Book of the Month: Choosing the Right Children’s Bible
There are a lot of children’s Bibles out there. As parents of two girls, 3.5 and 1.5 years old, my wife and I have been trying out a number of these Bibles, plus a handful of devotional books. So for this month’s book recommendation, I’m going to give our take on some of the children’s Bibles we’ve tried out. Each of the following descriptions was written by my wife, Laura.
Keep in mind that I’m only sharing my opinion based on what my wife and I have experienced with reading these books to our 3.5 year-old daughter, Abigail. Every kid is different, so you might hate something that we liked, or vice versa. I should also mention that I’m not making any effort to be comprehensive here. These are just some of the books we’ve tried out. If you have thoughts on any of these books, or if you’d like to recommend a different book, leave a comment.
The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories by Zonderkidz
This Bible features short 2-6 page Bible stories with cute illustrations on each page. The stories are well written and make the Bible stories easy for kids to understand. This children’s Bible also contains a lot of stories (it’s over 500 pages long), many of which are left out of other children’s Bibles.
My Read and Rhyme Bible Storybook by Crystal Bowman & Cindy Kenney
Crystal Bowman is one of my favorite Christian children’s book authors. She writes stories that are full of rhyme and rhythm, which (like Dr. Seuss) are always fun to read and hold the attention of a little one. My Read and Rhyme Bible Storybook brings Bowman’s flair for rhyming storytelling to Bible stories. Each story is followed by sections called “I Can Read These Words,” which gives a few words your child can recognize in the story; “I Can Find the Words That Rhyme,” which gives a list of rhyming words in the story; “I Can Answer These Questions,” which asks a few comprehension questions about the Bible story; and “I Can Do These Activities,” which gives activities that you can do with your child that tie into the Bible story. This Bible is probably best for an older 3 year-old to a 7 year-old.
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
This Bible comes highly recommended by those that I know. The pictures are very well done, and the stories are descriptive. This Bible also ties the stories together and shows how Jesus’ name is “whispered” throughout the Bible. I haven’t yet used this Bible with Abigail because I feel it’s a bit over her head at this point, but I plan to use it in the next year or so.
The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
This Bible also comes highly recommended by those that I know. We began reading it with Abigail, she loved the creation and Garden of Eden story, but as soon as we got to Cain and Abel, it was a little over her head. We will pull it out again in a year or so.
The Beginner’s Bible Book of Devotions: My Time with God by Zonderkidz
This is a little devotional book with the same cute illustrations used in The Beginner’s Bible. This little book has a short story or scenario that leads directly into a two-page Bible story that relates to the main idea of the story. This is then followed by a suggested activity (a song, craft, prayer, etc.). Each devotion closes with a short memory verse.
Crystal Bowman, whose My Read and Rhyme Bible Storybook I mentioned above, also has many books that go along with the holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Easter). These books find a way to tie in the message that God loves children and cares for them. They are big board books that come in all shapes and sizes. We love them and I have purchased just about every holiday-themed book she has written.
I remember sitting with my mom when I was Abigail’s age as she read me these devotional books. Abigail loves these books—they’re perfect for her age right now (3.5 years-old). Each two-page spread presents a Christian virtue beginning with a letter of the alphabet. Kids are encouraged to find the lesson being modeled (or violated) in the illustrations, which are laid out to tell the story. Each lesson also includes application questions, along with a prayer and a short memory verse. There is a little prayer to pray and a memory verse. As a bonus, each illustration has hidden ladybugs that our daughter loves to find.
My ABC Bible Verse: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt
This devotional book uses a Bible verses for each letter of the alphabet and applies it to everyday real-life situations through a little story. A little paragraph helps explain what the verse means or “big” words found in the verse that little ones may not understand. Each story also includes a “Let’s Talk” section with questions and a “Let’s Pray” section. I started this with Abigail, but some of the terms/ideas were a bit over her head. I will bring it out again around age four.
My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions: Celebrating God’s World by Pamela Kennedy
This book is perfect for children who are animal lovers. Every two-page spread tells about a different animal and its amazing trait. These easy to understand facts are immediately connected with the everyday lives of children. Comprehension questions and a key Bible verse help focus the child on the story and what God thinks about it. These devotions are perfect for 3-5 year olds.
If there’s another children’s Bible or devotional book you’d like to recommend, or if you’d like to add a note about any of the books mentioned here, leave a comment below.