Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Devotions for Preschoolers 2

Title: The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2
by Carla Barnhill; illustrated by Elena Kucharik
Age range: 3-6 years old
Publisher: Tyndale
Price: $14.99 (hardcover)

This is a MamaBuzz review. This product was given to me by Tyndale for review.

What to say, what to say? Let me start with a random excerpt, entitled "Special Delivery", from this book.

"Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work. Jeremiah 1:5"

"Have your parents told you about the day you joined their family? About how excited they were when they held you for the very first time? And just think, God knew all about you even before your parents did! Before you took your first breath or cried your first tear, God loved you. He planned a wonderful life for you. And he'll be looking out for you forever."

Insert little summary ditty: "Before I was born, God knew about me. He's loved me forever and planned what I'll be."

Positive Critique: It is a really, really good thing to read the Bible. Reading to kids is great. Reading the Bible to your child is excellent. If the options are read this devotional to your kid or your child will never hear Bible stories, then definitely use this book.

Negative Critique: Now, you all know I love talking about anything that has to do with a womb. This Jeremiah passage has excellent things to teach us about God. Things which do not really include "He'll be looking out for you forever."

My main problem with the book is that it assumes that each child is saved. Each story says something like "God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside you" or "One day you'll live with God forever." These things are true but only if God has saved you. This book neglects to teach children about sin, and so in turn fails to teach children how great a Savior Jesus is.

My Recommendation: I feel that any children's Bible book would not pass my critique after having read The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. If I know you and you have a child, I have probably given you one of these books. I love, love, love it! My dear friend Haven sent me a copy and Elijah and I have devoured it, often reading "just one more." Why was it exciting to me? I certainly knew the stories...but I didn't know how each story told of Jesus. I was unable to see, much less explain to my toddler, how the Gospel was present in an Old Testament story. The cover of The Jesus Storybook Bible says "Every story whispers His name." This is clearly fleshed out, but not in an annoying or overdone way. Reading The Jesus Storybook Bible went along perfectly with our pastor's recent teaching on Gospelizing - basically a telling of how the Gospel impacts everything, not just one's salvaion. I had asked my pastor for case studies on actually applying the Gospel to everything; God gave me The Jesus Storybook Bible .

So, if you are looking for a good children's Bible, you now know my favorite one. I look forward to reading it again! (Oh, the ending was magnificent!)


Caleb's Family said...

How very timely!!!! Thank you Lydia! I too have been disappointed with some of the children's Christian literature I have read. So much of it seems to have "dumbed" down the message of the story or changed it somewhat to where the truth of the story is not visible. I will be purchasing The Jesus Storybook Bible soon! By the way, I remember you blogged about the importance of praying for your children and I wanted to comment how very interested in praying with other moms I would be, but I didn't do it right then and so never got back around to it. So here I am telling you now!

Anonymous said...

We LOVE this Bible Lydia, thank you soooo much for Megan's copy!!! It is very funny, Matthew made clames on her Bibile....then for his birthday my friend Jana gave him the same one!! Best of all she wrote in his on the same page you wrote in Megan's so now he is so excited to have his and looks in it to see whos is whos!!! Thanks it is GREAT!!!

GranolaMom4God said...

Just stopping by from MamaBzz . . . to follow your blog!