Sunday, January 31, 2010

day thirty-two: start young with Bible stories and lessons—product review for "the bible in pictures for little eyes"

                 You may have tangible wealth untold;

                 Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

                 Richer than I you can never be -

                 I had a mother who read to me.

                              ~Strickland Gillilan

The rhyme above came from one of the posters that we used to have hanging in our nursery. In the mornings when I got our babies and toddlers out of bed, I would read that rhyme to them—not so much for them, but to remind myself of the value of reading to our children. Today’s post is another review—of a toddler/preschool product that has been one of my favorites for twenty-five years!

The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes—our first picture Bible! All of our children loved this beautiful Bible story book, which was on our nursery dresser for over twenty years! They even called it “Little Eyes Bible”—“Can we read my 'Little Eyes Bible'?” Too cute!

It is written by Kenneth Taylor, the man behind The Living Bible, so those of you who were introduced to TLB as a teen and loved it during your formative years will appreciate Taylor’s love for God’s Word and his life-long pursuit to make it accessible to all ages.

Anyway, picture Bibles are plentiful out there, but this was our favorite first for several reasons: (1) the pictures were incredible (see note below); (2) it has more Bible stories than many other Bible picture books—and has unique ones that are often overlooked in preschool materials; (3) some of the longer stories are broken down, so they do not become too long yet still do not cut out too much to the point that they lose the original story line; (4) the size is compact (see note below); (5) the stories focus on the character of God; (6) questions are provided after each story that are great for promoting discussion with your children (7) the stories are short and are readable in a quick setting before bed, etc.

Now, the downsides: (1) the one that we had with our first few kids is not available anymore; it is the one that had the best pictures, in my opinion, as they were beautiful artwork; the pictures in the new one are “modern”—some people like that better but I did not; (2) the old one was a little unwieldy; it was 9 ½ x 6 ½--and was somewhat awkward since it was long horizontally—the new one is perfect in size (6 ½ x 5 ½); (3) the old one is terribly expensive unless you can find it used; the new one, however, is extremely reasonably priced.

This is the perfect Bible to begin family devotions with toddlers and preschoolers. Each story takes only minutes—add it to your rising, bedtime, or dinner routine and start a tradition of reading the Bible together each day!

          Link for old one:   ($64 new!)

           Link for new one:
                      (under $20)

Note about story book Bibles that are “phonetic”: This Bible story book is not phonetically or vocabulary controlled. This means that it was not written specifically so a new reader could read it. There are many “early reader” Bibles out there—and they are great for early readers. However, I preferred to use those for reading practice for the child and “non-controlled” Bibles and books for me to read aloud. Using “controlled” Bibles and books means that the vocabulary will be stilted in order to try to keep it at a certain readability level. Therefore, it will not be as great as “literature” but more useful to provide reading material for first and second graders. (Watch for reviews of phonetically and vocabulary controlled Bibles in upcoming posts.)

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