Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten Christian Books for Children and Families

Board Books:

Rise and Shine. Illustrated by Tim Warnes. (Song is in the public domain.) 2010. February 2010. Board Book. Simon & Schuster. 26 pages. My review. What I said:
If there was an award for adorableness, I would so give it to Rise and Shine! What we have is the traditional song published with oh-so-clever and oh-so-cute illustrations. The details! Oh the details! I love this bear family. I do. I love this bear child. There's just something so joyful, so right about this one. 
All God's Creatures. Karen Hill. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. 2010. Simon & Schuster. 16 pages. My review. What I said:
There are plenty of touch-and-feel books that celebrate animals. You'll find board books on farm animals, and pets--on cats, dogs, and bunnies, especially. What makes this one a little different is the emphasis on God, on creation. 
Picture Books:

Sunday Is For God. By Michael McGowan. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. 2010. January 2010. Random House. 40 pages. My review. What I said:
A sweet story focused on faith and family. A story about making God and family a priority in our lives. Our narrator is a young boy with a big heart. He may not love getting dressed up, wearing clothes that make him uncomfortable, but he does love God. This is a picture book that is rich in detail. I was surprised actually to see just how much detail is incorporated into this one.

Music From Our Lord's Holy Heaven. Gathered and Sung by Gloria Jean Pinkney. Art by Jerry Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, and Myles C. Pinkney. Prelude by Troy Pinkney-Ragsdale. 2005. HarperCollins. 48 pages. My review. What I said:
I loved this one. I just LOVED it. There are three sections in the book, "Adoration," "Spiritual Wayfarers," and "The Good Shepherd." Each section has seven to eight songs. Some of the songs included: "Old-Time Religion," "This Is My Father's World," "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah," "Go Down, Moses," "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder," "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho," "Go Tell It On the Mountain," "Tell Me The Stories of Jesus," "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands," and "This Little Light of Mine."
All Things Bright and Beautiful. Based on Work by Cecil F. Alexander. Illustrated by Ashley Bryan. 2010. January 2010. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages. My review. What I said:
You may be familiar with the words of this new picture book. But Ashley Bryan has provided new illustrations to this familiar song. His illustrations are bright, bold, colorful. Very expressive. I can't promise you that you'll love all the spreads equally, but I think you'll find it an interesting read all the same!
Bible Storybooks:

My First Read-Aloud Bible. Retold by Mary Batchelor & Penny Boshoff. 2010. February 2010. Scholastic. 256 pages. My review. What I said:
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. 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. 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.  
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Deluxe Edition. Sally Lloyd-Jones. 2009. Zonderkidz. 352 pages. My review. What I said:
So what makes this one special? I think what makes this one work--really work--is how Sally Lloyd-Jones has every story whisper His name. Her ability to connect each story with the Big Story, keeps everything in perspective, keeps everything connected and relevant. It also helps that she's a good storyteller! She has a definite way with words! She keeps the stories on a child's level, but yet, the stories are beautifully and compellingly told. 
Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book. Written by Starr Meade. Illustrated by Tim O'Connor. 2010. Crossway. 288 pages. My review. What I said:
What did I like about Mighty Acts of God? I liked the theology. I really liked the complexity of it. Some children's bible books are simple--really simple. And that does serve a purpose. I think with really young ones especially. This book offers a more challenging--and yes in some ways more biblical--approach to the concept of a bible story book. It doesn't stay away from doctrine, from theology, from defining faith essentials. It has a way of making you think--which in my opinion is a good thing. It is much more than a story. 
Novel for Children:

The Road to Paris. Nikki Grimes. 2006. Penguin. 160 pages. My review. What I said:
I loved this one. I just LOVED it. It's one of those oh-so-magical books for me. Proof that an author can weave faith into fiction. 
Devotional for Families:

God's Mighty Acts in Salvation. Starr Meade. 2010. August 2010. Crossway. 87 pages. My review. What I said:
Looking for a book of family devotions? You should definitely consider Starr Meade's God's Mighty Acts in Salvation. It's designed for use with children--aged 8 to 12. Forty messages that provide deeper insights (though still incredibly kid-friendly) into the book of Galatians. Why Galatians? Well it's an important letter that is all about getting the gospel right. It focuses on what the true gospel is, gives warnings about listening to false gospels, and highlights the fruit of the Spirit. I loved this book. I loved the subject, the focus. Loved hearing these kid-friendly definitions of grace, love, and justification. Loved the depth of it.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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