Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Product Review: The Jesus Storybook Bible

Several months ago, I began hearing good things about The Jesus Storybook Bible, and I was curious. I even began reading reviews about it, thinking that perhaps I'd purchase it for the girls one day. As it turned out, I didn't need to--we received The Deluxe Edition for Christmas!

We've been listening to it most evenings before bedtime, and I've never been so impressed with a children's book. The Jesus Storybook Bible is unique, with each story pointing to Jesus Christ and the Big Rescue to come.

Here's an excerpt from the opening selection:

"No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne--everything--to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!...There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them."

Mostly, I'm impressed with the way Sally Lloyd-Jones makes each one of the stories come full-circle to center on Jesus Christ. On the cover is this saying: "Every story whispers his name." That describes it perfectly. Lloyd-Jones has a clever yet purposeful writing style, a casual one that Olivia can understand. Some of the catchy story titles are as follows: "The teeny, weenie...true king" [Samuel anoints David], "Daniel and the scary sleepover" [Daniel and the lions' den], "The man who didn't have any friends (none)" [Zacchaeus], and "God's wonderful surprise" [The Resurrection].

We received the Deluxe Edition, published by Zonderkidz, which includes the storybook in hardback, along with the 3-CD audio version of all 44 stories. It also has an attractive case for storing the items. The stories are narrated by David Suchet, a British actor with a captivating accent and style. At first I didn't particularly care for the illustrations, but the pictures are growing on me, I think. They're not cutesy, but they are powerful.

I think Nate and I are enjoying The Jesus Storybook Bible more than the kids are! My favorite story so far--we're about halfway through--is entitled "The Present." It's the story of Abraham and Isaac. Remember? God asked Abraham to offer up a sacrifice, but it wasn't any regular animal sacrifice. God asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac, whom he loved and had waited for. Abraham didn't understand, but he trusted God and obeyed. So did Isaac. Just as he was about to plunge the knife into his son, God stopped him and provided a ram to sacrifice in Isaac's place. Here's a beautiful example of the story "whispering His name:"

"...God helped Abraham and Isaac understand something. God wanted his people to live, not die. God wanted to rescue his people, not punish them. But they must trust him. 'One day Someone will be born into your family...and he will bring happiness to the whole world.' God was getting ready to give the whole world a wonderful present. It would be God's way to tell his people, 'I love you.' Many years later, another Son
would climb another hill, carrying wood on his back. Like Isaac, he would trust his Father and do what his Father asked. He wouldn't struggle or run away. Who was he? God's Son, his only Son--the Son he loved. The Lamb of God."

***Nate and Olivia, following along in the storybook***

My own heart has been stirred on several occasions while reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible; I'm so glad to own a set! It's a gift that we already cherish... and it's strictly off-limits to little hands!


Kelly Glupker said...

We just finished reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible again with Owen. We love it too. I didn't know it was on CD! That's awesome! Is there anything else on the CD besides what's in the book (like music, for example?)

Karen said...

I don't think so, Kelly. Or if there is, we haven't gotten to it.