Holman Bibles has presented an attractive children’s Bible which has some difficulties in the presentation. The Christian Standard Bible hardback version, which I reviewed, is attractively designed to draw children of various ages to the scriptures. Each book contains a brief, “Kid-Friendly”, introduction including details helping the reader know to whom the book is written for, when it was written, why it was written, and a brief (a sentence or two) statement on the book’s key message. Also included in this introductory page is a list of the Bible Stories covered by the interactive features of this Bible. The body of the text includes six different types of sidebars focusing on additional key concepts:
1. Definitions of “Big Words” or ideas found in many of the passages.
2. Answers to “Big Questions” answered in the pages of the Bible
3. “Christ Connections” help the reader see the role Jesus plays throughout the scriptures
4. “Suggested Memory” highlight 100 verses that will help the reader apply the scriptures to their lives.
5. Another section entitled “See the Big Picture” does for individual periscopes or sections what the Book Introductions do for the individual Bible Books.
6. “Parent Connection”s is designed to help parents to “be empowered to use [the publishers] titles to engage deeper in the story with their kids. (Please note, I spent several minutes looking for an example of this kind of entry – I had a difficult time finding an example.)
These add significant value to this children’s Bible. I was disappointed however that I found no index to these features in the hardback version I was provided. A searchable e-book may overcome this limitation.
However, the very feature which is designed to make this edition stand out is poorly executed. After downloading an accompanying app from either the Apple or Android app stores, the reader can scan images within the book and have a Bible story read to them. The catch is that the reader must hold their phone or tablet camera over the picture for the entire story. Once the camera wanders away from the scanned picture, the story stops and must be restarted from the beginning. For older kids, the effort will not be difficult, but they may quickly get bored. Younger kids may have a difficult time leaving the phone focused on the picture long enough to hear the entire story. A couple of comments might be in order:
1. If a written version of the story were included in the text, an adult or older sibling could read the story from where the automated story left off.
2. This may only be a problem with a paper copy of this Bible – I expect that the e-book version of this Bible may not experience this handicap.
I will be giving two stars to this hardback version. I would give 2-½ stars if I could. My guess that the e-book would get a significant higher (4 stars?) rating provided it addresses the two issues mentioned above. I would hope that a future edition of the software or the printed book might address these issues. A parallel web page might also assist the parent and child to address these limitations as well.
The book’s best use for the hardback or paperback version might be in a church or public library, where the parent could borrow the Bible for a couple of weeks to see how well they and their kids can adapt to its use. A pre-school or Kindergarten Sunday School class might also find the book of value as it provides new methods for telling the Bible stories to a tech aware generation of young kids.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.