Monday, March 4, 2013

Bedtime Bible Stories: More Than 180 Faith-Building Readings for Kids Ages 5-8

Bedtime Bible Stories: More Than 180 Faith-Building Readings for Kids Ages 5-8 was jointly authored by Jane Landreth, Daniel Partner, Renae Brumbaugh, and Linda Carlblom.

The book features, as the name suggests, more than 180 stories that relate to Bible verses. Some of the stories are simple re-tellings of Bible stories, but others are stories of how particular Bible verses relate to our lives.

Each story section is two pages long. The first page has an illustration along with a Bible verse. The second page contains the story that goes along with the verse as well as what the author calls a “Prayer Starter”. It’s actually a short prayer, only a sentence or two, that can be used by itself as a simple prayer or added to by the child if they feel comfortable doing so.

With the exception of the last verse/story, all are in chronological Biblical order, starting with Genesis 1 and ending with Revelations 22. The last story in the book talks about Jesus being the King of Kings. The Biblical reference for this entry comes from the book of Luke.

The illustrations are beautifully detailed, bright, expressive and very child-friendly.

What I Like: Just about everything. This is a Bible that should appeal to young children through its attention-getting images and its simple stories. I can see it as the type of Bible children will want to read (or have it read to them) over and over.

What I Dislike: Most Bibles that are geared to kids don’t include references to the book of Revelations. As far as I can recall, this is the first one I’ve read that does so. That doesn’t necessarily mean I dislike the reference to Revelation, but I think it is very difficult to explain verses from that particular book to adults, much less to children. I think the authors did a good job of referencing the three stories from Revelation, but Revelation itself does not lend itself well to further exploration beyond the very simplest explanations.

Also, I know I’m being picky here, but the introduction to the book, called “Welcome to the Wonderful World of Bible Stories!” says: “Here are more than 180 carefully-retold Bible stories presented in biblical order…” That’s not a completely accurate statement. Actually, most of the stories are simple retellings of Bible stories, but some of them are not; they are stories that illustrate how a particular Bible verse relates to our lives. I just thought I’d point that out to potential readers who might be surprised to find that not all the stories are actual Bible story “retellings” as indicated.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: 5-8 years.

Publisher Info: Barbour Publishing, 2012; ISBN: 9781616268435; Hardcover, 384 pages, $19.99.

Special Info: Read our reviews of other books written by Renae Brumbaugh and Linda Carlblom.

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