Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: My First Hands-On Bible

My First Hands-On Bible contains 85 stories from the Bible using text from the New Living Translation.   Throughout the Bible there are small handprint icons notifying the parent or reader to stop and lead your child in the activity.  These activities help make the Bible come alive to them.  Each story ends with a prayer and a discussion question.  Two little cartoonish characters, Pockets, a kangaroo, and Cuddles, a lamb, have little comments they make regarding each story.   Each story also has an activity that reinforces the lesson found in it.  The Jesus Connection feature also points the child to Christ at the end of every story. 

I read a couple of stories to Abby (9 months) and she sat and listened to them.  This Bible is meant for preschoolers, ages 3-6 so the pages are not chew-proof.  I am not a big fan of the New Living Translation, but I found the version easy to read to a young child.  Using actual Bible verses is a plus as it would seem to help a child make the switch from a regular Bible storybook to an actual Bible.  This Bible does include the chapter and verse numbers, but it is an abridged Bible so it might be confusing for a child to follow along as a parent read from their NLT Bible. 

The activities included are relevant and fun.  They all seem to be very simple; a lot of pre-planning is not required.  
  • Activity Example:  Set up an obstacle course "Faith Walk" with pillows and chairs to teach your child about God keeping us safe when we put our faith in Him.  
  • Handprint Icons Example:  "Fringe is a stringy edge of a  piece of cloth.   Find a piece of cloth to touch."  
  • Jesus Connection Example:  "God prepared a place for the people of Israel.  Jesus is preparing a special place for us in heaven!"  I find this feature very helpful as it's sometimes difficult to explain to young children how Jesus can be found in the Old Testament too.    
  •  Prayer Example:  "Dear God, thank you for helping Esther be brave.  Please help us be brave and always do the right thing.  In Jesus' name, amen."
I do think the illustrations are very cartoonish.  I'm certain most kids would enjoy them in spite of a lack of serious detail.  The 85 stories included cover almost every major story in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 46 in the New Testament. 

I would recommend this for parents and caregivers of preschoolers.  I plan on reading this with Abby in the next several years, in addition to several of her other Bible storybooks. 

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book to me.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.   I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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