The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible is an excellent resource for parents of small children!
This book is THICK and HEAVY. The pages are strong, able to withstand the awkward turning of toddler hands, which is essential for a book for small children. Each page is a full color illustration.
The book is divided into 52 stories, each a summary of part of the Bible. The stories appear in the same order as they do in the Bible and the Bible verses are listed for reference and further reading.
One nice touch is that many of the pictures have sight words, a great tool for kids learning to read. For example, on the page about communion, there is a loaf of bread with the word “EAT” and a cup with the word “DRINK.”
This book tells the entire story from creation to the fall – and all the way through to redemption and Christ’s return. Each story is effectively a narrative, but probing questions are included throughout and at the end of each story: questions which will cause even a little one to consider Christ as Lord and Savior, their need to pray, and the importance of learning from the Bible.
With 52 short stories, this book is perfect for a weekly devotion, if that is how it is used. But my son insisted we read 2-3 stories per day! As the result, we’ve gone through the book multiple times since Christmas when we gave it to him. By now, he has the stories somewhat memorized. What this means is he can page through the book at naptime, and look at the pictures, and remind himself of the Bible stories.
Folks who are opposed to images of the incarnate Christ will not like the depictions of Jesus which are found in this book. If that’s something you are opposed to, you might as well save your money.
Additionally, there are a couple of pages where I don’t like the wording of the teaching. In some cases, I have actually changed the wording because I think a sentence is false. Generally, the book is doctrinally sound, but it seems that some things were worded in a way to make it a bit more attractive to a wider audience (like Calvinists AND non-Calvinists, for example).
Overall, the good offered within this book overshadows any problems.
I highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to teach their child the gospel. As always, use discernment as you read through the book and adjust accordingly.
Finally, I am very grateful to the author of this book that children are not lulled into saying a sinner’s prayer or promised an easy believism form of salvation. And don’t forget to read the scriptures to your child. Do not let this book be your only devotional material. As your child grows to love this book, open the Bible and read the actual biblical text that accompanies each story.