When I was growing up, my mom often read to me from an illustrated Bible for children at bedtime. I learned a lot of Bible stories that way and have good memories of those times. I recently had the opportunity to review Illustrated Family Bible Stories from New Leaf Press with my daughters. It is an excellent resource for sharing the Bible with the whole family.
With 256 glossy illustrated pages, this book includes the following:
- More than 200 Biblical accounts, psalms, proverbs, prophecies, laws, and letters
- The daily life of people living in the Old and New Testament times, as well as plants, animals, and Bible landscapes
- Who’s who in the Bible, maps and diagrams, a Bible quiz, and more!
As soon as they saw the book, my girls (12, 6, & 4) were ready to sit down while I read it. At first they just wanted to flip through the pages with me and look at all the beautiful pictures. Then they started asking questions about the maps, drawings, and photos. The drawings are realistic, not cartoonish. The hardcover book is visually appealing and inviting to the reader.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the reference section at the back. It includes Daily Life in Old Testament Times, which talks about nomadic living, farming, Jewish food laws, clothes, and more details to help envision the Bible times. This is followed by Daily Life in New Testament Times, which includes information on the synagogues, the Sabbath, and the Romans. There are also sections on The Holy Land and Other Bible Lands.
The book has a Table of Contents at the front and Index at the back, as well as a glossary. Another helpful section is the Introduction to the Bible at the beginning that explains how the Bible was put together as a library of books with one central message (salvation), info about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a map showing the Bible lands. Both testaments also begin with an introduction and summary of the contents.
This is a great teaching tool for children who enjoy pictures to go along with the Bible stories. It helps them to visualize the real people and events and put them into a time and place context for them. Even as an adult, I can benefit from that information.
We will use Illustrated Family Bible Stories for years to come. I recommend it for any family with children ages 5 and up.