Showing posts with label storybook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label storybook. Show all posts

May 18, 2017

The Children’s Bible retold

The Children’s Bible published by Hendrickson Bibles, who kindly sent me a copy to review, offers the colorful artwork of Jose Perez Montero to illustrate approximately 300 Bible stories retold by Anne de Graaf.

Written on a third to fifth grade reading level, the stories proceed in chronological order, introducing children to biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, poets and prophets, and, of course, Jesus and the first peoples of the church. We see the beginnings of creation, the fall of mankind, and the need from the start for a savior.

Each well-told story helps young readers get to know God as the Lord interacts with people in scenes a child can relate to or circumstances they can envision.

To draw readers into the story, the author uses active verbs, easy-to-picture nouns, a conversational tone, and other good techniques found in the best fiction. At times, this requires imagining how a scene might have been, for instance, “In the evening, Moses wandered among the families.The children ran up to him and he gave them all a pat on the head.”

This type of picturing makes readers feel as though they’re “there” too, which is ideal in helping children relate to biblical heroes, put themselves into the action, and see the importance of trusting God, which, in turn, helps to build faith and character.

The only problem with this method is that liberties must be taken since the Bible does not say that kids approached Moses or that he ever gave them any notice. For that reason, I wish the book had been titled The Children’s Bible Storybook, which would show that it’s not intended to be a new translation into kidspeak.

Despite that objection, I highly recommend these “retold” Bible stories and artwork as they do exactly what a good book for children should do – get them interested in the content, which, in this case, will most likely lead them toward a trusting relationship with God.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, poet-writer, reviewer

The Children’s Bible, hardback

October 18, 2013

Bible sweets and treats for Christmas

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


October 17, 2013

Children’s Bibles bring Christ into Christmas

As a gift for Christmas or anytime, the God Loves Me Bible makes a highly recommended introduction to faith-building stories for young children. I’ll have to admit, though, when ZonderKidz kindly sent me copies, I felt dismayed at first since I’d rather review Bibles than Bible storybooks. Although this lovely edition probably falls into the latter category, the author Susan Elizabeth Beck did an outstanding job of translating biblical information into a simply-said text (not easy to do!) without adding thoughts not found in scriptures.

The charming illustrations by artist Lisa Mallett and the large font used for the text encourage young readers to sound out words for themselves or follow the story being read. In addition to these visual aids, the front cover comes with a layout that invites and delights.

Centered below the title God Loves Me and above the word “Bible” rests a cut-out where you can slip in a picture of the child to whom you’ll give this book, making the Bible exactly as God’s Word should be – personal! But, to be 100% sure, each child gets the message, every story ends with “God loved ____ (the name of the Bible story character) and God loves me!”


©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler

God Loves Me Bible