Last week, I wrote about three books I read last year that serve to describe the larger narrative of Scripture. And it occurred to me that there is another book I could add to this list that I’m surprised I’ve never written about here: The Jesus Storybook Bible.
This is the best children’s storybook I’ve seen, both in the illustrations and the way the stories are developed. They are paraphrased to make them easier for children, but not overly simplified, or distilled down to some moral lesson. Except for one lesson. Each story is tied up somehow pointing to Jesus, whether it be anticipation of Jesus at the end of each Old Testament story, or reflection about Jesus in the New Testament. And my 5 year old knows it. With each story we read, she turns to me with a smile at the end, and says, “It’s talking about Jesus!”
As a foundation for our kids, I think one of the best things we have to offer is an understanding of the Bible as a big story that fits together, and not some book of fables with moral lessons. Six years ago, I wrote something similar about the NIRV Read With Me Bible. It might still be my choice for toddlers, but the Jesus Storybook Bible has better served our family as our kids have grown in their comprehension levels.