Sunday, August 09, 2009

Review: Read and Share Toddler Bible by Gwen Ellis

Thanks to the Thomas Nelson Book Blogger Program, my five year old and I were able to review The Read and Share Toddler Bible, which comes with a DVD showcasing fourteen favorite Bible stories.

The book contains twenty-five Old Testament stories and fifteen New Testament stories. In some cases though, on event takes two stories to tell, probably catering to the short attention span of young children. For example, one story tells us how God told Noah to build the ark, and shows the ark being loaded. It tells us that the rain started, but that those inside were snug and safe. The next story tells us about the dove going out and the people leaving the ark. It ends with the rainbow. The illustrations are bright, colorful and well-done. The wording includes plenty of sound effects that make the book fun to read aloud.

On the last page of each story is a Parents box which offers activities and discussion questions. For the Noah's ark story, the first box suggests letting your little one pretend to pound and saw like Noah and pretend to be the different animals climbing up the ramp. After pitter-pattering like the rain and howling like the rain, parents are asked to help the child thank God for keeping him safe. After the second story, making a rainbow is suggested, along with talking with your child about how the rainbow stands for God's promise.

Looking at this book from a Catholic perspective, I found no errors of commission--what was there appeared to be accurate. I realize that a book like this can't include every story or every detail, but it contained no mention of the Last Supper or institution of the Eucharist and, in telling the story of the Annunciation, it did not mention anything about Mary being extraordinary in any way, nor did it mention that her "yes" was an important part of the story.

The video is cute and my five year old has enjoyed it. I'd recommend this book to anyone with young children and think it and the activities in it could be used not only with your own kids, but also with a preschool religion program or, with some of them, for a Liturgy of the Word for children.

You can view part of the book here.

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