Stuff that I have to think about hard doesn’t often make it onto the blog. I’m busy. And lazy. So despite my best intentions, my reviews of children’s bibles, about which I think I have a bit to say, are so far limited to one. And anyone who reads my Twitter stream would probably deduce that if I can’t clear mould from my windows, other stuff doesn’t always get done either.
Despite my general ineptitude, those excellent people at the Good Book Company still somehow thought that I might be a suitable person to review their newest bible study booklet. I’ve already had it a couple of weeks and wanted to share my enthusiasm for it with you.
They have come up with a great addition to the range. It’s called Beginning with God and is subtitled ‘Exploring the Bible with your child’ and ‘Bible discovery for pre-schoolers’. The colourful cover invites you to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ and inside are 29 studies from Genesis and the gospels.
I haven’t test driven the studies in the Vicarage (the Urban Pastor, has though). The Engineer is already reading for himself but I really wish we’d had this book a few years ago. I reckon you could start using it as soon as your child can sit up and take notice. Once your child can look at the pictures in a children’s bible, this book would be a very useful addition to the parent’s bible armour.
Beginning with God is designed for use with the Beginner’s Bible (which must be only children’s bible NOT in the Vicarage library). But it’s based so simply on well known bible stories that I think you’d get by with whichever one you already have.
Each study page is crammed with information, and can seem a little overwhelming at first glance. But after taking my time to read them through I became excited by the format, especially the many practical suggestions about prayer and making the bible story relevant throughout the day.
The studies are broken into appetisers, a main course and a snack for the journey. The appetiser menu is a great list of ideas of things you can chat about or do in introduction to your bible time. The main course includes prayer suggestions, a simple summary of the main truth learnt from the bible story and some great questions to ask your child. The snack is an idea you can carry with you through the day to continue the conversation about the bible reading.
The Vicar and I tried to do most of these things when the children were young, but it was so hard to know where to start, especially with the Queen, who was first. Neither of us had been brought up reading the bible regularly so we didn’t have a clue and bumbled along asking everyone we knew for their suggestions. This book would have been brilliant for us. And having run a 2-3s creche, I also think this book would be a great resource in a small church for the littlest kids group.
The book is also packed with bonus extras – stickers (the delight of every small child), craft ideas, tips on prayer and a cut-out-and-keep sheet of ‘snacks’ that you can shove in your pocket or handbag, to remind you to keep talking about God throughout the day. At £5 it’s quite expensive, but littlies love repetition – you could use this a good few times until the kids notice!