Christmas shopping seems to start earlier and earlier each year, but these offerings of children’s Bibles and storybooks from ZonderKidz will hopefully top your list for kids of all ages. For example, my last post discussed the highly recommended God Loves Me Bible for preschoolers and the youngest readers.
Beginning with that age group and going into grade school, The Sweetest Story Bible will surely appeal to little girls who enjoy tea parties, pink, and everything princess. The Deluxe Edition includes CDs by Roma Downey, but with or without those, the lively art by Sheila Bailey will appeal greatly to young girls, and so will the sprinkles of “Sweet Thoughts” throughout such as “God forgives us when we turn to him,” and the corresponding Bible verses in such “Sweet Words” as “You always show me the path that leads to life.”
What appeals to me the most, however, is the way author Diane Stortz translates Bible stories with no embellishment but what the text actually says or clearly implies. I also found this true for the God Loves Me Bible translated by Susan Beck and, interestingly, for The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible too, assuming, of course, young children know the lively bear-based illustrations don’t actually look like Abraham or the Apostles.
Conversely, the Adventure Bible Storybook takes imaginative leaps and liberties with the biblical text, similar to what occurs in Bible-based fiction. Nevertheless, these well-written stories and colorful artwork have been highly popular with preschoolers and boys and girls in grade school.
So, my only real complaints are: (1.) These Bible storybooks and simple translations were not available when my kids reached the appropriate ages, and (2.) I haven’t yet had the opportunity myself to translate scriptures and Bible stories for young children, but one can pray! Regardless of that outcome, I’m happy to see such well-done options for children in plenty of time for Christmas.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler
The Sweetest Story Bible, regular edition
The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible
Adventure Bible Storybook