First off, there is something totally supernatural going on with The Bible In Pictures for Little Eyes. This little biblestory book is sadly out of print, but still easily accessible on Amazon and on used books sites. That said, my mom had given me a copy when I was pregnant with Ransom and we started reading the little paragraph stories that went along with each large, colorful picture ( these are OLD SCHOOL pictures- Jesus dressed in immaculate white and blue wherever he goes, lots of caucasian children...you know the drill) when Ransom was probably 18 months old. He quickly became fascinated with the book. He would flip through the pictures on his own almost every day. It was adorable and while, yes, some of those pictures are so politically and socially incorrect now, it is a very in-depth bible story book! It covers it ALL and in pretty good detail without making it totally "fluffy" which is my least favorite thing: watering down the Word of God for kids. And, most importantly, Ransom really liked it.
Ransom moved on to a new Bible Story book at around 2 and a half, maybe three. The little paragraph stories in the first story book where just not detailed enough, and he was old enough to listen to something more in-depth. Enter my FAVORITE BIBLE STORY BOOK EVER: The Jesus Storybook Bible. Now, in the same way that the first bible had art-like pictures, this bible kind of had weird cartoon-y pictures that I was skeptical about, but then I read the first story of Adam and Eve and a BAWLED MY EYES OUT.
People. This Bible Story book is BEAUTIFUL. It answered all my desires for a bible story book that was simple enough for a child to "get" but didn't water down the truth. Basically, I wish that C. S. Lewis had written a Bible Story book for kids ( wouldn't that have been GOOD?!) but since he didn't this comes in a very very close second. That first story talks about the Fall of men with Adam and Eve and says, "Well, in another story, it would be all over and that would be "THE END". And then you turn the page and it begins to tell us the wonderful Love of God for his children and that's when you just start crying, people. It is so so beautiful. "It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you!...I will get rid of the sin and the darkness and the sadness you let in. I'm coming back for you!"
I basically wanted to start cheering right then and there, and then as the stories continue, each one ( particularly those rascally humans in the Old Testament stories) showing the inevitable sinfulness of man, it continually points to the Hope of Jesus and God's "Unstopping. Never Giving up. Unbreaking. Always and Forever Love." for us and it gets me every. single. time.
But, Ransom has been through the Storybook Bible quite a few times and now the plan is to switch it out with the Egermeier' Bible Story Book, read one and then read the other and then back and forth for a while. The stories in this one are a little bit longer and there are fewer pictures so probably best to wait till they are 4 or 5 to bring it in to the mix, just depending on your kiddos attention span. But the stories are SPOT ON and -full discloser- it is the Bible storybook that I was read from when I was a kid so I might have a tiny soft spot for it!
This brings us safely up to the Elementary School years and onto actual Bibles.
While my own kids aren't there yet, I spent a LONG TIME, making a HUGE mess in the Family Christian Bookstore going through all the Kid Bibles about 6 months ago. I was specifically picking one out for a 9 year old boy who attends are Wednesday night home church ( PS. He and his Dad both got baptized last night! COOL STUFF is happening!) and the one I liked most was The Adventure Bible for Early Readers, NLrV. I'm kind of a snob when it comes to my Bible Versions and I read a LOT of "easy reader" versions before I decided on the New International Readers Version ( NIrV). It is still a "translation" not an interpretation which is important to me ( and, yes, there IS a difference!) but easy to understand and easy to read. I am sure I will revisit the Bibles again when we get to Ransom's first Bible but I think this was a really good choice!
So, now, I want to hear the great finds that you've come across when looking for good Biblical literature for you kids? And honestly, it doesn't have to be the whole bible, maybe you've got a "Daniel and the Lions Den" that'll rock your socks off! I want to hear about them all!
And now I will leave you with pictures from last night! First Brett got to baptize Tony and then Tony baptized his son, Troy! YAY!!!!!!