If you were to put me in a dark room on a psychoanalyst’s couch and ply me with hypnotic questions about my early childhood, one of my fondest memories would no doubt emerge. Early in my consciousness, I can see my dad sitting on the edge of my bed reading from a picture Bible to me. Some of the primary-colored illustrations are still burned into my brain. The impact that this nightly ritual had on my early years is probably incalculable.
If you wanted to start this kind of tradition with your youngsters, you certainly wouldn’t have to look far to find a picture Bible to use, but I’d like to presume to recommend one that I was recently introduced to in a seminary class, of all places!
It’s The Jesus Storybook Bible from Zonderkidz. It’s different from any other story Bible that I’ve encountered, because it’s written almost like a novel. Every individual story is included for a reason and is told in such a way as to bring out one major plotline: the plot of God’s beautiful redemption of His beloved people. From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, the reader can see Jesus coming. In fact, the claim on the cover is “Every story whispers His name.” Even in stories that don’t immediately make a reader think of Christ, the author shows how God is weaving His story to bring the Redeemer to earth.
Not only is it beautifully written and theologically charged, but it’s also whimsically illustrated with high-quality pictures that are sure to catch children’s eyes.
One of the other excellent features of this resource is that the deluxe edition comes with CDs which feature David Suchet’s deep British brogue narrating the stories. So, even when you don’t personally have time to read to your child, he or she can listen to the stories, perhaps in the car or while playing in their bedroom.
This story Bible is targeted for early elementary, but there is enough depth to it that I think older children would also enjoy it in a family devotions setting…hey, I enjoy it! It’s a great reminder for people of all ages that God is the master storyteller, this is His world, and His story isn’t over yet.
Interested in more options? Pastor Garner recommended several other children’s Bibles in a previous post.