by David Helm
illustrations by Gail Schoonmaker
Crossways Books, 2004
We have a child raising challenge in our house- while our children are both very smart, they are slower than average in the area of communication. But like all parents who take the spiritual development of their children seriously, we want them to start learning their Bible. We were puzzled how to begin...until our daughter started to read, and Grandma found this book!
First, the illustrations are beautifully done. Brightly colored, interesting use of perspective to fit story and emotionally expressive, the illustrations alone provide a lot to talk about.
The adaptation of the Bible story is extremely well done too. Although many details and even whole stories are left out, there is just the right amount of text on each page for beginning readers to be drawn into reading themselves. The author has done a great job selecting stories and details to highlight (and sometimes interpret) the big themes of the entire Bible. God made people in His image to rule creation in loving ways, but Adam and Eve chose to "not let God be king over them"...and so it went. God's plan to redeem and restore His people is highlighted in each story, and the purpose God has for us is made clear through the repetition of themes of obedience, leadership, and the fulfillment of God's gracious plan.
The drawback to this book is it's size. It's approximately 9 by 9 inches and over an inch thick. My daughter is carrying it everywhere and it's awkward, for example, trotting through the airport with it tucked under her arm or dangling it from the handy ribbon bookmark. But if your child is willing to just read it, that might not be a problem.
We'll be using this one for awhile...and I'm enjoying sharing important truths with my child at a level she can understand.