Monday, July 22, 2013

N is for Noah by Ken & Mally Ham

N is for Noah by Ken & Mally Ham is a bright, full color, stand up, flip paged picture book for young children.  Designed for parents to read to young pre school and kindergarten aged children, this book teaches bible principles as well as well as the alphabet.  This picture book written in rhyme is almost reminiscent of the literary style of Dr. Suess' picture books.

Each large page of the substantially sized flip chart features a full sized, simply drawn color cartoon depicting a scene from the story of Noah's ark as well as other well known stories in genesis. The comic book styled, bold illustrations will be certain to appeal to young children.  Each scene or page introduces a new biblical based concept based on the letter theme introduced in alphabetical order.  This original story does not simply use nouns for the word choices, but also verbs or adjectives as well.  The book begins with "A is for Ark" and ends with "Z is for Zealous".  The story flows well as each page depicts a few simple statements in rhyme- a perfect tidbit for young children to follow without losing their attention.  Yet the story in not chronological as it jumps around as it is alphabetically based.  Nevertheless, because this book introduces biblical and spiritual concepts, some of the words are complex theologically, and may require additional discussion.  For example, the words and concepts such as  "rebellion, sin, death, judgment, destruction, zealous" will certainly require additional explanation by the parent or adult. The parent should be prepared to answer questions that will inevitably be raised. Nevertheless, this all- inclusive book offers many additional parent and teacher helps needed to effectively discuss these biblical concepts to young children.  On the back of every page of this story is a corresponding page dedicated to each words introduced- 26 in all- one for every letter in the alphabet.  This aspect of the book is similar to a teacher's text with teaching suggestions, biblical references and even activities and review questions to re-enforce the material.  Because the material is not incorporated into the story, it does not interfere with the flow of the story for children and can be optional.  The final page of the flip chart has a special spot for a child to sign and date after reading a prayer inviting Jesus into his or her life.

One thing I feel would have improved on this book would be to incorporate a chart or illustration on the stand up back cover.  Instead one side of this cover is used to list additional recommended resources and books and the other side serves like a back cover and offers a summary of the book as with any traditional book.  I feel to take advantage of the stand up feature of this spiral bound flip book, and to incorporate a genesis themed chart would have been a better use of this space.

This book is not simply for casual entertainment, but will actually teach the gospel message to children.  Rather than listing disjointed bible stories or concepts, common with children's bible story books, the authors weave these biblical concepts together into the good news for children. "Z for Zealous" is a perfect ending in that each child is encouraged to share his faith. "Y is for Years", while intimidating if read without any explanation or discussion, is biblically true nonetheless. 

Therefore this book is not simply a casual story, as it does require additional parent discussion as well.   This originally designed book is made to stand upright on display, rather then tucked away in a bookshelf.  This ambitious book has the power to change lives, and it offers the supplementary information parents will need to deliver the biblical message to children.  As a blogger I received this book published by Master Book, an imprint of New Leaf publishers for the purpose of writing this review. 

Purchase from NLP

New Leaf Press

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