Friday, December 21, 2012

Reviews: Jesus Storybook Bible & The Story

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Several new or revised Bibles are available just in time for the holidays.  Here are reviews for a few of them.

Many of you are big fans of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  Now two additional editions are available just in time for Christmas.   First is the leather bond copy The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.  This new binding is also packed in a slipcase box making it perfect for gift giving and protecting this book.

Second is the The Jesus Storybook Bible Collector's Edition including the 44 Bible stories, three hours of animated stories on DVD, and three audio CD's featuring the narration of the stories.  All of these items are packaged into a slipcase box.

The DVD's show the illustrations from the Bible in movement while British actor David Suchet reads the stories directly from the Storybook.  The CD's simply contain the narration.  The CD's are great for quiet time as reinforcement of the stories that you read together.

This is not my first review of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  While I love the central theme of Jesus, I struggle with the liberties taken about the Bible stories and Scripture.  But, I also understand that this is the favorite preschool Bible of many families. 

The Story of Jesus for Kids: Experience the Life of Jesus as one Seamless Story - This short booklet combines the story of Jesus into one text.  Using the New International Reader's Version, the story of Jesus is combined from the texts of the four Gospels.  Discussion questions end each section.   Words in italics explain hard to understand passages.

As an adult writer, I find Max Lucado's books very deep.  But yet I find his children's books to be amazing.  While containing a deep well of meaning, the stories are simple enough for children to understand.

The Story for Children, a Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition is a collection of 48 stories from the Bible covering Genesis to Revelations.  Each story contains a memory verse, a condensed version of a Bible story, and a section called "God's Message."  This section is my favorite.  Using the lesson from the Bible story, the author personalizes to the child who God is and how much He loves us.   The illustrations are very vivid and colorful which beg you to look deeper. 

Three narrated CD's come in this deluxe edition.  Your child can listen to Max Lucado read the stories with instrumental background music. 

God's Messages for Little Ones: The Story of God's Enormous Love is a group of 31 devotions by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee, and Karen Hill.  The stories are covered in Bible order from Genesis to Revelations.  Each day's devotion is on two pages and covers three points - a short memory verse, two or three sentence point, and a "God Says to Me" section.  All three points combined only contain approximately 10-13 sentences making these devotions very shorts.  With so little scripture given (many times one verse), it is hard to gather the context of the story unless the child is reminded of the Bible story first.

What makes this children's Bible, The Rhyme Bible Storybook, unique is that the lines in the 35 stories rhyme. There is something about this Bible that I really like. The shorten stories are well put together and the rhymes make them easy to read aloud. The illustrations are simple but colorful.

There are hundreds of possibilities when you are looking for a Bible for your child.  Listed in this blog post are just a few of the new or updated options.  I have listed my favorites on the ABCJLM Bible page. 

When choosing the right children's Bible for your family, I encourage you to think about the following points:
  • Does the children's Bible accurately paraphrase the Scriptures without adding assumptions or subtracting important information?
  • Is the added information in the stories to help the child understand the Bible story or does it provide unbiblical assumptions?
  • Are scripture references included with the stories so that the child begins to recognize the books of the Bible?
  • Do the illustrations draw in the child or are the details overwhelming?
  • Is the Bible written in a way that the child can easily understand and recall the Bible stories?

Thank you to Zonderkidz for allowing me to review these products.  

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