Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Storybook Bibles for Kids

In the mornings, during Elijah's "happy hour" (unlike his mama, my little guy seems to be a morning person; more often than not, he wakes up all smiles), we are reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible. He's not really into it yet--but I sure am!

While I was pregnant, I kept hearing about two kids' Bibles from several people whose recommendations I trust. Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds described these two books this way:
"...The Big Picture Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible. I think all families should own both of these books: the former gives a good framework for biblical theology (God's people in God's place under God's rule); the latter gives a good understanding of how all of Scripture testifies to Christ."
I was blessed to receive The Big Picture Story Bible as a shower gift and The Jesus Storybook Bible shortly after Elijah was born. Both are fantastic. The Big Picture Story Bible is more the type that a child would be able to read by himself sooner, with only one or two simple sentences on each page. As Taylor says, it provides a great bird's-eye-view of the whole Bible.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is for older readers, but fabulous for reading out loud. Its subtitle is "Every Story Whispers His Name"--and the author does a beautiful job of demonstrating exactly that. The book begins:

"Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. ...Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. ...No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne--everything--to rescue the one he loves. ...There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It is the perfect complement to the "gospel-centeredness" paradigm shift I've experienced these last few years. And it isn't just for kids--it's helping me see, sometimes for the first time, how the Old Testament stories I learned merely as moral stories about Noah, or David, or Jonah, are really about Jesus.

Besides being wonderfully Christ-centered, the stories are written at a kid's level without talking down to them. It's charmingly funny at times (the Pharisees are called "Extra Super Holy People--at least that's what they thought"). And the illustrations are uniquely beautiful.

Dr. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, says, "I would urge not just families with young children to get this book, but every Christian." I absolutely second his recommendation! Buy it for your children for Christmas--and if you don't have kids, don't let that stop you from picking up this jewel of a book!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comparison, Amy. A lot of people I know use the Big Picture Bible, and I recently noticed the other one in our church's books store, and I was wondering about the differences. I haven't gotten either one yet, but look forward to doing so. We got several other kid Bible storybooks, but I am really interested in these.

The Chinlund Family said...

Awesome Ames, thanks! I've been wanting to get Caleb a bible... I think I'll invest in both!

kristin said...

And the similarities keep piling up...I've been reading the Jesus Storybook Bible to William in the mornings, too! I think I'm enjoying it more than he is right now, though. :)