The key to introducing children to a life long faith is the same as the key that opens the door to a lifelong love of reading. And the key is called sharing. Of course you can’t make children find faith just as you can’t make them read something they don’t want too – well, not and expect them to love it.
But sharing a faith – showing how much it means to you, living it, spending time with it and spending time with your children opens a door and invites a child to enter and discover what you’ve already found. The same is true of reading. If you open the door, show the joys and adventures inside, children will be eager to enter and make new discoveries for themselves.
Some doors are easier to open than others. Sometimes it seems that the doors we’d most like to open to our to our children are the least accessible and most difficult to even unlock, let alone swing wide and set out the welcome mat. So when a book comes along that not only offers a wide open doorway to reading, but also an easy and attractive way in to sharing the wonders of faith, its time to get really excited about both.
The Jesus Storybook Bible – now with British (rather than US) English spellings and sentences, is just such a reason for anyone who cares about nurturing reading and faith in primary school age children to get excited. While children from about 6 and above will be able to read the short, thoughtfully laid out and easy to follow stories for themselves, even children as young as 4 will love to have the 44 Old and New Testament tales read to them at bedtime and story-time.
Rarely more than 100 lines (about 6-8 minutes) the stories of creation, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Daniel and all the best loved stories of Jesus sweep across breathtakingly bright and bold illustrations that reflect the beauty and wonder of the words themselves. The collective focus of the well known stories is centred on the person, life, works and meaning of the Bible’s central figure – the baby born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth who grew to be the friend and saviour of all children everywhere.
Quite literally at the centre, the birth of Jesus is story number 22 of the 44 collected into the strong, well made hard back covers. And it’s the quality of the words (by award winning British storywriter, Sally Lloyd-Jones), rich illustrations (by creative Cornish artist, Jago) matched with the excellence of the over all package that makes this edition a gift that any grown-up would love to give and any child delighted to receive.
Best of all, it’s not a book to stay on a child’s bookshelf. It’s a book children will give pride of place next best loved toys and treasures by their bedside; to be shared at bedtime and read with and for pleasure. It’s a book that points toward a fully grown-up Bible of their own, on the way to the faith you want them to know and love and last a lifetime. - Les Ellison