Friday, August 1, 2014

7QT (Vol. 96): Recommended Bible Stories and Read-alouds for Children

You know why bloggers love to have questions from their readers? It's not really about the validation that someone does indeed read what we write, though admittedly it is a nice ego boost. But primarily, we love questions because it gives us something about which to write when we stumble to the computer at 10:30 pm! So, many thanks to Ginny who asked if I had a children's Bible to recommend. We don't use a Bible with our kids right now, but I do have some collections to recommend.

My favorite Bible for young children (ages two to six?) is My First Bible in Pictures by Kenneth Taylor. First of all, it is beautiful, which is important for little ones. The book is alternating pages of text and full-page pictures by Richard and Frances Hook. It contains 125 Bible stories, including some of the more challenging ones like Cain and Abel. It does not include the sacrifice of Isaac, which I appreciate. One of the best things about this Bible is that each one-page story concludes with a very simple comprehension question.

Illustrator: Richard Hook

Another collection I recommend is Tomie dePaola's Book of Bible Stories. This collection of stories and a few Psalms uses the NIV translation, which I wouldn't recommend for Scripture study, but is accessible for children while still conveying the important Truth of the stories. These stories have also been chosen to be short enough for young children. I would recommend this for children ages four through... ten? It is verbatim selections from the Bible, so it's not like we outgrow reading them. At the same time, older children should be encouraged to read the stories in context.

The last collection of Bible stories we use for our kids at this time is 101 Read-Aloud Bible Stories, which is currently out of print. This is definitely a loose translation of Scripture, truly a read-aloud story rather than a Bible excerpt. The stories have a few illustrations and take about ten minutes to read. The longer stories do challenge the attention span of most little ones, so I would recommend this for ages five and up. It is a nice option for reading to children of various ages.

Speaking of reading aloud, I have really been enjoying reading to Peter recently. While we still do quite a few picture books, he has become interested in longer stories, too. Our first chapter book was Charlotte's Web, which was one of my favorites as a child. I wondered how my sensitive little guy would do with (spoiler alert) Charlotte's death, but he seemed to accept it as part of the story. When we finished, he immediately asked to read it again! For reading aloud to little ones, it is definitely worth getting a hardcover copy. It stays open much more easily.

We also have a collection of Winnie the Pooh stories, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, which our whole family loves. Anne likes seeing the animals, Peter likes the stories, and Jeremy and I appreciate the sophisticated humor that goes right over Peter's head. I must say, though, that I get a bit teary during the last story in House at Pooh Corner, so ready yourself for that one. :-)

Just this past week, we started - and have almost finished - The Original Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Peter likes the adventures, which have just a hint of danger (like when Raggedy Andy gets stuck in a drainpipe) without enough to scare him. There are fewer illustrations in this collection, but he is interested enough in the story without pictures to attract his attention. Your turn: what book should we read next?

Read more 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary


  1. A great list to get me rolling! Thank you!!

    1. You're welcome! (Sorry, I missed this comment until tonight; it got dismissed as spam.)