Children’s story Bibles and why we give our children such rubbish

Children’s story Bibles and why we give our children such rubbish

I recently wrote an article for Childrenswork Magazine which required me to read children’s story Bibles for review. And I mean lots of children’s story Bibles. My desk was groaning under the weight of so many hardback books emblazoned with happy pictures of Noah and lots of animals. There were some amazing ones (my favourite was The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and the wonderfully named Gail Schoonmaker), but there was quite a lot of rubbish. And this got me thinking – why do we give our children such rubbish sometimes?

I used to think this a lot when I was working in Christian children’s publishing. There seemed to be so many terrible books and resources on the market which did so well, either because they were cheap or appealed to an adult’s idea of what children might like/be interested in (which was often quite far away from what children actually like or are interested in). Sometimes I used to wonder why people weren’t a bit more discerning, why they didn’t take the time to find the best.

Sadly, I fear that this lack of discernment might be down partly to lack of money and time. If these Bibles are being bought for a church group, the children’s budget will be small and the purchaser may not have a lot of time to devote to the job. There may also be the attitude that ‘it’s only the children, so don’t waste too much time on it’. Or the buyer just doesn’t know what children are interested in.

But devote a bit more effort to the choice and you’ll find a book which will help children grow in their relationship with God and help them develop a love for reading God’s story. Read parts of the different Bibles and see which one would suit you and your context the best. Try to find out how and why the author made their selection of stories. Look at the illustrations, show them to some children and see if they connect.

Don’t be satisfied with ‘OK’ when you buy stuff for children. Give them the best.

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