I always feel bad for those who enter into the arena of writing a Children’s Story Bible because they are immediately held up to the Jesus Storybook Bible. At least, that’s what I always compare it to. When I look at Story Bibles for my children, I have a few things I consider. First of all, is it biblical. Does it stay true to what the Bible teaches? Second of all, is it Jesus centered. I don’t want something that focuses on my children. I want it to show them our lives are about Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. Does it teach them who Jesus is? Lastly, what do my children think? I want to know if they are engaged with the book enough for it to become a family favorite. Needless to say, I’m a touch critic when it comes to Story Bibles.
One of the big reasons I chose this book is because the author is the Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church-Midtown in Louisville, KY. I respect that church a lot and know it is a very biblical church. For that reason, I knew this book was worth reading.
This is the perfect Story Bible for my 2 year old! It is exactly what the title says….Beginner. But just because it’s a beginner Bible, doesn’t mean that it strays from biblical teaching. There are lots of big, bright beautiful drawings that really capture the children’s eyes. One thing that I noticed that was different from many other Story Bibles is that it does labels. For example, on a pair of glasses, it has full written under one and empty under another. On a different page, a tent is labeled left and the other tent on the opposite page is labeled right. The tent in the middle is labeled inside and outside. I loved that tiny detail that at first I thought was odd.
The font in the story is also a variety of sizes and colors. The thing I most love is that the question for the lesson is written in a full color cloud or circle or some kind of design that makes it stand out. Then the answer is written in a color and in bigger font. For example, one question is “How did Jesus feel about the tax collector?” The answer is “Jesus was happy. Jesus loved the tax collector. Jesus loves to rescue sinners like you and me.”
I wish you could see the inside pages to this book. They are very well-down and are definitely what I’m looking for to use with my own children. There are 52 stories that span Genesis to Revelation, each with a question that can encourage a great family discussion, especially with slightly older kids, like 5-6 year olds.
The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible(New Growth Press, November 2017)
How do you explain the gospel to toddlers and preschoolers?
Often adults are stumped, but Jared Kennedy’s focus on the promises of God makes the gospel come alive to the littlest hearts. Through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Biblehighlights God’s perfect promises. Every page pops with bright colors, playful illustrations, fun learning opportunities, and, best of all each story points children to Jesus.
Kids know the value of a promise. Through the gospel, our good and all-powerful God keeps his word and fulfills his promises to us better than we could have ever thought or imagined!
In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, author Jared Kennedy traces God’s perfect promises through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, retold in simple and compelling ways with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. Each gospel-centered story highlights God’s tale of redemption through Jesus and the unexpected and surprising ways that God’s grace and mercy are revealed throughout the Bible. Children will hear the good news of God’s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts. Brightly colored illustrations highlight the stories and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep even the youngest child’s attention. Every story also ends with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the message.
Through reading this book one chapter at a time to your children—or letting them read it to you!—even the youngest kids will come to know that God’s promises are especially for them, and that God always keeps his promises.
Jared Kennedy, MDiv, ThM, is the husband to Megan and the father of three girls—Rachael, Lucy, and Elisabeth. He serves as Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church—Midtown in Louisville, KY and as children’s ministry strategist for Sojourn Network. He blogs regularly at gospelcenteredfamily.com and is also the coauthor of “Leadership Mosaic” and two VBS programs, “Proof Pirates” and “Clap Your Hands,” “Stomp Your Feet.”
I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group and New Growth Press in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.