Saturday, March 15, 2008

Play-and-Learn Bible

The Play-and-Learn Bible is Level 4 in the NLT Story Bible Series. Illustrated by Terry Julien, this book features 50 Bible stories for active kids. The book's contents are based on the New Living Translation of the Bible and includes stories from both the Old and New Testaments.

What makes this story Bible unique is the heightened level of participation by children and adults. Each story includes a teachers' script, Scripture references and then the action. For example, the story of Noah's Ark reads: "SAY: As I read the story, you repeat the words in color and do the motions." The page then continues with motion suggestions in italics below each line of story text. Like this:

God told Noah to build a boat. A big, big boat.
Open arms wide.
Soon it will rain. Splish, splash! Splish, splash!
Wiggle your fingers and lower your hands to make rain.
Noah's family will be safe. Safe in the boat.
Hug yourself.

The story continues with 14 more lines of text and motions (over three more pages) and concludes with a memory verse: "You care for people and animals alike, O Lord." Psalm 36:6, NLT.

Some stories are written as songs sung to familiar tunes ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat", "Mary Had a Little Lamb", etc.). Others give illustrations in the text for children to name the pictures while you read the rest. All 50 memory verses are provided in full at the back of the book as an index, including page numbers to the corresponding stories.

What I Like: This a great book for group use such as preschool or mommy-and-me type music clubs! It keeps kids' attention and is perfect for busy toddlers who dislike reading or sitting still for story time. I love the illustrations! They're simple, but happy and unique; friendly and warm. Finally, some children's Bibles shy away from certain stories, like the crucifixion. This Bible doesn't. It includes several stories neglected in other children's Bibles, including Ruth and Naomi, Elisha, Paul's conversion, the trials of Jesus, Peter's visions of Heaven and many more.

What I Dislike: It's not very inviting for at-home use. Between the multitude of different directions and activities and the teacher's script, it's not a book for cuddling on the couch with your kids. Also, other than the memory verses, this book doesn't offer any application of the Scriptures.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: 4-5

Publisher Info: Standard Publishing, 2004; ISBN: 0784715971; Hardback; $15.99

Buy it Now at for $11.99!
Or buy it at Amazon for $11.99.

Special Info: Jesus' face is pictured throughout the book. See our reviews of other books in this series.

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