Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tell Me the Old, Old Story

Our children love listening to stories read aloud, and it is delightful to hear them exclaim "read on, Mommy, read on!" when reading to them the stories God told through the lives of His people.

As far as story Bibles go--and we have many--our absolute favorite is The Child's Story Bible, by Catherine F. Vos. Published in 1935, this 700 page volume was recommended to us by Carole Joy Seid and has not disappointed. Vos accurately weaves the words of Scripture with historical descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells surrounding the people of God. She goes beyond mere narration to explain the attitudes and emotions that come with both the circumstances and choices of these people of old. The Bible's "mature issues" are dealt with tactfully without lessening the impact of the subjects themselves. Reading a few of The Child's Story Bible's short chapters per week is a great way to take even the squirmiest of children through the Bible in a year.

Another delightful book is A Little Life of Jesus For Children Who Are Learning to Love Him, by Lois Rock. This chubby little book, perfect for toddler sized hands, had accompanied us to church for many years and is still kept lovingly by the bed of my five-year-old. The simple stories of the life of Christ taken from the Gospels are illustrated by eye-catching pictures on every page. Sadly, it seems to be out of print in the U.S. and I don't know of any American retailers who carry it. I've seen it on Ebay and Amazon used, and if you can get one, do so.

Finally, a worthwhile newcomer to the plethora of story books on the shelves of your local Christian retailer is The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones does a marvelous job of taking all the major stories of Scripture and shooting them like well-aimed arrows at the target of the Messiah. The redemption story is central on every page. And I especially like the illustrations--Abraham, Moses, and Jesus actually look Middle Eastern! While we don't own it yet, our pastor is reading it a chapter at a time to the children on Sunday mornings and it is quickly becoming a favorite.


Jago said...

Thanks for the comments about my illustrations!


Sally Lloyd-Jones said...


I came across your blog via a google alert thing and wanted to stop by and say hi and thank you for reviewing The Jesus Storybook Bible on your blog.

(I love the quote from Shakespeare that you take your blog's name from BTW.)

It's God's great story and I'm honored to be able to have a part in retelling it for children--and adults too. (It's exciting to hear about your pastor reading the book to the children. I hear many enthusiastic responses to the book and a great deal of those are from pastors funnily enough.)

You might be interested to know that on my site ( there are lots of resources--audio readings from the book, reviews and interviews.

Bless you, Saralyn and those three little people!


anika said...

Wow, aren't you COOL! I love these books, and I miss you!

Monica said...

We are working through the Children's Story Bible in family worship this year. It is written in such a way that the kids are really captivated and are able to retell each story well afterwards. Love it.

Sarah said...

We have the Jesus Storybook Bible and love it. The illustrations are beautiful and I love Sally's writing style. We have a couple of other children's Bible's that I feel lose the message in telling the story.