Because of ministry with children in Barrouallie I’ve become an avid collector and reader of children’s bible-story books. There are a number on the market but the Lord has helped me find a few that really minister to the hearts of kids….I share them with the prayer that they would speak to yours as well.
1. The Jesus Storybook Bible: If you have a young child and don’t own a copy of this book stop reading this right now and go buy one (no seriously I’ll wait). Did you get it? Okay then lets continue. I absolutely love this book because it describes in detail how familiar bible stories find their fulfillment in Christ. The pictures, and easy to read stories make it incredibly easy to keep the attention of children from any culture
2. The Bigggest Story (Kevin DeYoung): This is a shorter book but excellent because it emphasizes two main points of the Gospel
- We have failed God
- And God is our Rescuer (ultimately through Christ)
The Lord used this book to emphasize the Gospel in the hearts of many Vincentian children with one of them praying to receive Him. The pictures in DeYoungs book are of a more artistic style, but help with drawing attention to the story
3. Everything a Child should now about God (Kenneth Taylor): The idea behind this book is that it would be Theology for children. Since every story is only two pages (one has text and the other a picture about that text) and it uses very large print its easy for the children to follow along…I usually hear them reading along out loud. The pictures are also excellent because they have lots of small items the kids like to point out.
This book is very helpful when discussing deeper truths about God. In the last week we talked about angels, God being a spirit, God’s eternalilty, and His Holiness
Finally here’s a couple of things I’ve learned about reading books to children:
- Rule number one ALWAYS use a REAL BOOK not one on a tablet…trust me it wont go well
- Learn to read upside down-both the page and its picture must be facing the child
- Sit down in a chair if possible-it centers the children’s attention, and causes many to sit at the front
- If you can follow along with a pencil as you read the words-helps kids read along
- Make notes in the book that can help with discussion
- Ask questions about the pictures (what is the boy doing?)
- And always review using earlier pictures before starting that days page
What’s been exciting for me is to find children’s books that are more theological such as DeYoungs and Taylors, as well as “I Am” 40 reasons to trust God by Diane Stortz. May we thank God for the basic books such as the Jesus Storybook Bible, but make sure that we teach the deeper truths as well.