A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
Carine MacKenzie is a well-known name in the genre of Christian books for children and deservedly so. She has an amazing talent for summarizing Biblical stories and truths in a way that is understandable to children and yet doesn’t speak down to them. Her book, The Bible Explorer, is another example of this kind of writing. Here MacKenzie tackles the entire Bible and gives a top-notch overview of each book and the overall themes.
The Bible Explorer is divided into 75 two-page sections. Each section presents a selection of scripture where the text is rewritten at a 3rd-5th grade reading level. Key verses are quoted in the passage. On the right-hand page there are three headings: “Fact File,” “Think Spot,” and “Memory Verse”. In “Fact File,” MacKenzie defines words, explains details about the setting, or simply clarifies something from the selection. In “Think Spot,” she provides applications from the text. And in “Memory Verse,” she adds a verse that may or may not be from the scriptures that she summarized, but that verse is always directly related to the theme of the text. The text itself may cover several chapters or it may be a brief explanation of several books, which is how she handles the minor prophets and the epistles.
I really appreciate much about this book. I think MacKenzie did an astute job of grouping chapters and books, as needed. The amount of information in each section is very child-friendly. It would be enough and yet not too much for independent study or for family or personal devotions. I especially admire her choice of terms and concepts to further elucidate in the “Fact File” section. For example, she explains as part of the flood account that ravens are carnivores while doves are herbivores. So, the raven that Noah sent out would be able to find meat among the drowned carcasses while the dove would return since it couldn’t find vegetation. She later points out that the raven that brought meat to Elijah did not only know where to find him, but also didn’t eat the meat it brought which would have been its nature. Interesting facts that would appeal to children (and adults, too). This would be a wonderful addition to any home or church library.
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
THE BIBLE EXPLORER, by Carine MacKenzie