Three Great Kids' Bible Resources from Zondervan
What do your kids know about the Bible? Can they read the Bible for themselves? Or do they feel as if it's a big, intimidating book that only grownups can really understand?
It's so important that our kids can develop habits of reading and learning from the Bible. This can be much easier when they use Bible resources that are specifically designed with kids in mind. Bibles and Bible storybooks designed for kids have graphics that catch kids' attention and words that are easier for kids to understand.
When I'm looking for Bible resources for my kids, though, I'm also looking for Bibles and storybooks that maintain the accuracy of Scripture, resources that won't change and leave out parts of God's Word, but that will really guide the kids into knowing more about the Bible. Because that's how they'll learn more about God and deepen their relationship with Him.
I've recently had the opportunity to review three great kids' Bible resources from Zondervan. These three resources passed my requirements for kids' Bibles and Bible storybooks. If you're looking for resources for little ones or for the tween/middle grade group, these are great.
When my youngest child was entering first grade, she received a Jesus Storybook Bible from the church. I found myself happily surprised. Many story Bibles don't pass my tests because they don't use real Scripture or leave out important concepts that the authors seem to think are too harsh- such as the crucifixion.
The gift edition has all of the things I like about the original Jesus Storybook Bible and is a beautiful hard-cover book with a ribbon bookmark that would make a great gift for a little one.
About This Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible is written by Sally Lloyd Jones and illustrated by Jago. It contains twenty-one Old Testament stories and twenty-three New Testament stories.
Features I Like
- From the very beginning, in the storybook's introduction, the author makes it clear that the Bible is a book about Jesus. It's not disconnected "Bible stories" with morals and adventures. It's one story throughout, the story of Jesus.
- The pictures are colorful and beautiful and will easily hold the attention of even older toddlers and preschoolers.
- The stories are written simply. You could condense and read less if you were reading to really little ones, but preschoolers will probably grasp the meanings and be able to sit and listen to the brief, simple stories.
- Each story has the corresponding Scripture reference at the beginning. This can allow the parents to find the story in the Bible and read it for themselves or read the actual Scripture to older kids.
I love board books. One of the things I most miss from the days when my crew were all little ones is having a sweet-smelling little person, ready for bed, in my lap, listening to a story. And when the kids were really little, I loved reading board books. They're sturdy and durable enough to hold up to teething babies and restless toddlers. This board book features a gentle, simple version of Psalm 23.
About the Book
Found is written by Sally Lloyd Jones and illustrated by Jago- the author and illustrator of The Jesus Storybook Bible. In the book, the words of Psalm 23 are condensed and simplified. The pictures of a gentle shepherd and his fleecy flock- especially one tiny lamb- are beautiful and are an excellent representation of the words.
Features I Like
- The words in the book are pretty close to the actual words in Psalm 23. The original meaning of the Scripture is well-maintained.
- The illustrations are beautiful! I love the sweet face of the shepherd and the cute little lamb.
- I love that the illustrations give things to talk about on each page. There are fat sheep on most pages. "Can you help me count the sheep?" as you point to them with a chubby toddler finger and count. "What is this little lamb doing?" "What's up in the sky? Yes, it's the sun."
Some Bibles are difficult for kids- even kids who are a little older- to read independently. The translation is awkward. The words are too small. There are hard to understand notes in the margins. If we want kids to make reading the Bible a personal thing, we've got to provide a Bible that they understand.
But...and here are my "must-haves" again...I want a Bible that is accurate, that doesn't detract from the central message by being too "cutesy" or "cool." It's fine to include notes that kids can read and understand, but the explanations need to be truly Biblical. (And, unfortunately, I've seen some that weren't.) The Investigator's Holy Bible proved to be a good one for tweens/middle-grade kids.
About This Bible
The Investigator's Holy Bible is a New International Version of the Bible. It features two children, a boy and a girl, who are investigating the truths in the Bible. In addition to Scripture, the Bible contains several features that can help kids understand more about the Bible.
- The Evidence- This section is found at the beginning of each book of the Bible. It explains who wrote it and gives a summary of what it's about. In this section the two children- Isabella and Mateo- along with their dog Clooney tell what the best part of the book is to them.
- Breakthrough!- In this section, kids are given explanations of parts of Scripture. If they've just read something that may be difficult to understand, this section is going to offer some clarity.
- The Witnesses- The Bible contains lots of people, too many to keep straight. This feature helps to point out key people in the passage.
- The Scene- In this section kids can learn more about where in the world the passage is taking place. (Hey, homeschool Mamas! This would make a great way to throw in some geography!)
- Check the Facts- After some passages, there are short (and simple) quizzes that kids can use to see if they comprehended the section they just read.
- Case Closed!- At the end of each book of the Bible, the kid investigators summarize it and share how they felt about what they read.
What I Thought
I really like all the extra study tools there are in this Bible. The explanations seem Biblically sound to me, and there isn't so much here that it detracts from the real message of the Bible. Instead these sections enhance the reading and help kids to really "get it."
My 11-year old saw it first when it arrived in the mail, and was really impressed- and excited- as well. The idea of having the two kids investigating the Bible is one that appeals to this age group.
I happen to like the NIV. I know there are many (many, many, many) schools of thought about Bible translation. But I think the NIV is very readable, while still being fairly accurate to the original languages of the Bible. There is a preface to this Bible, meant more for adults, that explains the translation process and the footnotes in this Bible.
If you're looking for good Bible resources for your little ones, somewhat bigger ones, or even for yourself, check out the Zondervan site.
Three Great Kids' Bible Resources from Zondervan Reviewed by Leah Courtney on 10:09:00 PM Rating: