Most likely to be a gift from a parent, relative or other adult, children’s Bibles are designed to be read and loved by children between the ages of 3 and 9 years. Either side of that range are babies’ Bibles for the under 3s and youth Bibles for teens and young adults.
There's huge choice of delightful and easily readable Bibles for children. Finding the right one means giving a Bible that will be a loved and long-lasting gift of the greatest stories ever gathered into one book.
Choosing just the right children's Bible
Whichever Bible you choose for a child, it won’t be the only book on their shelf. Their Bible will be sharing space with the best and the worst that the world of books has to offer.
Finding a children's Bible that looks at as exciting as the other books clamouring for a child’s attention is the best first step toward a Bible that will be taken down and read at least as often as its rivals.
You might want to think about this in relation to your Bible gift, but life for a children's book can be tough. Especially with a younger child, think about choosing a Bible with a strong binding, robust or even wipe clean covers, and good quality paper pages.
Judging a children's Bible by its cover
A bright, attractive cover is a good start to choosing a children’s Bible that will become a loved and valued possession. There’s no shortage of choice. There are covers designed to appeal to the very youngest and most fashion conscious.
Keep in mind the cover that the intended recipient would most like to receive. This isn’t always the one the giver might most like to give. But if you really know what the child likes and what you the giver most want to achieve with the gift, the choice will become easier and even a pleasure.
Think about whether the child you have in mind will find the cover too childish, or not boy-ish enough. Perhaps some of the pictures are too fussy or it looks too stiff and starchy like the Bibles grown-ups have but never seem to read.
Under the covers - what it's like inside
Get the cover right and you can be sure your children's Bible will find a place with all their other favourites on the shelf. But you don’t want it end there. You want your children’s Bible to be valued for as much for what’s on the inside as what’s on the outside.
For this, the inside has to attractive, engaging interesting and easy to read. It has to be so good inside that children can't help turning over the pages to find what happens next. So take a long look inside. And think about how a child reads and sees words.
Check the print is large enough and clear enough to read. See if the text is split up into easy-size chunks. There’s nothing more off-putting than a slab of small, tightly spaced text. If it’s for a very young child, find a Bible that’s just the key stories - and with pictures.
The Bible’s main use might be as a story book read out aloud by a parent. Try it for yourself. See if you can easily read the stories out loud and make them interesting. For a younger child, see if there's enough space for you to follow the words with your finger.
Children grow and so should their Bible
Finally, remember that children grow and change and so should their Bible. Don’t leave them with a Bible they outgrew long ago and be ready to replace their Bible with a more grown up version as they become ready.
For an older child, consider a youth Bible. They might find a Bible with fluffy pictures too embarrassing to be seen with, but a cool and gender appropriate youth Bible - slightly above their years, might be more readily owned, carried and used.
If you choose a children's or youth Bible with a daily reading guide, see if you can follow it and get the point. If you can't, the child probably can’t either. As a final thought on children's Bibles, remember you’re leading them on toward Bible maturity and the ability to critically select a Bible of their own.
To be sure about your choice, try using the Eden.co.uk returns process. This way you can order a children's Bible, review it for upto 30 days and if you don't think it fits the bill, retrun to Eden for a full refund or exchange it for another.
Quick Guide to Buying Children's Bibles
What are they?
- Designed to be owned, loved and read by children and shared with grown-ups.
- Stories and themes made attractive and understandable to ages from 3 to 9.
- Bibles that encourage children's reading skills and basic Bible knowledge.
What will they do for me?
- Help you encourage children to read and understand the Bible for themselves.
- Provide an opportunity for grown ups to read and share the Bible with children.
- Resource a church, school or community programme with children friendly Bibles.
February 20th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison