Before anything in the Bible was ever written down, it was spoken as a story.
Even before anyone tried to write down what Christianity was all about, all the things that Jesus said and did were told and retold as stories.
When Jesus wanted to get something really important into the hearts and minds of the people around him, he told them stories. That’s why all the most important truths the Bible holds are there in stories.
What is a Storybook Bible?
Nothing engages the heart and mind of a child – or a grown-up, better than a story.
Imagine an easy to read beautifully illustrated Bible with all the most important and influential stories from the Old and New Testaments. A Bible with all the tales of heroic men and women of God told with simplicity and energy.
Imagine all the stories of Jesus and his followers told with love and special consideration for younger readers. A Bible that shows how all the stories from both Testaments fit together into God’s greater story, but without the complicated language and explanations. That’s a Storybook Bible.
What’s in a Storybook Bible?
Storybook Bibles may contain the words and pictures that tell a single Bible story or single volumes that contain all the key stories from the creation to themes of resurrection and heaven.
Storybook Bibles for the very youngest (3s – 5s) are available as a library of single story books – such as Noah’s ark, Daniel in the lion’s den, the nativity story or Jesus’ story of the lost sheep. Single-story books are easier to hold, often more durable and easier for new readers. A library of single story Bibles make a beautiful addition to a child’s bookshelf.
Storybook Bibles for older children (7s – 10s) and more experienced readers may contain all the key stories in one book and look more like a grown-up Bible. Colourfully bound, beautifully illustrated and simply worded, new Storybook Bibles easily become favourite readers and compete strongly with other books for space on the shelf.
For the very youngest, colourful pictures alone are often sufficient to tell the story and its themes. For more experienced readers, the illustrations provide memorable cues to what the text is saying, adding atmosphere, detail and context.
What isn’t in a Storybook Bible?
There’s nothing missing from a Storybook Bible that would leave a child poorer than not having a Bible designed for them to love to read. Nothing is left out that a parent, teacher or church leader would need to worry about.
Storybook Bibles contain everything a child needs to engage with the story and understand its key theme in a way relevant to them. Bible references are usually given at the start of the story, but verse numbers are generally left out of the text so that the story flows as though it was being told for the first time.
Simple words and short sentences of Storybook Bibles make them ideal for grown-ups to read to children and a teaching aid to help children read for themselves. The most important feature of Storybook Bibles is that they contain nothing that might put a child off reading the Bible. Rather they encourage children toward a life of reading, learning and exploring the whole book.
Who might like a Storybook Bible?
The really great thing about Storybook Bibles is that their designed for grown-ups (to share with children) of any age. Starting a child aged 0-3 with an appropriate edition is a sure way to their appreciating a 7-10s Storybook Bible when the time comes.
Storybook Bibles make appreciated gifts to mark the big steps in a child’s life. Popular gifts for baptisms and christenings, Storybook Bibles are appropriate to mark starting school, changing classes, moving house or simply getting a year older.
Beyond the family, where they make excellent bedtime story books, Storybook Bibles are ideal first Bibles for schools, assemblies and Sunday school classes.
For the full range of age specific, current Storybook Bibles visit ‘Storybook Bibles’ at Eden.co.uk. You’ll find a wide choice of publications at prices to suit your budget.
Here’s a few Storybook Bible ideas to start you thinking:
The Jesus Storybook Bible
– every story whispers his name (by Sally Lloyd-Jones).
Simple words and beautiful pictures invite 4s – 8s to discover Jesus is at the centre of God’s greatest story. Every story points to Jesus as the missing piece that makes all the others fit together. (Don’t miss the Deluxe audio-book edition with the voice of David Suchet).
Children of God Storybook Bible
– by Desmond Tutu
Over fifty of the author’s favourite Bible stories retold older children to read or for grown-ups to read to younger ones. With illustrators from around the world contributing their interpretations, the result has international flair and is an inspiration to a generation of children.
The Big Bible Storybook
– by various authors
Delightful Bible storybook introduces the 0 to 5s to ‘friendly’ characters from Genesis through to Revelation. Complete with Bible index and 188 stories in chronological order. Christian Booksellers Convention Children's Book of the Year 2008.
Quick Guide to
Quick guide Storybook Bibles
Storybook Bibles - what are they?
- The most important and influential stories from the Old and New Testaments. A Bible with tales of heroic men and women of God told with simplicity and energy.
- Single Bible stories in several small books, or single volumes that contain all the key stories from the creation to themes of resurrection and heaven.
- The most important feature of Storybook Bibles is that they contain nothing that might put a child off the Bible. Rather they encourage children toward a life of reading and exploring the Bible for themselves.
Storybook Bibles – why should I want it?
- To share tales of ordinary men and women called to live extraordinary lives for God.
- To introduce the Bibles key stories and themes told with simplicity and energy.
- As a gift to encourage children and grown-ups to share in reading the Bible together.
Over to You
What about you?
At Eden.co.uk you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.
Storybook Bibles are the Bible made simple and relevant to children. This means including the parts that work as stories and leaving out others until the child is more grown up.
- If you had to edit a Storybook Bible with space for only five stories, which stories would you include and why?
- How would you use them to inspire readers to go to the Bible for themselves and read the rest of it?
Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips - bizarre and brilliant at Eden.co.uk
February 9th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison