November 30, 2010

Dear Santa,

We've been trying to get out of W what he wants for Christmas this year. We hoped maybe he'd tell Santa and we could get the scoop from him. Mum's the word! So, we've taken it upon ourselves to decide what to give him. (I guess he thinks it will mean more that way).

Since we know he will be overloaded with toys from all the family members, we decided to get him a Children's Bible. This has proved to be no easy task. We have been talking for awhile about getting him the Jesus Storybook Bible:

It's endorsed by one of our favorite preachers, Tim Keller, so we thought there would be no thinking to it! However, as I was about to checkout at Amazon, I started to peruse the reviews. I know there is always going to be someone with a bad opinion about everything, but there were some pretty legitimate concerns about this book. One person pointed out several inconsistencies this book had with Scripture and warned that the pictures may be too fantastical leading a child to compare it with other story books (and thus concluding it is fantasy, too!)


So, we were redirected to this:

Of course I dived into the reviews on this book, too, and 2 hours later still didn't know what to think! It seems like this provides a more accurate account of Scripture, but the concerns are that it weighs too heavily on God's judgment and not His grace. Whereas the Jesus Storybook Bible highlights God's redemptive plan all throughout the book.

We know that our primary teaching tool for Wilson will be the Bible itself, but we definitely want a supplement that helps to bring it to His level. Any suggestions? What do your children use?


Joshua said...

We have and love both of those. I don't think of them in competition. I think of them as complementary. One focuses on the metanarrative while the other tells many of the individual stories.

Everybody is going to have some gripes, and neither is perfect. But the concerns you listed I think are not accurate and perhaps thinking too deeply over a children's book.

W will enjoy the Big Picture Story Bible long before the Jesus Storybook because the words to illustration ratio is much lower on the Big Picture Bible. So it keeps the little one's attention much better.

Get them both. Use them both. Both will bless you.

The Scott family said...

We have the Jesus Storybook Bible and I like it. I haven't read it all the way through but have noticed some inconsistencies but we watch Veggie Tales and they have them too. We got it for L's first Christmas and have just started reading it with her in the last few months. We get through about 1/2 story in a sitting.

We have one called My Take Along Bible and it's probably better for that age. All the stories are short rhymes. L always seemed to sit longer when we read it to her.

SLHutchens said...

Lib, of course I agree with Josh, but I wanted to add something too. The review that complained about the Big Picture Story Bible being too heavy on God's judgment and not enough about grace is, in my opinion, baloney. If you ask me, kids' books (and adults' books) need more about God judgment because how can someone see their need for God's grace without understanding the judgment that they deserve?

I think the BPSB does a great job of communicating God's righteous judgment of sin in a way that even small children can understand. And the WHOLE BOOK is about Jesus and his coming to redeem the world of sin and how he will finally establish his kingdom... how much more grace can you want than that??

We have read through the BPSB several times now (we started around 6 months old) and it keeps his attention pretty well because the pictures are great and it is not too wordy. We've tried to read the Jesus Storybook Bible but it's just too many words for him still.

Also, I was just flipping through our JSB and I don't personally think the pictures are too fantasy-like. They are very detailed and creative and beautiful, but I think that someone trying to say that a child could confuse it with other story books is a weak argument. Every one of Jude's books has wildly different illustrations... it's not like there is a standard type of illustration for children's fiction books and another type of illustration for non-fiction. He will grow up knowing that the stories in these books are true because you will teach him so in several different ways.

If you can only get one this year, get the BPSB and save the JSB for next Christmas. Like Josh said, you will enjoy them both for different reasons.

Leslie Harwell said...

We love the "Jesus Storybook Bible"!