangles that lift to show a picture of something God created. For example, one flap shows fish and birds; another shows people; another shows a church, symbolizing a day of rest and worship.
The next page shows Noah's ark; reach inside the ark, and you'll find three pairs of animals. Next, there's Lot's wife. Pull her from a small pocket and turn her over to discover she's turned to salt. (Actually, white sandpaper). The next page shows Joseph and his coat of many colors, which may be buttoned and unbuttoned.

Then there's baby Moses, who can be pulled out from behind the rushes. There's also Ruth gathering grain (pompoms that attach and detach with Velcro); King Solomon's treasures (Open the treasure chest and find paper money and a "gemstone" necklace); a whale with a zippered mouth, with Jonah hiding inside; a manger with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, an angel, a star, and various animals inside; Peter fishing (The fish are attached with snaps and may be placed inside a mesh "net"); the Good Samaritan (whose bag contains several felt bandages), and Dorcas holding a garment that may be laced and unlaced.

Hopefully, parents know these stories well enough they don't need text in this Bible...for there is only a title for each story and a Bible reference. There is, however a cheat sheet...a single piece of photocopied paper with a one paragraph summary written in a kid-friendly style. For example, for the creation story, the cheat sheet reads:
"In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth. He made EVERYTHING in only six days! Look under the flaps and see what God made on each day. God saw that everything He made was very good and on the seventh day He rested."
In addition, an approximately 2 x 1 inch felt book with blank pages is included. The back of the cheat sheet gives the teaching directions for this: "What are the colors in the 'WORDLESS BOOK' that tell the most wonderful story in the world?"
"The gold color reminds me of the street in heaven which is made of pure gold! Heaven is a happy place where there is no sickness, sadness, or death. John 3:16 says, 'For God so loved the world...' That means God loves you and me whom He has created and God wants us to live with Him in heaven someday. But there is one thing that can never be in heaven and that is SIN."
We learn that red symbolizes Jesus' blood; black represents sin; white, that Jesus cleans our hearts of sin; and green, that we must grow to be more like Jesus.

The Bible comes in reusable plastic packaging, which closes with a snap.

What I Like: I think this is a clever idea, and a great way to get toddlers interested in the Bible. The writing on the cheat sheet is a little amateurish, but otherwise, the quality of this unique Bible is fantastic. I also love that this Bible doubles as a "quiet time" activity, and helps toddlers develop fine motor skills by using snaps, laces, and such. (UPDATE 11/13: BOTH of my children have loved this Bible!)

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 3 and up.

Publishing Info: Busy Bibles, 2000; ISBN: 0971202206; cloth, $56.97

Buy Now at for $56.97

Special Info: There are warnings all over the packaging that (because of a few small parts, which could become choking hazards) children under 3 shouldn't play with this book. Personally, I don't mind letting my 2 year old have this Bible, but I will closely supervise her with it.

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