The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and Animated DVD Vol. 1 is my newest children’s Bible review. I have seen this Bible advertised on some major “mom blogs” and was anxious to give it a look over myself.
With 21 Old Testament stories and 23 New Testament stories, this Bible covers both well-known as well as lesser known Bible stories – Creation, David and Goliath, Jesus Walks on Water along with Naaman, Washing Jesus’ Feet with Her Hair, John the Baptist. As the title implies, every story points back to Jesus.
The Animated DVD Vol.1 is narrated by British actor David Suchet and contains the first 11 stories from the Old Testament. (You may recognize Suchet voice as he was the voice of Aslan in Focus on the Family‘s Radio Theater version of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.) The animation consists of panning in and out of the illustrations of the Storybook Bible.
Unfortunately, I can not add this Bible to my list of suggested children’s Bibles. The word “storybook” in the title is very accurate while the word “Bible” should be taken loosely. While each of these are Bible stories, many additions have been made. Things were added that may have occurred but the Bible does not say actually happened. While the assumptions add to the story telling, they take away from the credibility.
Here are some examples:
Prodigal Son – The son says, “Dad, I’m better off without you.”
Wise Men – The “three” wise men “rode their camels…across endless deserts…up steep, steep mountains, down into deep, deep valleys…through raging rivers…over grassy plains.”
A few points in this children’s Bible vary from scripture. The title of the story of the 10 Commandments is “Ten Ways to be Perfect.” No one but God is perfect, nor can they be perfect by following these rules. In the Daniel and the Lions Den, the story claims Daniel “went to his room, closed the door, and prayed.” The Bible says nothing about a door. It states that he went to his “upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem.”
This Bible is said to be geared toward ages 4 and up. Yet in the Christmas story is the sentence, “So he pulled out all the stops.” Tough one for little kids.
The tone of this Bible is very light hearted. The author interjects humor by adding thoughts in parenthesis. While the Bible does have some very funny stories, I question the overall tone of the Bible as humor. On the other side, I love how this Bible points every story to Jesus. While I found some of the comparisons to be tough for little ones to understand, some were new thoughts for me.
The book switches from the writing being horizontal to vertical on the pages periodically. A little annoying but my kids thought it was cool. The illustrations support the stories. I was surprised to see a skull pictured beside a buried treasure in one story though.
As for the DVD, it lost my kiddos interest. The reading is powerful but tends to be slow as the pages panned in and out.
Understand that this review flies in the face of many who are blessed by this Bible. Sally Lloyd-Jones is a very talented and entertaining writer. I just struggle with a children’s Bible being filled with so many additional thoughts. But, if you are looking for a storybook about Bible stories, this one would be a great choice.