Friday, January 11, 2008

Great Bibles for the Kids

I am always looking for great Bibles for my kids as they grow and mature. I thought it would be fun to show some of our family favorites!

Here is the pictorial collection. Sorry that my camera flash made a couple of them difficult to view.
Below is a brief description of each Bible and my top 3 reasons for why it has been good for our family at a particular stage/age.
Read with Me Bible: An NIrV Story Bible for Children
This Bible has been so good for us for so many years. I purchased it when my oldest was nearing three, I think. Maybe he was even an early two-year-old. (He is a bookworm and has been able to sit for long periods of time listening to stories... I thought it was my incredible parenting skills that got him loving books. My second son has made it clear that it is merely a personality bent.) Anyway, this is a great Bible when you are moving away from typical Board Book Bibles that have 8-10 of the standard Bible stories in them.
Why I love this Bible:
1. The pictures are fabulous! The colors are vibrant, heroes are handsome and strong-looking, and they really do a good job of telling the story all on their own without the words.
2. Genesis & Exodus are very well presented, with 141 pages devoted to telling so many of the rich stories from these foundational books of the Bible.
3. Each story is usually a couple of pages long, so your child is given more details (but not too many details). It is a great Bible to move your child along in their knowledge of their spiritual heritage.
The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes (NOT the "New" revision/edition)
This is an old Bible, not easily found anymore. If you are a Mom to Mom-goer you may remember Diane Moore (author of Parenting the Heart of Your Child) talking about a wonderful Bible that at the time she could find on only EBay for about $35 a pop. She recommends this Bible above any other, and I would say it is for good reason. It is good for a child perhaps 4-8 years old.
Why I love this Bible:
1. The pictures look real. (This was Mrs. Moore's reason for loving it, too.) Having pictures look like real people is really important because that distinguishes (for kids) that these stories are, in fact, real events. After reading this with Davis for the first time, he said, "Those look like real people. It's kind of like these stories really happened." Honestly it astonished me that a.) he wasn't sure the stories in the Bible really happened, and b.) he made Mrs. Moore's point so eloquently.
2. The short stories (one page each) invite the child to interact with the picture, asking them to point to this or that person, and asking them if they see the so-and-so in the corner. My kids love to chime in their responses as I read.
3. It ends with comprehension questions, which I thought would be lame, but my kids love to answer. I do have to place my finger over my mouth at my older child as he knows all the answers and my middle child is not so Bible-savvy.
The Illustrated Bible for Children
I pick up Children's Bibles at thrift and used book stores when I find them. I found this Bible at the Salvation Army for a couple of bucks. It has been a great one - ideal for a child that is ready for "chapter books" but still needs the occasional picture.
Why I love this Bible:
1. It tells the stories of the Bible even more completely, adding in more names of people and places that are not usually in children's Bibles.
2. While it is not a full translation of the Bible, it takes your child through the entire Bible, explaining each chapter of the Bible in story form. Any gaping holes in previous Bibles will be filled in quite well.
3. When I was studying Genesis with my church's Women's Bible Study, I sometimes went to this Bible to give me a very broad and simple explanation of what the next chapter I would be studying would be about. Another gal in my BS group did the same thing because she was not very familiar with the Bible at all. It is a great resource, for both young and old.
It's Alive! (New Living Translation)
Finally, I must mention this one. I bought this for $5 at a Christian book store and it contains only the New Testament and the Psalms/Proverbs. I love reading the Proverbs out of this book to my boys. The whole book is a friendly translation, but I will just speak about the Proverbs here: They are in words and phrases that speak loudly to me, which means that when my kids ask clarifying questions about what I just read to them, I know a bit better how to address their questions. I like "sort of knowing" what I am talking about because it allows me to engage them better and have more interesting conversations.
I am really interested in recommendations for other older children's Bibles, so please send your favorite titles my way!


Greg and Andrea said...

Thanks for doing this post, Jenne. I've been trying to figure out the name of the Bible book we had as kids. It was The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes! I knew the cover right away.
We were just given a new Bible book that we're enjoying. It's called The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally LLoyd-Jones. It says for ages 4-8. You should check it out. It connects almost every story to Jesus and the plan of salvation.

Greg and Andrea said...

Oh, and I found the older version of The Bible in Pictures book on for $6.62, including shipping, for anyone else who is interested.

Jenne said...

thanks Andrea!