Our kids are really into reading by themselves right now, particularly picture books and early readers. They both love to pick up their The Beginner’s Biblefor reading on their own, as well as thumb through a few other Bibles we have around.
We all (adults and kids) love the full color aspects and the fonts used in this Bible.
The introduction is written towards the young reader, rather than the parent or teacher who might be reading with the child. This tactic lets the child know this Bible is for them to read, learn, and love. We love both the application and study pieces in this Bible, and it might have quickly become a favorite in our house.
Each book begins with one page offering an introduction to the book itself. These introductions answer who wrote the book, why the book was written, what we learn about God from the book, who is important in the book, when the events in the book occurred, where they occurred, and some of the highlights in the book. I love how this offers a “first” version of a study Bible.
Each book offers numerous “Did You Know?” features that define a term or phrase or explain a historical tidbit.
The “Life in Bible Times” sections describe cultural history in about a paragraph to help the reader understand some Scriptural references and cultural differences.
The “People in Bible Times” sidebars highlight a person within that chapter and summarize who he/she was and his/her actions or status.
I love that this Bible includes a subject index, a dictionary, and eight full-color study maps (not simplified version). These tools help kids learn how to use a study Bible.
Through each book are “Words to Treasure” sidebars highlighting a verse from within that chapter. These verses would be great to study deeper as a family or memorize.
The “Live It!” sections within each book offer the most reflective application. Each feature summarizes an event the reader just read and asks questions or gives activity ideas to help the reader decide how he/she might respond in a similar situation. Particularly when paired with parent discussion, these activities can foster reflection and growth. Most of the activities seem to be geared towards early- to mid-elementary ages.
In a few places, readers will find special sections that emphasize key themes of the Bible and questions for application. In the OT, a 4-page section summarizes the ten commandments, refers to various Bible themes (and accompanying verses), and highlights famous prophets. Another section talks about how to pray. Another section shares a poem on the twelve disciples.
We love the NIrV translation, and my husband and I even compare this version to our “adult” versions at times to gather new perspectives. This Bible is beautifully presented and filled with helpful and interesting resources.
How do your younger children study the Bible? What tools are their favorites to use?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher and BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.
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As my son gets older, we want to involve him in more “discussions” on faith as we read verses repeatedly. (How do you “discuss” when your child has severe speech impairments/delays? Read a few thoughts here.)
What’s one resource we’ll use? Books, of course!
7 Children’s Books to Spark Family Discussions on Faith (and How They Help)
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (illustrated by Jago)– I’ve mentioned this kids’ bible several times already on my blog. It really is fun to read and beautiful in how it relates all stories, including those from the Old Testament, to Christ’s love and purpose. Beautiful. My preschooler asks to read this one often at night. The connections made to Christ’s love are so well done, my husband and I even deepen discussions after reading from it.
The Beginning Reader’s Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers – Another great children’s bible. This bible uses actual verses as it’s text, but is still just selected stories (not a full bible). Each bible story also side boxes with a “Remember God’s Word” (a verse to memorize), “Pray God’s Word,” and “Do God’s Word” (some kind of activity to help teach or an action to serve others). I reviewed this bible in more detail here.
How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa C. Travis (Apologia Press) – This story centers around a father and son observing the stars together when questions surface. The story itself is rather straightforward and less of an “action” story that most picture books are (it “tells” more than “shows”), but the message is great. The book gives a useful explanation as to how someone can both believe in God and like and study science. Especially good for upper elementary ages through early middle school, this book could help ignite solid conversations in your family.
Good Morning, God by Davis Carman (illustrated by Alice Ratterree) – A beautifully-illustrated picture book featuring a homeschooling family, this book focuses on thinking about and living for God every day of the week as a family. Kids can relate to the kids shown in the illustrations, and each day of the week has extra questions and activities to do together as a family to spark further discussion. (I reviewed this book in more detail here.)
Let The Whole Earth Sing Praise by Tomie dePaola – Tomie dePaola has written over 200 books for kids (!). This picture book uses simple text inspired by Psalm 148 and a few verses from the book of Daniel. It’s a beautifully illustrated faith-based piece. Since it’s focused on praise, you and your kids can discuss what (and why) you can lift in praise to God.
Sammy Experiences God by Tom Blackaby and Rick Osborne – If you’re looking for another straightforward book that discusses relationship with God, check this picture book out. This book doesn’t use any analogies (and has a bit of an awkward fascination with peanut butter combinations), but it does use a likeable main character searching for personal connection with God. The book offers questions throughout to spark family discussion, and the message is solid. Colored text appears throughout, which threw me off a first, but be sure to read the instructions in the back of the book to put the words together for special messages! This book incorporates several bible stories while following Sammy’s “adventures” attempting to seek conversation and interaction with God. You and your family can read those bible stories in more depth together while revisiting this picture book. My son flipped through this book on his own several times after just the first time we read it together. (See my full review here.)
Thank You, God, For Blessing Meby Max Lucado – We haven’t seen much of the Hermie franchise, but we do have two of their board books, and my kids enjoy reading them. This board book (for toddlers and preschoolers) is simple with flowing text and inviting illustrations. Hermie’s model of praising God sets a simple example of thanking God for His good gifts and provision. My favorite line in the picture book always makes meconsider how I can better serve God, too: “Help me do the best I can/to be kind and obey/It’s how I say, “Thank You, God!”/in a very special way.”
Along with the Bible, what other children’s books help spur questions and discussion with your family about faith? Share your family’s favorites in the comments!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of How Do We Know God is Really There? from Apologia Press. I was not required to write a review, but I have chosen on my own accord to highlight it here. All opinions expressed are my own.
I also received a free copy of Sammy Experiences God from Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.