its-all-about-jesusBeing a parent, I know the following to be true: It’s always a blessing to find kids’ books that help us faithfully teach the Bible. But the search for such finds is not always easy. Often faith based books are so stuffed with round, pink, and purple animals that the Bible appears to be on odd Fairy tale that mentions things like say the destruction of the world. On the flip side, other resources can be so rigid that they reach our kids’ ears with all the familiarity of Shakespearean English. Finding books that both honor the authority and the power of the Scriptures and that connect with our kids’ senses has proven to be difficult task for many publishers and parents. Thankfully, LifeWay via B&H Publishing is truly beginning to master this magical art. And, LifeWay’s newest Children’s Bible, It’s All About Jesus: Bible Storybook, is a truly one such great find! I would encourage families with young children to grab a copy of this book.

Here’s why:

What is It:

its-all-about-jesus-1This wonderful new kids’ Bible consists of 100 chronological stories (50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament) that seek to help our children understand the scope and sequence of the Bible.  Each story is three pages long. The first page lists the Bible story’s title, its location in the Bible and a picture. The stories also have a Christ Connection Circle that shows how the story connects to the greater gospel narrative. For example, when discussing the story of Esther, the Christ Connection points out that the queen’s rescues the Jews from death in the same manner that “God raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all.” And each story is adorned with a question circle that relates the story back to our kids by asking them things like the following: “What home has Jesus promised to those who trust Him; Jesus’ family reminds us of God’s faithfulness. How has God been faithful to you;” and “What are some ways people try to be right with God apart from Jesus?” The stories combined with their colorful presentation and the helpful circles, create a wonderful resource that both proclaims the gospel through the narrative of the Scriptures and that connects with kids’ visual senses. The book truly deserves to be linked to the long line of The Gospel Project for Kids products from which it was born.

What To Like:

its-all-about-jesus-2The book has great content. The stories in the book are almost direct copies of The Gospel Project For Kids’curriculum minus the craft and game ideas. As a result, you know that the message of each story is closely tied to Scripture. Interpretive remarks are kept at a minimum and Bible citations are frequent! And if you have questions about the story, you can look up the references listed at the top of the page.

By buying this book, you secure access to several years’ worth of Sunday school content. You can integrate this into your kids’ ministry and/or your homeschooling curriculum. Or you could simply read the book to your kids at night to reinforce what they are learning at church. Moreover, the Christ Connections and the question circles help you to further engage your kids with the Bible. Because of the content alone, this children’s Bible should be considered by all parents.

But thankfully the content does not stand alone on dull, empty pages. The children’s Bible is colorfully designed. Every page contains some bright and engaging art work consisting of a picture, a Christ Connection Circle, or a thumbnail of a story’s larger picture. Every page provides young readers with several things to look at as their parents handle discuss the story. This Bible is designed to help capture those every wandering little eyes so that its message can go forward.

What Not to Like:

Overall, this book is hands down one of the best Children’s Bible in print. The book’s only failings come in relation to its big brother, The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Book. The Big Picture Interactive Story Bookfirst Big Picture Bible has many more stories. It tackles things like the Psalms and the books of Hosea and Obadiah. The Big Picture Interactive Bible was the first kids’ Bible that actually tried to touch on all 66 books of the Bible. But because the It’s All about Jesus Bible Storybook covers only 100 stories, it cannot cover the Bible in the same detail as its predecessor. A few stories had to be scrubbed out such as Amos, Habakkuk, and some others (mostly Old Testament Stories).

I presume that much  of this switch is due to the fact the LifeWay restructured their second cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids curriculum so that 1.5 years is spent in the Old Testament and 1.5 years is spent in the New Testament. For what it’s worthy (and it’s not much), I preferred having the curriculum reflect the Bible by spending more time in the Old Testament than the New Testament. (Obviously, I lost that debate.) And now it’s time to move on.

Although its content is slightly diminished, this new Children’s Bible is still by far one of the most comprehensive kids’ Bibles out there, touching on David’s sin with Bathsheba, some of the minor prophets, the Parable of the Tenants, Paul’s Ministry, and much much more.

Moreover, this book’s new illustrations, the larger format of the book, and its more kid friendly layout make it much easier to use with younger kids than its predecessor. It truly is improvement over its big brother.

Closing Thoughts:

This is a great children’s Bible. If your church is using The Gospel Project For Kids, you will want to have this book at home. With it on your shelf, you will be ready to review what your kids learn at church and discuss the Scriptures with them in a meaningful way. And even if your church doesn’t use the Gospel Project, you will still want to grab a copy of this children’s Bible. It is the best mix, of Scripture and kid friendly illustrations to date. Thus I think it’s fair to say that this may be the  number one Children’s Bible currently available!

Are you ready to get one?

What Children’s Bibles Do You Prefer?

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