Wednesday, June 3, 2009

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs by Stephen Elkins

100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs created by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Tim O’Connor is a wonderful resource that brings the bible to life for young children. Containing a selection of 100 stories and two music CDs, this book- especially the songs- is sure to capture the attention of young children and parents as well! Familiar songs such as “he’s God the Whole World in His Hands” as well as “O How I love Jesus” are included. The short bible stories, approximately one paragraph in length are actually mini- bible stories in which actual bible references are included. Alongside each story, is a simple color illustration and a one sentence summary analogous to the one line moral lesson that you would find at the end of the tales by Aesop. Also is a short one line application of how a child may put into practice the morals and lessons learned from each bible story. Best of all each bible story has a coordinating song that compliments the specific story. Even though the music CDs compliment and reinforce the stories from the book, the music CDs are not dependent upon the book. In other words, the CD is best listened to separately from the book as the musical lyrics of the music are not contained in the text of the book. The music at times seems overly cheerful- and a bit to sing songish.  But that will appeal to very young children.

Overall, this book of stories is best suited for very young children under age of 3.  The cartoonish art is very simple. I would have preferred more bold, better quality illustrations.  I feel that the colors seemed a bit washed out. A little more attention to the art would greatly improve this children's bible story book.  The text is oversimplified, using the word happy for example in place of blessed.  On one hand, the word choice is easier for a very young child.  But the fact that the word choice deviates from the intended meaning make this a bible that children will quickly outgrow.  Once your child reaches pre-school, its probably time to pack away the book.  This is a bible that children will quickly outgrow.  The fact that this is a thorough collection of stories makes it a good choice for a toddler's first bible.

As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program I was pleasantly surprised at this children’s book/CD collection and would recommend this for anyone with very young children!

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