A friend wrote this weekend with stories about her grandkids and their love for their story Bibles.
Whenever she’s visiting at night, my friend wrote, she takes part in the nightly bedtime story routine of her three young grandsons. Sometimes she listens in, usually she does the reading.
“Their routine is to read one secular book and then from Rumble! Zap! Pow!” she wrote. “The kids know all the stories, and I love that.”
Valentine treat bags for her granddaughters included Bible action figures of David and Moses my friend had found at Dollar Tree.
“The oldest got Moses,” my friend’s email continued. “She ran upstairs to get her Sweetest Story Bible, opened it to the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments, and read it aloud (she knew right where it was), with character voice inflections and all.”
This young girl keeps her Bible storybook by her bed and reads it at night when she has trouble falling asleep.
Rumble! Zap! Pow! and The Sweetest Story Bible are books I wrote, but that’s not what makes these simple stories precious and important. Instead, they represent
- a grandmother who gives her grandchildren books that communicate God’s Word,
- believing parents who value teaching their children to have faith in God,
- children who are hearing the Scriptures that are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Yes, these children love their story Bibles. More important, they’re learning to know and love the One all the stories are about—and to know that He loves them!
Do you need help choosing the right Bible storybook for a child? Here are five tips:
1. Match the format to your child’s age and interest. Babies and toddlers enjoy board books
because they can turn the pages themselves. Books with long stories and more text than
illustration are best for older children. Most Bible storybooks for preschoolers and beginning
readers fall somewhere in between. Consider illustration too. Most children respond well to bright colors and a range of contemporary art styles—but contemporary doesn’t have to mean inaccurate. Older children can appreciate more realistic portrayals of Bible times.
2. Look at the Contents page. Are both Old and New Testament stories well represented? Do
the stories present the overall story arc of the whole Bible?
3. Read a story or two aloud. Does the writing flow well, with interesting rhythms? Is the
writing style appropriate for your child’s age and attention span? You’ll be reading from this
Bible storybook often. The experience should be a pleasant one for your child and for you too.
Do you want a straightforward retelling of the stories or a freer style with more
embellishments? Both exist and both can be done with excellence.
4. Check out how the author handles hard topics, such as the devastation of the flood, the destruction of Jericho, or Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion. The Bible addresses some realities beyond the understanding of young children. Choose a Bible storybook that presents truths in
5. Choose the right “hook” for your child or your family. Some Bible storybooks feature activity ideas or talking points to go along with each story—especially helpful to busy parents and parents unfamiliar with the Bible. New or beginning readers might want stories they can read with little or no help.Sometimes the hook might be application, or “life lessons.” But be careful! When Bible stories become stories about how to behave, children often determine that good behavior is the way to find acceptance with God, or decide that God couldn’t really love them because they aren’t good enough.
Would you like a printout of these tips? Download the free PDF “How to Choose a Bible Storybook.“