Your Kids Should Read: “The Radical Book For Kids”

radical-book-for-kidsAre your kids interested in the Christian faith? Do they regularly want to discuss what happens at church? Are they starting to ask the big Why Questions of life? If this is your child, I encourage you to get them a copy of The Radical Book For Kids.

Written by Camp Thorton for children between the ages of 8-14, The Radical Book For Kids tackles 67 important issues in the Christian faith in an immensely fun, highly practical, and beautifully theological fashion. Discussions about how to tie cool knots develop into lessons about original sin and salvation. The 253 colorful pages also cover things like “Fun and Games in Bible Times, The Weapons of the Bible, The Passion Week, Women Who Gave Their Lives for Christ, and How to Make Good Decisions.” Each 2-5 page chapter begins in kid friendly way and ends with biblically precise language. Thow-to-grow-as-a-christianhe book does a wonderful job of explaining complicated truths in both a simplistic and yet fully biblical manner. If your kids love to read. They will love this book.

As a grade schooler and junior higher, I would have loved this book. The book allows kids to explore the theological doctrines, practical methodologies, and important stories that have shaped our faith at their own pace. I would have enjoyed being able to slowly skip around this book as I wrestled with questions about my sin nature, the purpose of the church, and why we follow the Bible. And although I was not a particularly great reader as a kid, the illustrations, diagrams, and artwork would have kept me engaged. I highly encourage all parents to grab a copy of this book. Your kids will benefit from it. And I suspect, you may even benefit from it.

Word Of Caution

This book is not a devotional. For example, chapter 16 focuses on the Hebrew Alphabet. It is a great chapter. I think it is great for kids to understand that the Hebrew language is not radical-book-for-kids-2our language and has its own nuances. How about reading from left to right?

But if chapter 16 is your kids, or your family devotion, you will not be encouraged by the Scriptures.

However, that is not the purpose of the book. While many of the sections do call for radical actions based on obedience to the Scriptures, this book is not a devotional. As Thorton wrote in the introduction, “Parents and Teachers may also find it helpful as a supplement for devotions or discussions.” Please do not make it your main discipleship tool.

The book is more a fun theological textbook for children (But please do not think boring when you think textbook). Though I have many adult theology textbooks on my shelf, I do not use them for my devotions. I encourage all to follow the author’s advice. Use the book to make children, “more curious and more thirsty to know God and the good news of his Word.”

radical-book-for-kids-3And when you or your kids are curious to know more about a doctrine, story, or person mentioned in The Radical Book For Kids,  you can grab the books Thorton mentions in his “more to explore” sections.

Overall, book is an amazing resource filled! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I encourage you to get your own copy. Keep discipling your children. Keep teaching your children the Word. Keeping encouraging them to study the Bible on their own. And then hand them a copy of The Radical Book For Kids. Give them this amazing tool that will help them explore their faith even more. And then get ready to have some awesome discussions. Who’s ready to get radical?

Click Here To Purchase Your Copy

It’s All About Jesus: Bible Storybook Review

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?

The Garden- The Curtain And The Cross

Laferton, Carl. The Garden The Curtain and The Cross. The Good Book for Children, Belgium 2016. pp.33. $12.98

Complex. That word well describes the Bible. It is an assortment of 66 books written over thousands of years, in a host of different languages, by a diverse assortment of authors. Tons of books have been written in attempt to explain the Scriptures. But despite all its complex nuances, grammatical structures, historical connections, the Bible is actually a rather simple story. It is the story of the gospel; the story of good news; the story of how sinful men and women can once again have a perfect relationship with God; the story of how Jesus died on the cross to redeem on who believe on him for salvation. In fact, the central story of the Bible is so straight forward, Carl Leafeton can recount it perfectly in his new children’s book, The Garden The Curtain and The Cross.

The Story

As the title suggests, Leafton moves through theme of the Bible by focusing on three important stories. First, he focuses on the Garden of Eden. He describes how God created the world perfectly. Then, he discuss how Adam and Eve brought sin into the world because, “They decided they wanted a world without God in charge.” And because of sin, people can no longer enter into God’s wonderful place. Next, Leafton jumps to the story of the Temple to explain that God is still wonderful and still very separate from sinners. You see, the temple curtain keeps people from entering into God presence. As the author writes, “It is wonderful to live with him, but because of your sin, you can’t come ithe garden and the curtain and the cross 2n.” Thankful, the story does not end with separation. The final phase of the book focuses on the cross. Jesus came to live and to die so that He could open, “God’s wonderful place again!” Because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, those who believe on Jesus can live with God again. Just like Adam and Eve before, those who trust Jesus, “will see God and speak to God and just enjoy being with God.”

What’s To Like

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross conveys the amazing story of the Bible in language and pictures that younger children can easily digest. The pictures are bright, colorfully, and full of movement. It takes more than a glance to see what’s there. And there will not be much down time between pages. The book can be read in about 5 minutes or less. And when the last page is closed, children will have heard that God created the world, that men and women brought evil and sadness into the world by disobeying God, and that Jesus brings us back to God by triumphing over all our bad and sad things on the cross.

And though the book’s is filled with winsome illustrations and kid the garden the curtain the cross 3.jpgfriendly  pros, Laferton upholds the integrity of the scriptures. He keeps his readers from thinking that the story of the Bible is just another children’s story. He clearly states on the first pages of the book that the Bible took place, “right here in this world.” The front cover says that the book contains a “true” story. And, the last page of the book provides the reader with the scripture references from which the story was taken. In short, Laferton has put the story of the Bible into a children’s book without demeaning the life changing power of the Bible. This was quite a feat! Only Kevin DeYoung has done something similar in The Biggest Story. (Both books are worth the read!)

What’s Not To Like

The only downside to Laferton’s book is that is omits the term repentance. Readers are
encouraged to believe on Jesus, but never directly to repent. However, the book does such an excellent job describing sin and the glories of justification (the truth the Jesus pays for all our sins and make us holy) readers cannot help but realize that they must abandon sin to embrace salvation.

Closing Thoughts

Get this book! If you are a parent, grandparent, or Sunday school teacher who works with kids that enjoy picture books, you will want to have the book on your shelf. It recounts the gospel, the whole story of the Bible, in less than five minutes in a way that will engage our kids. Its perfect for family worship times, for bed times, and for story time. My wife and I will be reading this book to our kids! Will you join us?