Saturday, April 3, 2010

Book Review: My First Read-Aloud Bible

My First Read-Aloud Bible. Retold by Mary Batchelor & Penny Boshoff. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 256 pages.
Making Our World

Long ago, when God
began to make
everything, the earth
was dark and empty.

God said, "Earth needs light."
And light appeared. God
made the sun to shine by
day and the moon and stars
to light the night.

God was pleased with what he had done.
What did I think of this one? I really liked it. While it doesn't have every story in it, it has a good variety of stories. By reading this book cover-to-cover, you get a good idea as to what the Bible is all about. You can see how the stories are interconnected. You can see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Not perfectly, mind you. In particular, I found the gap between Moses sending the twelve spies and Joshua's leadership a bit jarring. No mention of the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years because of their unbelief, because of their inability to take God at his Word. And there's no Golden Calf either. The Israelites aren't quite presented as they are in the Bible: complaining, mumbling, disbelieving, disobeying, prone to bickering.

But. For the most part. I really liked this one. I found it age-appropriate. The stories are presented simply.

Here are how the Ten Commandments are presented:
God said to Moses, "These rules will help my people every day: Put me first and love me best. Don't worship anyone but me. Don't use my name carelessly. Keep one day each week as a resting day with me. Obey your father and mother. Don't hurt others. Keep love between a husband and wife special. Don't take what isn't yours. Don't tell lies about other people. Don't be jealous of other people and want what they have." (54-55)
And here is the Lord's Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may everyone know and love you. Come and be our King. Give us today the food we need. Forgive the bad things we do. Help us to forgive others too. When we want to do something bad, help us choose to do good instead. (187)
Each story is on a two-page spread. With colorful illustrations. Some stories are more interconnected than others. For example, David has five stories.

I thought they did a great job in choosing what to include. There were some stories that I was surprised but quite happy to see represented! I expected to see some of the usual stories--Daniel in the Lion's Den, Jonah, David and Goliath, Noah, etc. But I wasn't expecting to see stories about Elijah, Elisha, Joash, Jeremiah, Ezra and Nehemiah. Some of these are among my favorites. Of course, I would have appreciated even more. Like a Hezekiah story would have been awesome. But. I'm still pleased with what it did contain.

I also loved how they covered the New Testament. I loved how they included so many stories from the book of Acts. How they showed that God kept working in people's lives--in believers' lives--after Christ ascended. I also loved the balance of stories from the gospels. How they included stories covering Jesus' teachings, his miracles, his parables, and, of course, his life story.

Definitely recommended if you have little ones!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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