Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review: The Beginning Reader's Bible

Title: The Beginning Reader's Bible
Illustrated by: Marijke ten Cate
Compiled by: Tama Fortner
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Tommy Nelson - kids division)
ISBN: 9781400317028

Summary from Publisher's Website:

This exceptionally illustrated Bible storybook allows children to read the story, pray to God, and grow closer to Him.

Using actual Bible text from the International Children's Bible® as well as prayers, memory verses, and fun activities, children will love this large format and be engrossed in the intricate detail of the illustrations. Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments are included and stories are accompanied by a prayer for the child to pray, a verse to memorize, and a fun activity to help them grow. 

My Review:

This hardcover children's Bible is fantastic! It is meaty, simple, enjoyable, heartwarming, educational, encouraging, and interest-provoking. Whew! But, true. :)

I am amazed at how simply Thomas Nelson introduced children to the concept of a Study Bible through The Beginning Reader's Bible. Each section includes actual Biblical text rather than a watered down story version. I especially love how the chapters are referenced under the section title for the adults reading along. (Imagine reading through the Bible with your young child... they read the sections in their Bible while you read the referenced chapters in yours!)

Each section includes three main areas: Remember God's Word, Pray God's Word, and Do God's Word. This is a wonderful way of introducing these concepts! Remember God's Word incorporates a selected Bible verse that is useful for discussion or memorization. (Parents notes in the front of the Bible indicate this as well.) Pray God's Word gives an introduction to using God's word in our personal prayers. For example, Psalm 139:14 ("I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well.") is highlighted in the Creation story. What a wonderful verse to share as well as teach to our children as a prayer of praise! I have to admit that I was not taught the way to pray God's Word as a child, and I wish that I had been! The third and final section, Do God's Word, holds fun and inviting activities for your children to use in order to cement the Biblical concept and story in their minds and hearts. It may be sketching something that God created, playing a game, or singing a song, and through each of these your children will have fun, build memories, and strengthen their understanding.

Concluding this Bible is a very handy section that includes items such as the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer, a list of disciples, selected verses from Psalms, etc. One of my favorite parts: The reading and scripture memorization lists. I'm a list checker by nature. I love it. In the back of The Beginning Reader's Bible are lists to check off! Your child can indicate the date that they read a particular chapter or memorized a particular verse. It speaks to my inner list maker (and will serve as a wonderful memory later in their life.)

Typically I always find hardcover children's books (and Bibles) to be an awkward size. Not so with this Bible. It's square shape is easily held and used by children and adults alike. The paper is a wonderful weight that should withstand lots of use by little hands who may or may not be as careful as we would like them to be. The illustrations are wonderful! I am completely drawn in by books with good color and illustration, and The Beginning Reader's Bible exceeds all of my expectations. The illustrations give a wonderful balance to the text, so I think that it would be enjoyed by children even slightly younger than the targeted age range (non-readers.) Perfect for siblings! They are gently, soft, and inviting, yet not cartoonish and fanciful like some that I have seen in the past.

All in all, this is a keeper! I wish that this would have been available when my daughter was younger because the content and illustrations far exceed the quality of the children's Bibles that she had at this point in her life. This would be a wonderful gift Bible as well.

Rating: 5 Stars! I'm so excited to pass this on to the daughter of my closest friend. I hope and pray that it brings her many moments of joy as she learns God's words.

And for the folks at the FCC:

*Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book through the publisher's Booksneeze blogging program in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

Kate {The Parchment Girl} said...

This looks like a fun children's Bible! Judging from the cover the illustrations look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!