The 365-Day Storybook Bible by B&H Kids is a decent entry into the world of Children’s Bibles. Please understand right off the top, this is not an entire Bible. It is, instead, a significant book containing 365 separate Bible stories, presented in the order in which they appear in the Bible. Not every book of the Bible is represented, but the “major” stories are covered. The book itself is fairly substantial, as the pages are thick glossy paper with vividly detailed illustrations on every page. The initial concept for the book comes from a Scandinavian publishing house in Denmark, and the book has now been released by B&H Kids with the text copyrighted to the initial publishing author.
First, the pros… Even with the limitations of a book like this, the book manages to highlight the overarching story of the Bible quite well. Many of the kids’ favorite Bible characters are included, but I was particularly happy to see some minor characters included as well: characters like Gideon, Hannah, and Deborah. I also really appreciated that book did not end at the Ascension. This is a common downside of other Children’s Bibles. This book includes many of the notable activities of the disciples as recorded Acts. Without stories like Paul and Silas singing in prison, Paul’s famous apologetic in Acts 17, and the story of Stephen’s bravery and hope, kids really miss out on learning about important events in early Church history. Each day’s entry includes the Scripture reference for that story. The entries can be quickly read to kids by their parents in the matter of a minute, leaving time for discussion between parent and child, while still being able to fit this devotional time into about 5 minutes.
Now for the cons… This heavy book is too cumbersome for our youngest readers to easily manage. The illustrations, while colorful, have a bit of a “grittier” tone to them than I would have liked. My thoughts were that boys might prefer them over girls. My test-case was my 50+ husband who thought the illustrations were great. Take that for what it’s worth. As previously mentioned, this book includes some minor characters you won’t find in other Children’s Bibles, but sometimes it seems that this is done at the expense of other important Bible stories. For example, Day 121 is devoted to Jotham’s curse from Judges 9, yet not a single day’s entry is dedicated to anything that happens after the narrative of Acts. Also, the text is not any particular translation, it is merely the wording of an author named Joy Melissa Jensen. I appreciate that the publisher includes the Scripture references, but with translations like the NiRV available, many parents might rather stick with Children’s translation of the entire Word, instead of teaching their children Jensen’s words.
Ultimately, I believe that the more frequently we can keep our children learning Bible stories, the better it is for them, fostering in them a love for the Word of God, with the hope that they will accept the gospel message for themselves, personally, when they can understand it’s significance.
One other point to note: The back cover indicates that it has bonus content parents. While this is a true statement, the bonus content consists of one page that includes John 3:16, encouragement to read Romans 8:31-39, five questions to “think about” and 1 activity to do with the kids. All of this information is great, but I think it is a bit misleading to say there is bonus content inside, when in fact this “content” is quite limited.
As the headline of this review states, the pros certainly outweigh the cons of the 365-Day Storybook Bible, but parents are probably either going to love it or pass altogether.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review of any kind.