12 February 2011

Bible Story Books

If the story is simple enough, and is found in one passage, we usually just read to our children right out of  our Bible.

However, sometimes illustrated storybooks are nice. We use A Child's Garden of Bible Stories by Arthur W. Gross and The Golden Children's Bible.   And of course, Arch Books.   I have fond memories of reading The Bible Story series by Arthur Maxwell, but I cannot attest to their orthodoxy (I should dig them up at my parents' house and write a review...) What do you like?


  1. I have been really disappointed with the illustrations in many of the Arch Books. I thought I'd hit a goldmine when I first encountered them. But then, they started to get cartoonish. Which often trivializes the story. Bible story/Disney story. Not much difference.

    I'm not downing all of them. We have a few. Just sad the whole line isn't consistently good :(

    We recently purchased the Children's ESV through CPH.
    http://www.cph.org/p-68-esv-childrens-bible.aspx?SearchTerm=ESV CHILDREN'S BIBLE

    Again, I thought we'd hit a goldmine. Except the illusrations are done in a graphic novel style (not the same style as the cover). Again, I don't think this is *wrong*. I just don't get why? I'm still debating whether or not we'll go with it as it is otherwise satisfactory (and the pictures aren't horrible so much a priming my kids for anime). Blech.

    I do like these poster sets that correspond to the Grow Sunday School series.


    I figure we can have one frame in the living room that is dedicated to a poster of the story we are working on that week. I can read from the bible and the picture is up all week. NOW - this will take many months of our MISC budget line/fund to accomplish this - but for now, it's the best I've got.

  2. Lisa,
    CPH has just released a new version of their Children's ESV that does use the Growing in Christ Bible Story art.

  3. I'm also not a big Arch book fan. The art is mostly tacky and the writing is mostly a horrendous combination of cliches, failed rhymes, and botched meter. :P

  4. These are some great bible story books we have. Old Master paintings and KJV-style text.

    Stories from the Old Testament:

    Stories from the New Testament:

  5. I have fond memories of Arch books from my childhood, mostly because the 60's art blew my mind :)

    Our sons' godparents gift Arch books at Christmas and Easter. I don't mind them (they chose ones without cartoonish art), although now that I think about it, we don't read them much. I do like that Arch books publish stories that aren't in other Bible story books. It's like there's some canon of which stories are acceptable and which are too obscure. (We have the Presentation at the Temple, and Josiah, neither of which are in our other story books). My husband hates the "poetry," too. I find it confusing sometimes, probably for the reasons Rebekah mentioned.

    I really get more angry about coloring sheets. You just find the worst stuff out there. Eventually (5-6ish) we'll make our kids just draw the Bible story or saint, instead of coloring a coloring page, but in the meantime I might just publish my own coloring book.

    Since we're complaining about art, I don't like Joni Walker's art (Follow and Do, Cradle Roll art, etc.). Actually, specifically, I don't like her hipster apostles/pastors/dads. I think you were talking about an Arch book a while ago, Rebekah, but you said Jesus looked like Kurt Cobain. I thought right away of the Last Supper scene in Follow and Do's "Lord's Supper."

    Kira, those are awesome. How many stories are in each? I always wonder why anyone doesn't write a whole Bible history curriculum around great art.

  6. Old Testament:
    The Creation
    The Garden of Eden
    The Fall
    Noah's Ark
    After the Flood
    The Tower of Babel
    Abraham and Isaac
    Rebekah at the Well
    Joseph and his Brothers
    Moses in the Bulrushes
    The Crossing of the Red Sea
    The Ten Commandments
    Ruth and Naomi
    David and Goliath
    The Judgment of Solomon
    Belshazzar's Feast
    Daniel in the Lions' Den

    New Testament:
    The Annunciation
    The Birth of Jesus
    The Visit of the Magi
    John the Baptist
    Herod's Birthday
    The Wedding in Cana
    The Miraculous Catch of Fish
    The Woman with the Issue of Blood/Jairus' Daughter
    Raising Lazarus from the Dead
    The Last Supper
    Garden of Gethsemane
    Judas' Betrayal
    Christ's Passion
    Christ's Resurrection
    Doubting Thomas
    Supper at Emmaus
    Saul's Conversion

  7. :D I forgot about the Kurt Cobain Jesus. I don't like the Follow and Do illustrations either, also because of what pastors and church are made to look like. And then there's that insanely skinny mother presenting a child for baptism . . . ?!

  8. I hear you on the F&D pastor depictions, but we still use it around here. I take glee in the family of 6 or 7 kids in one of the books :)

    Kira - thank you for the references.

  9. Oh, besides the art, I like the Follow and Do series...for a while my 2 and 3 year old had me reading all six books every day. I noticed the large family, too, Lisa.

    Yes, thank you, Kira!