“The Bible is not a fairy tale. Every great story happened once upon a time.” from the NIrV Once Upon a Time Holy Bible and Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible
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I sat the group of students I have in my skill time group on the carpet. “I received a box in the mail yesterday and I want to show you what special things were inside,” I told them. Their little faces eagerly awaited the surprise. “Now, I know I can trust you to be careful with the pages and not tear them because you guys are big kids. You are going to love the pictures in the books and I bet you will know who many of the people are.”
“Wow! That’s David and that is Goliath. Who is that? Why is that baby in the river?” were just a few of the exciting comments from my students. “This is so pretty. That’s the girl from the cover. It’s the same one.”
I allowed them plenty of time to go through the books, making a mental note of some of the pages they made the most remarks about so I could read one of the stories aloud later during our “Jesus Time” or Christian Education segment of the day.
In addition to my role as preschool teacher in a Catholic school, I am first and foremost a wife, mother, aunt and grandparent. I am blessed with many children in my life! Our daughter is now a mother herself and yet I can still recall those treasured memories of reading the Baby Bible with her and then more advanced versions as she got older. I will hold those memories in my heart forever.
Even now, I am constantly reading children’s books. I peruse a book, even familiar ones, prior to reading them to my class. Books are given as gifts for almost all holidays and birthdays and so I carefully examine each one, considering the age, reading level and interest of the child I am buying for.
What I loved about both of these books are the simple stories. You could easily read these to preschool children as well as those in elementary school. The stories are just the right length (all are only 4 pages long) and get to the heart of each story in such an effective, entertaining manner.
Each story in the Storybook Bible ends with a regal Happily Ever After text box that captures the moral of the story in as few words as possible and providing the Bible verse reference. For example, The Battle of Jericho ends with: Happily Ever After, Thanks to God, Joshua was able to do the impossible. Nothing, not even a huge wall made of stone is too big for God to handle. Joshua 1-6.
The Once Upon a Time Holy Bible is a New International Reader’s Version and highlights 6 great stories of the Bible in full-color pages. Just as in the Storybook Bible, each story is only 4 pages long and contain beautiful illustrations.
My only criticism of these titles are the illustrations of the women. The illustrations are very beautiful and seem Disney-like, however other than a costume change, the faces of the women are far too similar which confused the children and myself. I would like Mary to look different than Rebekah and Esther. This won’t prevent me from purchasing the books for my nieces as an Easter gift however. These books are meant to be enjoyed with a loving adult, who can provide the story and context of the illustrations. In time, the child will be able to recall who the characters are. The most important thing will occur: a book will be enjoyed with an adult that loves them and the adult will have an opportunity to teach them that the real heroes and stories of our faith come straight from God’s Word. What could be better than that?
The Once Upon a Time Holy Bible is available where books are sold. The Storybook Bible is available at Sam’s Club or wherever books are sold.
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