101 Color and Sing Bible Stories by Steven Elkins is a newly created bible storybook marketed as an introductory Bible storybook for preschool aged children. This book is a true multimedia experience (with 2 CD-ROMs) that features not only songs but coloring pages that parents can print out on their printers for their children to color. These features make this book a great resource for a Sunday school class. It can be used as a simple year long curriculum to teach children about the bible from creation to revelation complete with stories, short facts, songs and coloring pages.
I feel this is a great product for parents to use to get young children interested in the bible. Young children will enjoy the short bible stories, colorful pictures and the music that goes along with the stories. The bold use of color and graphics and the cartoonish styled drawings will appeal to young children. Yet I found the illustrations to be a bit too cartoonish and sketchy. They give an impression of being quickly drawn and rushed. This probably is intentional to appeal to young children with a child like crayon textured theme. Personally I dont prefer quick cartoonish, sketches. I just feel that the artwork does not convey quality. For me the cartoons were a turn off as I prefer more traditional and careful art. Nevertheless I am sure that some young children may find this artistic style appealing.
As far as home use, I really can not say that as a parent, it is convenient to access the coloring pages and print them out. Personally I would have preferred this coloring feature to be included as a separate coloring book to accompany the story book and cds. Even if this would increase the price, I believe that a separate coloring book would add additional value for this product for parents to use with their children. It might be misleading to advertise that coloring sheets are actually included when they have to be printed out to be used. Considering the cost of paper and the high cost of printer toner, this might not be feasible for parents to print 101 separate coloring pages on their own personal printer. Purchasing a coloring book is cheaper. With the internet, bible themed coloring pages are easily available without cost for parents who wish to print out coloring pages. I was not impressed by the added coloring pages feature as I saw it did not add any practical value to this book. The feature in which a mini version of the color pages is reproduced within the page spread for each story makes this book reminiscent of a teacher's text. This feature might distract from the actual story and flow as it is styled more like a text than a simple story book. This does not present a problem and in fact makes this book even more suitable for use in the classroom setting.
Overall I feel this book and CD- music combo is perfect for Sunday school use and to teach multiple children the message of the bible in an engaging and memorable way. Children will enjoy the music and the quick simplified stories. As a blogger for Tyndale House Publishers I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.