This is the way I read the Bible to my kids

This is the way I read the Bible to my kids 1I recently read the ENTIRE Bible to my toddler and preschooler.

It was the Read & Share Kids Bible so I admit it wasn't quite as lengthy as the "real thing." ;)

My 4-year-old insisted that we read every single page in chronological order. My almost-2-year-old pointed at every page that had a baby with wild excitement (to say that she loves babies would be a massive understatement).

Sometimes I'm not sure what to think about the Bible stories that are traditionally told to children. They can be quite intense and often confusing [even for me]. Tommy Nelson's version does a good job at tailoring the stories for the littlest readers. They're short, simple, and include a discussion question at the end of each one.

This is the way I read the Bible to my kids 2That said, I DO wish this Bible had more beautiful illustrations. Perhaps it's the hidden artist in me, but I would prefer to see images that stir my soul. I think a publisher needs to hire someone like Marla Frazee for the task (that's the first illustrator that comes to mind). As a side note, can you imagine trying to illustrate the Bible? Wow.

When we first received this Bible in the mail, Tim peeked over my shoulder and asked, "Why is everyone white in that Bible?" That is a very good question. [To be fair, there is some ethnic representation...but not much].

Despite its flaws, it is a favorite book around here. Both of my girls choose it above other books with regularity.

This is the way I read the Bible to my kids 3Yesterday, I peeked over at the girls as I was cleaning. My 4-year-old was pointing at a picture of Jesus surrounded by children. "See him?" she was saying, excitedly, "Right there! He's in your heart!"


Do you read the Bible to your children? If so, do you read a "Kid's Bible"? Who would YOU choose to illustrate a kid's Bible?

WIN IT! One winner will receive a Read & Share Bible. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Friday, February 18th at 11:59 p.m. All generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified. Winner must provide a US mailing address.

* Tommy Nelson sent me a book for review purposes and is also providing 1 book for the giveaway.

*UPDATE* The winner is #37 Liann S. Congratulations!

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38 comments on “This is the way I read the Bible to my kids”

  1. Ok so we are going to HAVE to check out the Jesus Storybook Bible :) Wow! Mentioned so many times.
    I also love your commentors suggestions for Eric Carle or Garth Williams (he's one of my faves too) to illustrate.

    We are currently reading The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories ( The stories are really straightforward, there are gobs of bright high quality illustrations (although very "cartoony"), and we really like a lesson book that we were given with it. It is called Beginning With God ( The lessons are really short, applicable, and have stickers :) The stories in the Bible are a great length to do with the lessons but too short to read alone. We end up "reading ahead" alot. It could be worse, right?

    We also have a few board book ones that we read straight through.

    Sorry so long- future post :)

  2. Definitely excited to research more about this children's bible and a few others listed by your readers. Thank you for sharing.....

  3. Our favorite is the Jesus Storybook Bible. It has beautiful illustrations, and the way it's written is engaging for adults and children alike. I really can't say enough good stuff about it. We read it almost every day.

  4. We have three story-book Bibles that we like.
    Most true to the Bible is an old copy of Taylor's Bible Story Book copyrighted 1973. When we read it I often think, "really, is that in the Bible? or was it added for the kids?" And almost always, it's true to the Bible. The illustrations, however are very traditional, very brown but perhaps the most life-like.
    I also like "Bible Stories for Growing Kids" because it is written by Francine Rivers and her daughter. If anyone can capture real-life it's Francine Rivers. Illustrated by Pascale Constantin - I would call the illustrations "traditional" cartoons.
    My current favorite is "The Jesus Storybook Bible." The subtitle says it perfectly "every story whispers his name" written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Illustrated by Jago. Each story adds some insight as to how it points to Jesus. The illustrations are fanciful and unusual (like a disciple literally hanging onto the mast of a ship while Jesus sleeps, a man holding his nose in the story about the Israelites being in the desert for 40 years...without a bath.)

