Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: The Beginning Reader's Bible

This is a hard review to write. 

Mainly, because I had to pry this Bible out of Amy's hands!

With five kids, we've seen a lot - and I mean a LOT - of children's bibles come and go in our house.   They've been read and re-read, handed down, taped together, and toted to and from church for years.  Yurii will even freely admit that his first overview of the Old Testament came from reading Kathryn's Children's Bible to her every night!

So when I had a chance to review The Beginning Reader's Bible (distributed by Thomas Nelson), I jumped.  Amy didn't really have her very own Bible, and this was a great opportunity.

First, the nitty-gritty.  This is an oversized volume, with a nice binding and stitching that appears sturdy enough for little hands.  The pages are full-sized illustrations, with selected Scripture texts inserted to tell the story.  All scripture is taken from the International Children's Bible.  As such, it's not the full Bible, but rather a collection of stories - the title there is a little misleading.  Also slightly misleading is the name "Beginning Reader's Bible" - with words like "language", "everyone", and "Babylonia", it's hardly for true beginning readers. 

More nitty-gritty.  At the end of each Bible story are sections entitled "Remember God's Word", "Do God's Word", and "Pray God's Word", designed for application in young lives.  The very end of the Bible has a list of familiar passages (such as the Ten Commandments and the 23rd Psalm), books of the Bible, a Scripture reading plan, and a Scripture memory plan.

Now, some impressions. Let's start with the six-year old.

I'll have to say that Amy LOVES this Bible.  She's a fairly good reader, so she can read almost all of it herself.  She loves the feel of the book, loves the vivid illustrations, and loves the ribbon bookmark that is attached!   When it first arrived, she pored over it, reading the stories and telling me all about them.  One favorite:  the Tower of Babel - at the end, it has a chart that shows how to say "God Loves You" in about 8 different languages.

My impressions.

As I said before, it's not really a Bible.  It's a nice-quality Bible storybook.  I really wish the folks at Thomas Nelson had called it the "Read-to-Me Bible Storybook"; it's a pet peeve of mine, that kids think the Bible is a collection of stories.  But enough about that.

The stories chosen are a nice sample - I wish the New Testament had a little more meat in it, but they do include 2 stories from Acts (the coming of the Holy Spirit and Paul's conversion) and the description of heaven from Revelation.  The supplements at the end are helpful - most children's Bibles don't list the 12 tribes of Israel, for example.  The illustrations are very nice, but not stunning.  The illustrations really are the main show, here- the text is only a small part of the page.

Overall, it's a nice Bible storybook.  It would be a great gift for a child who enjoys Bible stories, but not for a young reader who's ready for a Bible text to follow along with during family worship or church service.

So while I'll let Amy continue to enjoy her new storybook, I'm back in the search for a Bible with full text, sturdy enough to withstand her 6 year-old exuberance, preferably in the ESV translation.

Any  ideas?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

home in the stix said...

Hi Heather -- It's been waay too long!
You should be getting our letter any day now..
Just wanted to share that we got Anneliese the Kid's Quest Study Bible -- NIr(readers)V -- for beginning readers -- theology not withstanding, shorter sentences, easier words and over 500 interesting Q&A's sprinkled throughout and at the beginning of each book -- She absolutely LOVES reading it and quizzing everyone -- until we beg "uncle". Not much in the way of helps (sm. dictionary/index in the back)and no real pictures -- just cartoon style drawings -- but this doesn't seem to dampen her interest.
Hannah also likes her ICB -- much better with pictures and maps,but not holding up well (this not helped by falling out of her bible cover at least 3x weekly.) Still, I have found her pouring over Anneliese's on more than one occasion..
It sounds like Amy and Anneliese are at the same reading level -- if she is a Bible facts lover, she would probably enjoy this.
Hope that helps -- prayin' for you dear sister -- Donna