Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our Favorite "First" Bibles

Tanya, Beverly, and I are all moms of little ones, and we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the choices in children's Bibles these days. (When I was a kid - way back when! - all the kids I knew had the same children's Bible. I think it was the only one in print.)

To help you sort through all the choices, we thought we'd post a bit about what our favorite "first" Bibles for infants and toddlers are, and why we love them.

Kristina: There are three "first" Bibles I recommend, but one isn't technically a Bible at all. It's Little One's Bible Verses by Stephen Elkins. This sturdy, padded board book is perfect for introducing infants to God's word. Each page features a sweet illustration (featuring babies, small children, and animals) accompanied by a short verse from the Psalms. My daughter loved this book from the time she was an infant - and now that she's two, she has many verses memorised. Please read my full review here.

For toddlers, I highly recommend The Busy Bible. This is a handmade "quiet time" book devoted entirely to Bible stories. You can zip open the big fish's mouth to discover Jonah, take animals in and out of Noah's ark, learn the days of creation with fun flaps, help the good Samaritan put bandages on the wounded man, snap fish out of the sea and put them in Peter's net, and much more! My daughterbegs to play with this Bible. Please read my entire review here.

For kids who are ready for a Bible storybook, there are several good choices, but my favorites are The Big Picture Bible Storybook by David Helm and The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. Tanya will tell you more about the first book. The second book is similar in concept: It covers the Bible in such a way that we see everything in the Good Book points to Jesus. Now that my girl is a little older, we alternate between The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Big Picture Bible Storybook, and I'm sure she really is getting the "big picture" about the Bible, God, and Jesus. Please read my entire review of The Jesus Storybook Bible, here.

Tanya: Choosing a first Bible is tough! Infants don't understand much and the Bible is complex. Throw in some tiny hands and destructive teeth and the choice becomes even more difficult. You want accuracy, but you also want it to be age-appropriate. The details are not always as important as the point. The two Bibles I've chosen to highlight are actually story Bibles.

First, for infants and toddlers, I recommend My Bible Storybook, part of the God Counts! series. It's a stong boarbook with great content. Each of the 10 stories is accented with die-cut pictures and 3-D plastic images, fun for busy, tactile learners. Read my full review here.

Once the kids pass the infant stage, my favorite Bible is The Big Picture Story Bible. Rather than bogging down busy minds with details of all the different stories of the Bible, this book emphasizes the unity of Scripture and its one main theme: God loves us and will always keep His promises to us. This book holds my kids' attention more than anything else. Furthermore, it helps them connect the dots between all the Bible stories they learn here and at Sunday School. You can read my full review here.

Beverly: I also have three “first Bibles” to recommend. The first, 100 Bible Stories 1oo Bible Songs, by Steven Elkins, was given to my daughter as a birthday present when she turned one. We read this book to her regularly. It is a Bible storybook that retells the beloved Bible stories we all learned as young children. We have found this to be very biblically accurate, and the pictures are eye catching. I like this “first Bible” for young children because it only gives them as much information as their little minds can handle! You can read my review of this book here.

The NKJV Precious Moments Collector Edition Bible is a wonderful first Bible for a child. I recommend this Bible for a child that is at least four years old, and can treat a book with care. My sister received an earlier edition when she learned to read. There are beautiful, full color illustrations and numerous black and white ones in this Bible, as well as companion stories that can be used as teaching tools or devotionals. Read my review to see what else this Bible has to offer.

The Child’s Story Bible, by Catherine F. Vos, is close to my heart because my parents used it with me, and I used it to teach my classes of Sunday school children. Lord willing, I will use it with my children when they are old enough. My favorite thing about this Bible storybook is the beautiful language that speaks to a child’s heart. The gospel is artfully woven into every aspect of this classic. You can find out more in my review, here.

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