About a month ago, my aunt, Lesa, sent me an e-mail letting me know about a Bible that her granddaughter, Evie, has. She thought I might be interested for myself, or for the church. I looked at the Amazon link she sent along, but didn't take a lot of time doing so because I was preoccupied with other things at the moment, but thought to myself, no children's story book Bible can beat the classic I already have. (I'll show that to you on another day.) So, I put it on a list of things to take a closer look at later, thinking that I could take a look at Evie's copy in person and then I'd actually be able to sit and read a segment of it and see how well I liked it.
Well, I didn't get the chance to do that before Eliana's birthday party rolled around. But what a wonderful surprise, Lesa (and my uncle, Jim) bought the Bible for her and it's better than I had dreamed!
The title, The Jesus Storybook Bible, doesn't make it stand out from the slew of other Bible picture books on the market. But the subtitle, Every Story Whispers His Name, hints at the wonderful goodness that lies within. You see, it takes Bible stories that don't mention the name of Jesus and shows in a simple way how the promise of Jesus and God's loving plan of redemption is hinted at in those wonderful Old Testament stories. (Which I think is awesome because for as long as I've been a believer, I'm only now beginning to realize all the times, God used people's lives to weave an intricate tapestry of his plan for salvation -and even now is using us in the same way.)
The author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, apparently goes to Evie's other grandmother's church in NYC. And her Grandmother Bergquist was so impressed with it, she purchased it for Evie. Evie and her mom, Emily, had been reading it everyday for her Bible time. The illustrator, Jago, does a beautiful job. Typically I am not one for cartoon-esque illustrations. Especially in a Bible. But these are so bright and colorful, and I love the noses. And can I just say: Thank you, Jago, for not making white bible characters! (It's disturbing that most illustrators still haven't understood the fact that Jesus had African ancestors and therefore, was most likely not a blond, blue-eyed baby, as cute as that might be.)
Look at these illustrations:
This story talks about the Lord's Prayer and how we should think of God as our Daddy.
This one shows how Jonah's 3 days in utter darkness, foreshadow another Messenger's 3 days in darkness. And how the coming Messenger would actually be the Message (or Word) Himself.
This is the beginning of the Passover story. I just love Lloyd-Jones words here, so I'll share them with you:
"But an even Greater Rescue was coming.
Many years later, God was going to do it again. He was going to come down once more to rescue his people. But this time God was going to set them free forever and ever."
And this picture of John the Revelator is a cool ending to the book, because it tells kids that the end of the Bible really isn't the end. That they are a part of God's story too. Isn't that cool?
Now, before I go, I should let you know a couple of things.
First, this Bible is intended for ages 4-7. Diego (who is 3 and loves reading) will listen intently. I think if I was willing, he would sit through the entire 351 pages in one sitting. They are broken up into smaller stories which take between 5-10 minutes to read. Eliana, depending on the day, may sit through one story before she's done. (But she's still not into reading as much as I'd like her to be... she has much more important things to do, like carry her dolls back and forth.) So, although, I think it works (for the most part) for younger ones, you may want to keep your child's personality in account when considering if this is the first Bible for you. (I'll share my other favorite children's Bible with you on another day... the stories there are much shorter.)
Second, I'm going to do my first giveway. (I'm excited about this, but since I'm new to this whole blogging thing and giveaways, I'm restricting it to people living inside the United States. Sorry.) If you would like a chance to win The Jesus Storybook Bible there are 3 ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment, telling me what your favorite Bible story was when you were a child.
2. Blog about the give away (and leave a comment here with your link).
3. Share the link to this giveaway with your facebook friends and leave a comment telling me that you did so. (We're going to use the honor code with this one.)
So, that gives you up to 3 entries! Entries will be received until midnight March 17, 2010 Central Time. A winner will be chosen randomly sometime on Thursday, March 18 and I will announce the winner then! Good Luck!