I’ve had this post chasing around my brain for a while–I wanted to share what we’ve used for most of Lulu’s kindergarten year for our devotion and Bible time. Given the week we’ve had, I thought today would be a good day to share this as a Read Aloud Thursday post since a nice little portion of our read-aloud time each day consists of reading from these books.
I’ve mentioned before how much we love The Jesus Storybook Bible. I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve read it all the way through. The girls even got the deluxe edition, complete with audiobook CDs, for Christmas. We’ve also given this particular storybook as gifts several times. We love it! However, this particular volume hits primarily the well-known Bible stories and does so in a very creative, paraphrased, storybookish format. By this point in their young lives, my girls can recount most major Bible stories as well as I can. Some time back around Christmas, I began to look for a book that goes more in depth and stays more textually true to the Bible.
I found The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor. As the title indicates, this collection breaks the Bible up into 365 stories. Each story is about a page long, and most stories are accompanied by detailed (and recognizable, at least to me) illustrations by John Haysom. My favorite thing about this book is that it goes through the Bible and covers more territory than most children’s Bible story books I’ve seen. We just finished reading through the section from the book of Judges, and my girls met Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, and Jephthah, not just Samson. 🙂 Each morning, I would usually follow up the story by asking the appropriate questions from our church’s Bible quiz questions since Lulu will be eligible to participate next year. This book gives some details, but usually not more than I am comfortable with sharing. However, given the nature of some stories (particularly Old Testament ones), I would recommend at least skimming the stories before reading them aloud so that you can see if anything needs to be censored/edited/explained your children’s level of understanding. I tend not to do that and either have to explain a lot or edit on the fly. 😉
At night we’ve been reading through Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories. This is simply a collection of stories from the NIV Bible, and yes, it hits only the usual stories. I like it, though, because it is in a recognizable, familiar translation but still has big, child-friendly illustrations. (Tell me–who doesn’t love Tomie dePaola’s illustrations?) Believe it or not, I think I picked up both this book and The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories at a used book store! Score! 🙂 The biggest triumph of all for us in using this book has been that Lulu has taken to reading aloud from it at night as a part of our bedtime routine. I’m fairly certain that if I had handed her a leather-bound NIV Bible, she would’ve balked (small, crammed together print is still an issue for her), but she can read this! We still haven’t figured out if it’s because she’s very familiar with this translation that she does so well with even the “big” words, but whatever it is, we’ll take it! 🙂
In addition to these Bible story books (and a few others, actually), we’ve used Little Visits with Jesus (which I wrote about here), but honestly, I think we’ve just about outgrown this particular resource. Most of the children in the stories seem younger than my girls, so I’m looking forward to starting our next devotional book in the new school year. I hope to blog about what we’re using next year in a future blog post.
Well, that sums up our Bible instruction here at the House of Hope (with the notable absence of our memory work, which I’ve been lax with lately). This is very important to us, and it is actually something that anchors our read-aloud time on most days, school days or not. (Well, that is until something like the arrival of a DLM upsets things for a bit.)
What has your family been enjoying lately? Leave a link to your blog post or simply leave a comment and share with us!
Have a fantastic Read Aloud Thursday!