    As an illustrator I love Delana Bettoli of "This is the Stable" by Cynthia Cotton. There is a picture of the shepherds in the fields around a camp fire that I can only describe as luminous!

  5. We read the Beginners Bible - a 1989 edition because I liked the illustrations better - and that was the edition we read to my little sister when I was growing up. It's perfect for my 2 and 4 year old right now - every time I think I need to explain something better, I look down and realize the next sentence says exactly what I was going to say. :)

    Sounds like I should check out the Jesus Storybook Bible! Maybe we will read that next.

  6. I agree with others...... the Jesus Storybook Bible!! It's so good, and the illustrations are fantastic. We have 6 or 7 children's Bibles (all at varying levels.... one is a board book for little babies, and the rest work their way up to probably a 1st or 2nd grade level....and everything in between).

  7. We also read the Jesus Storybook Bible to our 4 yr. old daughter and she loves it. And to answer your question: while it is impossible for this to happen, since this man has passed away, I would've loved to have seen Garth Williams illustrate a children's Bible; illustrator of the Little House on the Prairie series as well as Charlotte's Web. :) He's my favorite illustrator.

  8. I've read kid Bibles to my children in the past and they love it! Lately, we've been doing some character studies and such but I need to find a kid Bible again and get it out. We'd put them up for a while because my 16 month old is SO destructive!

    I'd love to see an Eric Carle illustrated Bible!!

  9. I have not started to read the bible with my 3 year old, but this post has motivated me to start reading the bible to him. When my oldest was younger we had a similar bible, but it started falling apart from them using it so much.

  10. We haven't started the Bible yet (my son turned 2 in November) but it's probably about time. I had a beautiful Children's Illustrated Bible growing up and I think it's still at my parent's house.

  11. I have a toddler bible for my daughter as well, so I try to read to her at least once or twice a week. We are not done yet but we got Noah and Moses story

  12. We have two children's Bibles for our 4-year-old but they are geared towards toddlers, so we have been on the lookout for one that is more age appropriate! This one sounds nice and I may check out The Jesus Storybook Bible that others have posted about!

  13. Love this! We have an assortment of children's bibles that our children enjoy looking at. At bedtime, I enjoy reading from an easy to understand version(like the international children's bible)- one segment at a time (in digestable portions :)..., and then praying over them individually regarding whatever the scripture was. Like, if it's Corinthians 13, I pray that they would know love, etc. So sweet to hear about your family! What beautiful memories you are making!

  14. We have several children's Bibles that we read to our kids every night. The one that we've read from cover to cover several times is the Rhyme Bible and the illustrations in it are wonderful. My kids have memorized their favorite stories just from reading them over and over again at their request :). That being said, we'd love to have a different version of the Bible to read aloud and think the questions at the end would be a fun discussion starter!

  15. We have A Child's First Bible, but my boys were never too thrilled with the illustrations...but my daughter really likes it. I'm always looking for new books to read to them. I read all different kinds of books to them, but I want them to really appreciate the Bible and what it more than just a book on their shelf.

  16. My mom offered to come over tonight and help with the bedtime routine in our house (my husband is deployed and for whatever reason Saturdays are though). I overheard one of my 4 year olds asking her to read from one of the tiny bouquet sized New Testaments. Mimi was trying to convince her to choose something else, maybe a children's Bible so she could see the words to read them. Sarah retorted, "Come on Mimi, this is God's Word!"

    All that said, we do a little bit of both children's story book Bibles (we have lots of different versions so I don't need to be entered in the contest) and reading from the read deal. They seem to soak it up either way.

  17. We have done the same thing, read the entire children's Bible, it;s kinda neat! However, sometimes I feel it leaves important details out, even for children. It would totally be cool to have illustrations of what we read in scripture. I wish there were authors that had illustrated the stories, b/c it would be much more accurate then if someone illustrated the stories now. Why aren't there more pictures related to the people and events in the Bible? I'm sure there were many artist back then.

    1. That is such a good question, Danielle! Where WERE the artists back then? Or...maybe there were artists...but the drawings were lost in floods, fires, wars, etc. It is interesting to think about.

