A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
If you take a look at a Christian publisher’s catalog or website, you will see a slew of Bible storybooks and children’s Bibles. Each author/editor tries to offer a slightly different take to make his/hers stand out from the others. Often this means more engaging illustrations or eye-catching insets with commentary on the passages. Seek and Find Bible takes children’s Bibles to a whole new level. It combines the Bible storybook aspect with the full ESV text and does a magnificent job at that!
“Seek and Find” is a very appropriate title for this Bible. It is set up so that the 130 paraphrased Bible stories are placed in close proximity to the actual text of Scripture that they are retelling. There are key verses, related texts, and characters that students are directed from the stories to find in the Scripture. There are questions about the Bible stories to ascertain the child’s comprehension and to help him/her delve more into the lessons taught. In the back of this book, there is even a section where full-page illustrations appear that are reproductions of the smaller illustrations in the text with a description of the story. The child is instructed to page throughout the Bible to find the verses where that illustration appeared and that story is told. The illustrations are beautifully done and give an air of respect and awe to the stories that does not exist in children’s Bibles that are very cartoonish and whimsical in their drawings.
This would be a wonderful Bible for children to grow with. Much of the ESV text is over the heads of early elementary-aged children, but the Bible stories are very much at their level. As they grow up, the children can depend less on the stories and use the rest of the Bible as a legitimate ESV Bible. Sometimes it is hard for a parent to know when to transition a child from a Bible storybook to an actual Bible. This makes that transition seamless as it is done within its covers.
There are only two things that I would critique. There is a wonderful dictionary in the back of this Bible, and it would serve its purpose much better if the words contained in it were in some way highlighted in the text of scripture. That is a common practice in textbooks that I think would be very helpful here. Instead of flipping back to the dictionary every time an unfamiliar word appears not knowing if it will be defined there, this would allow a reader to know exactly what words are in the dictionary as s/he is reading along. The second thing makes this Bible just a bit clunky. Since the stories are interspersed with the text, it is a little more difficult to find Bible passages quickly. The frequency of Bible stories in books like Genesis, Exodus, and the Gospels makes it a bit of a challenge to find specific passages in those books as you have to search between the story pages. But indeed, if you seek, you will find!
Overall, though, I would highly recommend this Bible for young elementary students even all the way up through 5th-6th grade. I really appreciate the thought and insight that went into developing this Bible and all the cross-referencing between Old and New Testament passages and the connections that are made in the Bible stories to the gospel message. This is one of those books that I wish had been around when my children were young because it definitely would have been the Bible that they grew up with.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
SEEK AND FIND BIBLE, by Crossway