“If I had $500 to spend on everything I could use to train my preschoolers in faith, I would purchase the “Family Bible Library” and many, many picture books from Answers in Genesis. Children are inundated from earliest ages with the falsehoods of “millions of years,” etc.---we must counteract that information found in movies (even some of our favorite animated ones have references to it!), music, cartoons, museums, zoos, etc. with the truth. Picture books from Answers in Genesis can help you do that.” from an earlier post...
At this age, you will want to lengthen your faith reading time—and allow plenty of time for discussion and answering questions. On the lower end of this spectrum, your child may not be ready to sit for longer picture books or shorter chapter books, but keep trying! As an aside, any read aloud times that you instill in your children will help them to have longer attention spans in other scenarios, such as school and church.
a. The Bible itself! We like to read aloud from Proverbs oftentimes in the mornings. Moreover, my husband has a special time with our guys called “Bible talks” in which he and the boys just read a portion of the Bible and discuss it for a few minutes. No other books needed—just “what does this mean to you?” and “what do you think this is saying?” You might start with familiar Bible stories in the Old Testament and Jesus’ parables in the New Testament.
b. “The Picture Bible” by David C Cook—this was listed in the preschool section, but children up to age twelve or so will enjoy this comic-book style Bible. Ray read this whole Bible aloud to each child when he or she was around age four. Then we “assigned” this Bible (in bite-sized pieces each day) to each child when he or she was around age eleven or twelve to read to himself or herself for personal devotions. http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Bible-Story-Book-Ed/dp/1555139906
c. Family Bible Library—I reviewed this book earlier in the year (and suggested it for the upper end of of the three to six age group). This is a wonderful complete ten volume set of Bible stories. Read the review in full. If you have children eight and under, I highly recommend you find this set used, buy it, and use it every day. (That’s what we did! I read it to te kids when they turned four (sort of after Ray did “The Picture Bible”), then when each child became a fluent reader, between nine and eleven or so, he or she read the entire set to himself (or aloud to a little sibling). http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/02/day-fifty-nine-think-of-yourself-as.html
2. Picture books by Christian authors have character, Bible, and faith message. As I said in the preschool lists, I love using picture books to teach many things to my children—faith and Bible, counting, alphabet, science, history/geography, relationships, character, and more. Go for the lengthier ones after age six or so—and don’t forget to discuss them after reading! The books and sources below include Bible story books, catechism type books, character, and more!
a. Christianbooks.com has a search engine that allows you to look for books under age groups, gender, theme, audience, etc. You can plug in your child’s age, and a list of books appropriate for that age will pop up! Check it out at http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?event=EBRN&N=1119138+5401+200006+4294967144&Ne=200600&Nso=1&Nu=product%2Eendeca%5Frollup&Ns=product%2Enumber%5Fsold
b. See other Max Lucado picture books: http://www.christianbook.com/a-hat-for-ivan-board-book/max-lucado/9781581346565/pd/46565/1071101320?item_code=WW&netp_id=348434&event=ESRCN&view=details#curr
c. “Kidderminster Tales” by Christopher Lane –these might be out of print, so snatch them up used ASAP! All of my children have loved these lengthy picture books that retell some of Jesus’ parables in Kidderminster with animals. They truly are extremely clever and well-done. http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-Neighbors-Kidderminster-Kingdom-Tales/dp/0896938433/ref=pd_sim_b_1
d. “All is Well” by Frank Peretti—Peretti for young children? Yep! No angel and demon battles here, but this book tells about a family who fell on hard times and their response to that. Heartwarming. http://www.frankperetti.com/product/234.htm?parentid=1371
e. R.C. Sproul picture books are awesome at explaining difficult concepts, like forgiveness through Christ, and more. Here are two that are outstanding for this age group:
i. “The Priest with Dirty Clothes” by R.C. Sproul http://www.amazon.com/Priest-Dirty-Clothes-Timeless-Forgiveness/dp/0849914558
ii. “The King Without a Shadow” by R.C. Sproul http://www.christianbook.com/the-king-without-a-shadow/r-c-sproul/9780875527000/pd/227000?event=CFN
3. Creation science materials—
a. Answers in Genesis!
b. “In the Days of Noah” by Gloria Clanin http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/In-the-Days-of-Noah,4339,185.aspx
c. “The Bible Discovery Collection Bible Animals”—this is the perfect age to read animal creation science books!-- by Bruce Barton, James Galvin, Michael Kendrick, Daryl Lucas, David Veerman, Neil Wilson (looks out of print, but some on Amazon) http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Animals-Discovery-Collection/dp/084231038X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273891237&sr=1-3
d. “Dinosaurs and the Bible”—also the perfect age to read dinosaur creation science books!-- by David Unfred http://www.amazon.com/Dinosaurs-Bible-David-W-Unfred/dp/0910311706
e. Answers in Genesis also has an amazing search engine that lets you search by age group. This is especially helpful in choosing creation science books because you do not want to get one with too much text for a four year old but too little text for a ten year old. The upper end of today’s age group’s suggestions can be found here http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/catalog/811-Years-Old,185.aspx
4. Character—at this age, we continue with many of the character book listed in the upper level of the three to six year old group. We also do chapter books with stories of children doing the right thing! (More on chapter books in days to come.) However, my favorite character stories to read aloud are the “old fashioned” ones you have probably seen in doctor’s offices and other waiting rooms—“Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories.” (I actually use these from age three or four to twelve, but I forgot to put it on the list the other day!) ALL of my kids love these—and my olders still leaf through them when they see any of them lying around the house when they are visiting. They might seem pricey, but there are five hardcover books in the set. (You can probably get them much cheaper and possibly even one at a time used on ebay or other resale spots.) http://www.christianbook.com/uncle-arthurs-bedtime-stories/9780828010207/pd/545333
So many memories....