Thursday, June 04, 2009

Book Review – 100 Bible stories 100 Bible songs

This is my first book review for Thomas Nelson Books. I chose to review the kids book – 100 Bible stories 100 Bible songs. It is created by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Tim O'Connor. The book is hard-cover but has a soft cover feel like a lot of kids books have. The book includes 2 cds that contain 100 songs and each song goes with a story in the book. The book is brightly colored and will catch the attention of any child. Each story (or Bible summary) is short and is good for short attention spans. Under the title of each story, is the title of the song that goes along with it so that you could listen to the song along with reading the story. It also gives the scripture reference that the story is from so that you can easily find it and read the whole story from the Bible. The book and songs are separated into Old and New Testament making it easy to pick which one you want to read/listen with your child.

The stories in the book are very simplistic and good for toddler age. I do, however, think they are too simplistic and tend to not complete a story/illustration fully. An example of this is in the story of Saul. The story goes on to say that "Jesus is the Son of God. People who believe this are called Christians." It says in James 2:19 – "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder." (NIV) Obviously, demons aren't Christians, so I think the simplistic nature of the book doesn't fully allow complete definitions/thoughts/ideas to be taught to a child. I think this is where the story's scripture references (and parental knowledge of the Bible) will come in handy in "Training up a child in the way that he should go."

If you want your child to learn about the 10 commandments, don't look to this book. It tells briefly how the commandments came about but it doesn't list the commandments at all. Again, the scripture reference comes in handy.

I didn't run across glaring inaccuracies in the book EXCEPT Moses. In the story about the promised land, it says that Moses went up to Mount Nebo and was happy as the Israelites entered the promised land. However, this is NOT biblically accurate. The scripture reference for this story is Deuteronomy 34 and in this chapter, it says Moses went up to Mount Nebo and died and God buried him there. In verse 8 it says, "The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days until the time of weeping and mourning was over." (NIV) If you continue reading into Joshua 1 verses 1 and 2 it says, "After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son on Nun, Moses' aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them" (NIV)

I have just 1 more thing to point out. Don't expect that this book will mesh exactly with how you interpret scripture. Different denominations of churches interpret things in different ways. An example of this is baptism. Two statements made in the book are: "Baptism shows the world that we love Jesus" and "When I am baptized, God will be pleased". I won't get into a theological discussion on this except to say, I don't agree with those statements but no book will be able to cater to all beliefs.

Overall, this is a good introduction to the Bible for kids but don't let it be the only source for teaching your child about God. Make use of the scripture references listed and read the whole passage to your child.

Book info at Thomas Nelson

1 comment:

Amber said...

Hi -

I am a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson as well and your 3 stars for this book caught my attention. So, I read your entire review and I am glad I did. Great review - glad that your overall opinion of the book was good but that there are things we must be vigilant about when it comes to children's books. I just requested this book for my next review. I have a 7 month old and am just getting into the world of children's books and will have to be sure to really check out the biblical accuracy of each book