Mom or grandma, Sunday school teacher or children’s ministry leader, I know you care about influencing children and preteens toward faith. Good Christian books can be an invaluable tool.
So to help you find them, I’ve returned to reviewing and recommending books I believe are most worthy of a place on your child’s bookshelf.
In addition, from time to time I’ll also let you know about valuable parenting resources, especially those that can help you point children to Jesus and disciple them as His followers.
If you’re signed up for my author newsletter, Paper Airplane, you’ll receive an email alert whenever a new review is posted (2-3 times per month). I’ll also include links to each month’s reviews when the monthly issue of the newsletter goes out.
If you’re not already a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up here.
To start the new year off right, this month I’m focusing on Bible stories and helping children understand the gospel. This week, it’s The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible.
I discovered The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible on a retailer’s bookshelf recently. The bottom shelf, actually. But the cover made me reach out for the book, and the tagline made me open it.
The dark-skinned people on the cover (and throughout the book) aim to bring a sense of realism to these Bible stories, which I am always glad to see rather than representing Bible people as Caucasians.
And the tagline? “The incredible story of who God is, who you are, and who you were meant to be.”
(If you’ve read any of my own books, you know I’m all about reading the Bible to get to know God!)
The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible is what it says it is.
It presents the story of the Bible as one continuous story told in 15 Old Testament and 18 New Testament stories (they function just like chapters).
It focuses on God’s heart and actions from creation through the exodus, bringing the Israelites into the promised land, warning the kings and people of Israel to remain true to him, and through the captivity in Babylon.
It presents all the people of the world as greatly loved by God, and the purpose for our lives as loving God and everyone else.
It presents Jesus as God’s Son, the special king God had promised to send to teach and heal and show God’s love to everyone, and His death as part of God’s plan to make things right again.
As a whole the book presents an engaging and age-appropriate introduction to the story of God’s love and his redemption plan for ages 3–5. Children 6 or 7 who have learned to read will enjoy how much of the book they can read on their own. Older brothers and sisters may find themselves drawn in to listen too as mom or dad reads the stories aloud to younger siblings.
The story texts read as if the stories are being told aloud, and the illustrations fit and amplify the story details. Children will like them, and despite the cartoon style of the artwork, adults may be drawn into the illustrations too.
The book repeatedly calls all human beings God’s children, a term the New Testament reserves for those who have placed their faith in Jesus. And some parents not familiar with the Bible might have liked Scripture references for the stories if they had been provided.
But The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible IS a starting place, after all, and I think it’s a good one.
About These Reviews and Recommendations
My career as a children’s book editor, acquisitions editor, and editorial director greatly influences my response to books. I have seen a LOT of manuscripts and books. I have high standards for text, illustration, book design, and the purpose of a book. (This is a nice way of saying I am slightly jaded and quite particular.)
I understand too that parents, grandparents, and others who buy books want and need good value in the books you choose. Your book budget is not unlimited.
I’m not writing these reviews as hype or promotion for fellow author’s books. I do care about helping authors—after all, I am one. I understand the effort authors pour into every book and the hopes they have for each one. The books I recommend, however, I’m choosing because of the merit I see in the book, no other reason.
I want to point you to the best books more than I want to point out books I don’t like, so I won’t be writing negative reviews. If I can’t support a book, I just won’t write about it. At times, however, I may note details or features I would have changed in a book I otherwise recommend. This is to help you make your own decisions about what books are right for your family.