Children’s Bible Recommendations

Many Christian parents and grandparents want to share the truths of Scripture with their kids and grandkids.  But opening up an ESV,  KJV, NASB, NIV, or NKJ translation won’t get you very far with a four-year-old.  You need something age-appropriate that accurately communicates the content of Scripture,  that’s illustrated well, and that doesn’t ask too much or expect too little of kids.

There are many good children’s Bibles on the market.  Each has its own strengths.  Some take a brief look at great number of events.  Others take a more concentrated look at a smaller number of events.  Some emphasize particular biblical themes, while others are more application-oriented.  As you consider which Bible is best for your child, I would encourage you to answer a few questions.

  1. How long is your child’s attention span?  Does he need the content per page/picture to be brief, or can he handle longer sections of narrative?
  2. How important are picture illustrations to your child’s understanding?
  3. What’s the goal for this Bible?  Is it more important to teach your child Bible content or theological depth at this time?

While I don’t want to minimize the importance of selecting a good children’s Bible for your child, I would urge you not to place undue significance on the decision.  View the purchase of a children’s Bible as part of the ongoing process of your child’s spiritual training.  Because each children’s Bible is written with a  particular goal in mind, and because each child is different, you won’t find a Bible that perfectly relates all you might want your child to learn from the Scriptures.

A children’s Bible that is heavy on content and illustrations but light on theological depth might be the perfect thing for your toddler, but your six-year-old might need something that stretches her spiritual thinking a bit more.  You should be constantly evaluating your child’s level of spiritual need and continually adjusting your approach to respond with the most appropriate tools.

With that said, here are some of my children’s Bible recommendations:

Read-and-Share-Bible Read and Share Bible
Author:  Gwen Ellis
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Length:  440 pages
If read by an adult:  Appropriate for ages 0-3
If read by a child:  Appropriate for ages 4-6
Buy on Amazon

This Bible contains 200 biblical stories.  Language is simple, but provides a reasonable amount of content per page.  Illustrations are colorful and well done.

the big picture story bible The Big Picture Story Bible
Author:  David Helm
Publisher:  Crossway Books
Length:  456 pages
If read by an adult:  Appropriate for ages 0-3
If read by a child:  Appropriate for ages 4-6
Buy on Amazon

This Bible contains fewer stories than the Read and Share Bible.  Instead, it focuses on helping kids understand the full story of redemption as it is woven throughout Scripture.  Content per page is limited, and stories often span multiple colorfully illustrated pages.

day-by-day-bible Day-by-Day Begin-to-Read Bible
Author:  Karyn Henley
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Length:  448 pages
If read by an adult:  Appropriate for ages 0-3
If read by a child:  Appropriate for ages 4-6
Buy on Amazon

This Bible covers a significant amount of scriptural ground.  Language and concepts are simple and accompanied by whimsical illustrations.  Content is organized in chronological order.  By reading one story per day, kids can complete the Bible in a year.

JSB The Jesus Storybook Bible
Author:  Sally Lloyd-Jones
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
Length:  352 pages
If read by an adult:  Appropriate for ages 4-6
If read by a child:  Appropriate for ages 6-9
Buy on Amazon

This Bible doesn’t provide the reader with a lot of scriptural content.  Instead, it highlights the major events of the Old and New Testaments while emphasizing the place of Christ throughout the Scriptures.  Illustrations may not appeal to all children, but the content helps children gain a full picture of God’s redemptive plan.

Adventure Bible  for Early Readers The Adventure Bible for Early Readers
Editor:  Lawrence O. Richards
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
Length:  1536 pages
Appropriate for:  Ages 6-9
Buy on Amazon

This beginning-reader’s version of the NIV is great for kids moving from picture Bibles with less content to an actual copy of the Scriptures.  In many passages, wording is identical to that of the NIV.  However, larger words are simplified to help young readers navigate their way through God’s Word.  Illustrations are limited, but there are helpful breakout features located throughout this Bible that provide kids with more information about the passages they’re reading.  This is a great Bible for kids to begin bringing to church with them.

Adventure Bible The Adventure Bible
Editor:  Lawrence O. Richards
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
Length:  1472
Appropriate for:  Ages 9-12 and up
Buy on Amazon

This is the NIV accompanied by breakout features designed to help pre-teens think more critically about the Scriptures.  Maps and illustrations provide kids with deeper insights into the geography, cultures, and practices that shaped the lives of those who lived during Bible-times.  Application suggestions encourage kids to think about the ways in which the Scriptures ought to impact their own lives.

What Do You Recommend?
My list is by no means exhaustive.  I’m sure there are many other good Bibles for kids available.  Are you familiar with a children’s Bible that you would recommend?

Trey Garner
Trey Garner is the Pastor of Children's Ministries at Faith Church. He has been married to his wife Deb since 2001. They have two children named Noah and Lauren. Originally from Texas, Trey appreciates barnwood, armadillos, and Blue Bell Ice Cream.