Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Review: 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs by Stephen Elkins

My assistant reviewer (my five year old) would give this set five stars. I'll give it four. 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs is a book and CD set designed for young children. Each two page spread contains a bright-colored illustration of a Bible story. Beneath a large title is a quote from the associated song, and beneath that, a paraphrase of a Bible Story. A blue cloud under the song gives the scripture reference. Certain words in the story are in colored type; I guess they are considered important, but there was no real indication of why they were chosen over other words. The second page of the spread has a red sentence telling us the lesson to be learned and a blue line relating the lesson back to the story. For example, the story of Jonah and the Big Fish has "God is a forgiving God" as the red line and "He forgave Jonah even though he disobeyed." as the blue. Under the illustration is a green line that applies the lesson to the reader's life. In this case "I know God will forgive me if I say I'm sorry."

The book comes with 2 CDs such that there are 100 Bible songs to go with the 100 Bible stories. Most of them are old Bible school favorites. My big kids had Wee Sing tapes when they were younger, and most of the songs sounded pretty much like those did. There are a few original songs. The lyrics to all the songs can be found here.

Why would I only give this set four stars, when my daughter would give it five? I know a book like this can't have every story and tell every detail. However, in telling the story of the Last Supper it mentions Him sharing the bread and wine and telling the disciples to "Do this to remember me", but doesn't mention it being His body and blood. Also, the green sentence for the baptism of John is "When I am baptized, God will be pleased (emphasis added). My daughter, of course, has already been baptized. I just change to wording when reading it to her, but a child who reads may be confused.

All in all though, I'd recommend this set to parents or catechists. The integration of music, pictures, stories and teaching makes this a great resource--and my five year old REALLY likes it.

I'd like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for the chance to review the book. Check out the product page for more information.

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