January 4, 2013

Bibles for children

A couple of years ago I bought The Beginner’s Bible by zonderkidz, the children’s publishing division of Zondervan, in hopes of having a kid-friendly Bible story book on hand to read when our young grands visited. My plan got waylaid, however, when they liked the book so much, they took it home!

Those well-told, well-illustrated stories have an easy-to-follow format that eases the way for parents or grands to read to young children. I'd review that edition here, but, well, I don't have a copy.

For kids just starting to read the Bible by themselves, I like these two editions on my bookshelves.

[Note to publishers: If you have other Bibles for children, I’d be happy to receive a review copy. Just Contact me through my website. Thanks.]

Deep Blue Kids Bible

Published by Abingdon, this 5.5”x8.5” edition comes in a deep blue cover and easy-to-read Common English Bible (CEB) translation that’s been accepted for use in many mainstream churches. So I especially like the idea of the children being encouraged to read the same scriptures heard in church, instead of stories or paraphrases that remove them from the actual words of the Bible.

In addition to the usual contents such as maps and measure charts found in “big people” editions, the Deep Blue Kids Bible includes interesting info, episodes, and insights to help young readers relate Holy Scriptures to their everyday lives. Although the font appears on the thin-ink side, I found the layout easy to follow and the biblical aids helpful.

Hands-On Bible

As a great lover of the church in all its parts and great appreciator of ecumenical efforts that went into producing the CEB, I hesitate to admit it, but I prefer the New Living Translation for readers of all ages. To be more specific, NLT is a personal favorite and the translation chosen for this children’s Bible by Tyndale House.

My first impression, however, was a bit negative as the many helping hands in this Hands-On Bible seemed to be waving and flapping in my face! But school children used to computer chaos will probably be unflappable and able to respond well to the “Learn it,” “Do it,” “Share it,” “Live it” approach taken. The publishers have even included “Secret Messages” through the pages to send children in search of – what else – Bible treasures.

Admittedly, I found some too. What fun, for example, to find an “Is That Possible?” experiment that encourages readers to “Try this ‘impossible’ activity!” 1.) “Fill a drinking glass almost to the top with water. 2.) Drop a small cork into the glass, and make the cork float in the center of the water without touching the glass.” Not going to happen! But then “Now try this” advises young experimenters to “Slowly pour water from another glass until the water rises just above the rim without spilling. The cork will move to where the water is the highest – the center.” The text then goes onto to say “It wasn’t impossible when you knew what to do” then added the side-bar “With God, truly nothing is impossible!”

True, true, but I like the idea of that same experiement being used to fill above the brim with Living Water that just cannot help but center one's cork. Amen?

© 2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved, but pass it on! To see sample pages from these great choices for kids, click your pick of the pics below:



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