Friday, February 2, 2018


I have spent a lot of time looking at different kids Bibles, wondering... "WHICH ONE SHOULD I GET??" We've got polka dotted, leather, big, small, princesses.. indoor, outdoor, explorer... Big print, small print, pink print, purple print and of course.. red letters. Then we've got story book, devotional, study and kids Bible translations. It can get overwhelming trying to figure out what on earth to pick for who and why. Here's some information that can help make your decision a whole lot simpler. 

At House of James our Bible books are categorized four ways:

  • Board books
  • Bible story books
  • Devotionals
  • Bible Translations

Board Books: 0-2 year olds

If your child still might chew, throw, spill on, or rip pages, these books are for you. These are simple books that depend on the pictures to capture your child's eye. There are prayer books, bedtime thoughts, individual Bible stories (Noah, David, etc.) all intended to help you build a foundation for connection between you, your child, and God. 

In it are prayers of thankfulness to God for the day and poems that point out many of God's blessings given to us every day. 

Bible story books:  3+ year olds

These books often have hard covers with paper inside. The illustrations are still essential, but there is more writing and the book might cover anywhere from one Bible character to many or all of  the major stories in the bible. These could be based loosely on a translation with an editor or author's embellishment, such as adding poetry or personal perspective or even a complete re-telling of any particular story. This includes all sorts of genres from Comic Book Bibles, such as the Action Bible by  Sergio Cariello and Doug Mauss, to the Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, or even the Precious Moments Storybook Bible complete with Precious Moments illustrations.

One of my favourites is "the Jesus Storybook Bible" . . . super unique art, and the byline is "Every story whispers his name." Sally Lloyd-Jones keeps reminding the reader the whole way through that if you think things look bad, it's not over.  God is present and is working. And if a story is wonderful and amazing, she celebrates and points to God's faithfulness in such a beautiful way. 

Another example is the "Super Heroes Storybook."  This one is specifically aimed at younger boys. The font, bright colours, and vivid illustrations draw little guys in. Inside, each individual has a profile and an explanation of what their super power is. 

Bible story books are kind of like "fresh eyes." They have a capacity to reach into an old story and draw out special parts, breaking the stories down and focus on specific aspects of a character or his/her situation, so our kids can identify with and enjoy them in a totally new way. 

Devotionals:  usually 5+ years

Devotionals are  books that authors have written to help engage or teach us about people or topics in the Bible. Devotionals are often themed, or have a specific audience in mind, ie. for girls, daily devotional, family devotions, etc.  They include stories about every day life NOT found in the Bible, prayers, questions, activities and opportunities to look further and find out more about the topic from the Bible. Each devotional contains each author's personal opinions and thoughts about life, God, the Bible and the world. 

For example:  Louie Giglio has written a devotional called "Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science."  It is full of scientific facts, activities, and prayers and intending to point out God's great creativity and to encourage kids to see Him everywhere in nature.

Here's another one called "365 Bible Answers for Curious Kids."  Basically what you get to do here, is go through one question every single day of the year. Questions are asked discussions points are presented. It covers a wide range of theological, historical, and faith related topics. If more information seems necessary, the book contains suggestions resources to explore for further learning.

Children's Bibles: usually 5+ years

These are actual translations of the Bible designed with children in mind. "Translation" means the editors went to the original language the Bible was written in, and worked from that foundation to come up with a version that makes sense in our language and our culture. While there are two translations specifically FOR kids; the International Children's Bible (icb) and the New International Reader's Version (NIrV), there are also children's bibles that are New King James (NKJV), King James (KJV), New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT),  and the English Standard Version(ESV). 

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2, where I will talk about these translations and discuss what this means for the reader!

So what are you looking for? Come in and take a look around. Ask for help. Take a stack of books and sit at the kids table and talk a look through them. We have so many great things in store!

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