Every mom knows young children can be very curious and inquisitive about things, and God and the Bible are no exception. Recently my son has asked many random questions about where people and animals came from, who took care of the first babies, good and evil, who created God, and many other questions that have caught me off guard. They are amazing questions, and any parent will agree that kids present some of the best questions that sometimes even leave adults scratching their heads. It is often difficult to find age appropriate Bibles for young children. However, I was provided with a Read with Me Bible Deluxe Edition, NIrV with two audio CDs published by Zonderkidz for review with my son that allowed me to discuss as little or as much with him as I felt was appropriate for his level of understanding.
Read with Me Bible Deluxe Edition Review
As the title suggests, the Read with Me Bible Deluxe Edition, NIrV is best read along with your child. This very popular, hardbound Bible storybook comes in a case with two audio CD’s. It offers an easily referenced, shorter, simplified collection of 105 of the most favorite Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments that allows for open conversations between parent and child at the child’s personal level of comprehension.
Since each child’s ability to grasp different abstract concepts develops at a different pace, a parent is able to gauge what is appropriate to share with their child at the time of each reading when the child is ready. Each time a parent reads these abbreviated versions of Bible stories can be a new experience for the child and parent because the dialogue that takes place as a result of reading each story will be a unique bonding experience based on where the conversation leads. Opening lines of communication about morals and values at an early age can set the foundation to having those same relationships as they grow older.
Fantastic Illustrations Make the Bible Reachable to Children
In a time when children have such instant gratifications, it is often hard for them to relate to the characters in the Bible.
Why didn’t Moses just hop on an airplane with all his people?
Why on Earth would it take 40 days to cross a dessert?
Why didn’t they just run to the grocery store if they were hungry and thirsty?
These full-color, whimsical illustrations by Dennis Jones draw children into the story with comical facial expressions of the characters and animals. They help to paint a picture of a different time for young readers. Placing faces with the names, makes the stories more real, identifiable, and hence far more memorable.
Geared at children ages 4-7, children will easily recall the illustrations that help to make the stories of the Bible more meaningful to them and facilitate learning in a way they will retain. Attention to details within the artwork also helps encourage more conversation between parent and child offering opportunities to expand upon the bible stories as children process the stories and develop more questions. Personally, I loved the bonding time and being able to discuss these topics with my son while having these images to accompany our discussion. We even role played scenes together like Pharaoh pouting about the frogs in his bed. I know that this helped to create a memory that will help my son remember the story.
Accompanying CD’s Reinforce the Bible Stories
The Read with Me Bible Deluxe Edition, NIrV includes two audio CD’s with 105 separate narration tracks corresponding to the Read with Me Bible stories. The stories vary from approx 40 seconds to over 3 minutes. The protective sleeve has an easy to use index that allows your child to skip to their favorite stories if they wish allowing them to listen to the Bible stories again and again after you have discussed them. Not only do the CD’s encourage children to read along, but they will also reinforce your discussions.
My son listened to his while picking up toys in his room. When I went in to check on him, I saw that he had gotten out his Noah’s Ark set to play. I love that the CD’s allowed for him to role play his own version of the story which was surely aided by the illustrations he had scene while we read the stories together. At bed time, the CD’s enabled him to look at the pictures while the stories were read to him. The CD’s would also be great for listening in the car especially during long rides.
Read With Me Bible is an Abbreviated Version of the Bible
A word of caution to those looking for a sugar coated version of the Bible for children, while this book has abbreviated the most well known stories of the Bible, it still retains the key concepts that speak of good and evil, death and dying, and other elements some may feel uncomfortable discussing. Be prepared that the stories in the book, in my opinion, serve as great conversation starters covering the basics using kid friendly illustrations and leaving the door wide open for great dialogue opportunities between you and your child about God and the stories written in the Bible. I would not recommend sitting your child down to read it this book without having first discussed these stories or read through the book together. This will allow for appropriate clarification on the part of the parent as questions on certain to develop from your youngster.
Zondervan Offers Many Other Great Books
Be sure to check out the Zondervan website for other quality books for both yourself and readers of all ages in your family. From Bibles geared towards specific readers to inspirational stories and fiction, they offer numerous Christian communications that promote biblical principles.
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This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Zondervan who supplied the products for review and giveaway.