Saturday, June 6, 2009

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs created by Stephen Elkins, illustrations by Tim O'Connor

I’ve seen beaucoup Bible story books over the years. I’ve purchased them for my children, edited them professionally, and now I’m buying them for my grandchildren. This one is simply magnifique! It contains 100 key stories that will provide a good basis of biblical literacy as well as 100 related songs with arrangements that are fresh and toe-tappin’ happy.

Many nice details went into the creation of this book. Its size is perfect for holding with a child in your lap. Its padded cover is squishy and fun to touch.

With the exception of the Wise Men story (which shows the Magi at the stable in Bethlehem rather than a house in Nazareth) the text and illustrations are biblically accurate. It isn’t easy to retell a Bible story in one paragraph and keep it meaningful—not to mention engaging for children, but most stories meet the challenge. Teachers will appreciate that each story includes full references—even multiple ones for each Gospel account.

I like the way certain words are colorfully highlighted to either bring subliminal attention to them or to provide discussion tips for the adult. (For example, in the story of the prodigal son, the following words are highlighted: two, money, hungry, traveled, father, God, forgiving.

The illustrator put a lot of emotion and whimsy into the work that children will appreciate: flabbergasted prophets, worried fishes (is Jesus gonna step on us?), and happy-to-be-found sheep.

The main lesson of each story is synopsized and then followed by a life application challenge: “I will follow Jesus and tell others about Him.”

It would be nice if the stories and songs were all numbered 1 through 100 so that you could follow up any story by going directly to that song, or vice versa. There is a good index, but it would be easier if everything were numbered. Perhaps getting the second CD to display its tracks 51-100 was technically impossible.

I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

1 comment:

  1. another great book review! I will have to check out this book for my grands.