Friday, November 23, 2012

Reviews: Books, and Books, and Books, Oh My!

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I am a little behind in book reviews, so I thought I would share several together.  You way want to add some of these to your cart as Christmas presents!

I always enjoy looking at Preschool Bibles.  The illustrations are typically full of life and the stories drive home a point.  The Preschooler's Bible is the newest Bible for me to review.  The stories contain very short sentences consisting of mostly helping verbs (is, does).  The illustrations are soft and unlike most Bibles do not contain Caucasian looking people.  All stories are written in present tense (God tells..., He hears...). 

It is hard to review a children's Bible when you are continually comparing it to the The Beginner's Bible, which is our favorite.  While I don't have any large negatives concerning this book, there are a few things that keep me from highly rating it.  First, the Bible was written in past tense.  It seems strange to read this preschool Bible using the present tense.  Secondly, while the Table of Contents shares the scripture references, the stories do not.  The very simple, short sentences make it choppy to read. Adding to this, several sentences in a paragraph begin with the same word.

Now that Bubs and Sweet Pea are learning to read (and Little Man is jumping on board), I am always looking for books that are at a lower reading level.  The I Can Read! series contains many options that also teach Christian values.  Using Veggie Tale characters, Pirate in Training and Princess Petunia and the Good Knight are two new books available.

In Pirate in Training, Junior wants to become a pirate.  The pirates explain that even pirates have to go to school.  And in school, Junior might find that there is something else that he wants to be.  Pa Grape explains that "if you work hard in school, you can be anything God wants you to be."

Princess Petunia and the Good Knight is filled with plays on words.  Knights are called "Good Knight" and "Stormy Knight."  If being read to them, most children will not catch these but those reading it may.  The book highlights kindness over winning.

You can't go wrong with the character education in the I Can Read! series.  But since the books are written for beginning readers, this can make the stories seem choppy.  While these book weren't my favorite, our children ask for them to be read over and over.

Jesus Heals the Sick and Jesus Feeds the Hungry are two new books by Zondervan.  Using the same characters from The Beginner's Bible, these books expound on the stories provided in the preschool Bibles.  With approximately 25 pages and paragraphs of text, they are geared toward older children.

I feel these books would be good to use with the 5 Year Curriculum.  More of the story is told and if you haves used The Beginner's Bible the children will be very familiar with the characters. 

I am not much for action figures or action movies.  But, with four boys in our house, I had better learn to change my tune just a bit.  When The Action Bible Devotional: 52 Weeks of God-Inspired Adventure arrived in the mail, Bubs (age 8) was glued.  He wanted to take the Bible with him in the car, to church, during quiet time.  He walked around looking at this Bible.  It was exciting to see his excitement for a Bible!

The Action Bible Devotional is geared for boys ages eight and up.  Using the comic strip format and types of illustrations, this Bible comes to life for action seeking boys.  Focusing on the illustrations, the text guides you through the Bible stories.  There are fifty-two stories to read.  Each contain a Bible story, a key verse, a personal connection, a mission, questions, a place to journal, and ideas to share with parents and friends.  Some pages also allow the child to be creative in drawing, writing, or crafts.

Because this Bible is written in comic, action form, the author was fairly liberal in the translation.  Assumptions are made that the Bible does not share.  For this reason, I would suggest this Bible as a supplement for a child who already knows the stories but not as the child's principle scripture.  Older kids may find it beneficial to compare scripture to this author's assumptions.

What I appreciate about David C. Cook publishing this book is that they are trying to create excitement in boys who may begin to feel the Bible is not as "cool" as it once was.  Kudos to them!

Share some newly released books that you have enjoyed.

Thank you to Zonderkidz and David C. Cook Publishing for allowing me to review this books.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.