Most of have an old edition sitting around, but Zonderkidz has put out a brand new edition of our beloved The Beginner’s Bible and you just have to see it! I had the pleasure of receiving one for review through the Homeschool Review Crew and have been reading it with my first grade twins since the first of the year. Just like Mom, they are reading through the New Testament this year.
This is the classic book you remember, with updated illustrations for today’s kids. This is not a direct translation, but rather a retelling of the popular stories that our kids need when they are younger as learning hooks as they grow and study. Each section is very short; they took me about 2 minutes to read them, so it’s the perfect length for a quick morning devotional and discussion with the younger kids.
I really like that it has the actual scripture references there just under each title. That way, I can read ahead (or afterward) and make sure there’s nothing that I would want to discuss with my kids which their translation may leave out. It’s meant to be an overview and simply introduce them to the stories. This would not suffice for a curriculum or even a study, and in my opinion is not all we need to be doing for Bible even for my first graders in our homeschool. BUT, it would be perfect for a preschool kid who has never heard these stories before, or possibly for an older kid with the wiggles. It’s been a great place to start our year and get us back into the groove of homeschooling.
My twins stayed active listeners to these stories, and they actively ask questions. They will sit and let me read to them for 5 or 6 sections at least, and they will ask questions about the pictures as we go along reading.
I enjoy that The Beginner’s Bible doesn’t necessarily cut a story short. For instance, the story of creation starts on page 7 and continues through page 13. That’s a full 6 pages on Genesis 1. In addition, the translation doesn’t add anything to the Bible as we know it, even if it does use slightly different vocabulary.
Now, there was a sneaky snake in the garden. One day, the snake saw Eve near the special tree. It hissed, “Did God really tell you not to eat the fruit from this tree?”
The snake wanted Eve to disobey God. It said, “You should try some of this tasty fruit. If you eat it, you will be like God. You will be able to tell the difference between good and evil.”
That’s about the simplest way to retell a story, and very similar to what I might tell my kids if I were simply retelling them the story myself or if I was reading it from the scripture and felt the need to simplify for my audience. I’m happy to have a resource where that is done for me!
My kids will take this beautiful, hard-bound edition and go sit and retell one another the stories from the pictures. They’re pretty familiar with the stories already, and I like the language practice that gives them – not to mention the spiritual fortitude! This one will be a treasure on our shelves for years to come.
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