Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review: Read and Share Toddler Bible

I jumped at the chance to review a toddler bible offered to me by Thomas Nelson Publishers. We are doing some homeschool activities instead of sending our daughter to preschool and have been looking for a great source for Bible learning.
The Read and Share Toddler Bible is great start and introduction to Bible stories, however, it lacks depth that I believe many children would understand if you only try.
Simple, common language is used in the 40 stories presented by this toddler Bible. Incorporated are engaging words and actions to help the story come alive- such as "splish splash" when describing the fish God made. The story selection I feel is appropriate for toddlers- highlighting the major events and characters of the Old and New Testament. My daughter recently turned 3- so we are starting to head out of the 'toddler' stage and into 'preschool' and these stories were too short and simple for her. Her attention span was longer than alloted for in the DVD version and book version of each story. I wished there had been more depth to each story- or perhaps some application type questions.
The colorful illustrations are wonderfully done. I appreciated the attempt at making the characters of the Bible look less caucasion and bring out their natural descents. However, on most occasions- the characters are interepreted in the more traditional "americanized" versions.
The DVD was a nice feature- but the stories moved too quickly for my daughter to even get a handle on them. Even for a younger child I felt they were too short to allow learning to actually take place.
My favorite feature of the Read and Share Toddler Bible are the parent/child activities at the end of each story. These activities were perfect additions if the story was focused on throughout the day. They allowed practical application and family fun to the experience. It allows the child to go beyond an "old Bible story" and begin the process of asking "What does this mean for me?"- a question adults often fail to ask themselves.
Overall, I think this is an average toddler bible with an excellent feature. I would recommend it to children no older than 3 and for use during playtime so the activities can enhance the reading.

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