      Miss you!

  18. So far, since my baby is almost 1 and has a super short attention span for any reading that does not involve CARS, I do very limited Bible reading. I have a tracing of my baby that I framed, and I put a few Bible verses around it in key locations (a verse about being wonderfully made, the heart, the eyes, the feet). I show my baby his silhouette and read him these verses on a nearly daily basis. That's about it right now.

    And I am a classicist - I will definitely read him Bible story books or abridged Bibles like this one, because kids need an accessible version of Bible stories, but I will also read to him straight from the King James Bible as well, becauase of the beauty and lyricism of its wording. As an avid fan of "the Bard" I will also read him Shakespeare early on, so... he'd better get used to Thees and Thous b/c I love the literature of the Middle English time period!! LOL :)

  19. Just want to add that we also LOVE the Jesus Storybook Bible!!! Also, the family in a blog I like starts their children reading a "real" Bible as soon as they are starting out reading. I finally got my 6 year old in front of my Bible and he was actually able to read quite a bit more than I had expected. Way more me to explain, but a reminder that kids are way more capable than we give them credit for!

  20. this is pretty interesting to me...I wasn't raised in a Christian home, so I was curious as to how we would introduce the bible to our children (once we had them of course!)

  21. We read scriptures right before family prayer at night. It is part of the bedtime routine. We have little illustrated versions (cartoon magazine type), and my kids love them. Sometimes, my older one insists on reading a few verses from "her" scriptures - the real thing. That works too. I find it hard to have a Christ centered home without reading His words, so am grateful we started this routine when they were babies.

  22. Thanks for sharing about this book. We read to our boys every night, but haven't found a good kids bible or bible stories book yet. I'd love to have this to read to them. Will also look for the Jesus Storybook bible, as that sounds like a good one, too.

  23. I have a really small kids bible that I can read to the girls in one sitting. They are only a few stories with a few sentences per story. We also have some other bible story books but no real good kids bible. They girls love to read them and this would be perfect for them.

  24. We read several different Bibles to our girls. Part of our oldest's schooling includes reading to her a Bible story each day. I've never thought before about how hard that would be to illustrate a Bible. I have no idea who I would choose, but definitely not myself! :)

  25. I read to Lilly from a Children's bible now and then. The one we have, although it's Children's, is still a little confusing for her. I'm torn over it, actually...

  26. My older children have a Bible reading plan from church. I read out of a children's Bible to my little one, but I am not as consistant as I should be. I would love this for her. I think she would enjoy it!

  27. This seems like such a great way to introduce children to the bible. I'd love to have one for my kids. I should also note that after unfortunate life events I stopped going to Church and believing in God (after my Dad passed away just 3 days before my 8th birthday). But we have recently started attending Church and I am so thankful for the belief that God has in ME! It has truly started to change my life.

  28. I haven't starting reading the bible to our daughter yet but would love to. We do read a prayer book that has really sweet illustrations. I don't really know many illustrators, but I think they are very important to any story and especially a children's story. I'm also always on the lookout for good children's bibles because I always give them as a gift at a baptism. Thanks for the review:)

  29. Have you read the Jesus Storybook Bible?!?! It's amazing. It has the nice illustrations you want, and it is so beautifully written. I find that it speaks to me in new, fresh and beautiful ways every time I read it.

    1. That is a wonderful thing about reading the Bible to kids, isn't it? I often catch my breath as I read because the stories are exactly what *I* need to hear.

  30. I don't need to be entered... we read The Jesus Storybook Bible. Have you seen it? We LOVE it and the illustrations are really cool as well as colored appropriately. The best part is how every story points toward Jesus as the answer. It's also chronological and can be read almost as a chapter book. We haven't made it through the whole thing yet as Cory just wants to read the same stories over and over! ;)

    1. You recommended The Jesus Storybook Bible first...and then at least a dozen other people recommended we will definitely be checking it out. Thank you!

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