Our family loves books and have found that well-written children’s books can be a profitable addition to family worship time. We have been very selective when choosing books. Many children’s bible story books leave out important information or lead them to draw conclusions that are theologically incorrect. Here are a few resources thatwe highly reccomend:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible (Lloyd-Jones) – We keep extra copies of this stashed away to give to friends. (I should make a list of the other books we keep extra copies of someday!) Each story draws attention the relationship between the story and Jesus, tying together scripture into one whole story which helps children, as well as adults, build a framework for the Bible as a whole. The stories are relatively short and simple enough to catch the attention of a toddler and some editions come with audio stories which is a fun bonus.
- The Gospel Story Bible (Machowski) – We haven’t finished reading through this entire book yet, but we have enjoyed it so far. The author relates each story to Christ, just like the Jesus Storybook Bible. The stories are slightly more complex; probably best for preschool and above.
- Get Wisdom (Younts) – This is a great little book about character. Each character quality has a definition and related Bible verse on one page with some discussion points and activities on the following page. I have made copies of the definition pages and laminated them to use as flashcards. We are slowly memorizing each character quality and the correlating verse. I love how this helps the children to understand biblical concepts in a simple way. For example, the definition for mercy is “showing kindness to those who are weak, sinful, and needy because Christ loved me first when I was His enemy.” So for little ones who are struggling to show mercy to a younger sibling, I find a quick reminder of this definition helps them to appreciate the reasoning for my admonition instead of getting lost in the language.
- Big Truths for Little Hearts (Hunt) – This book uses stories about fictional children to teach simple catechism (basic Biblical truths in Q&A form). My children love the stories about Cassie and Caleb and their friends. The stories are a bit idealistic, and my husband and I often roll our eyes at how perfectly the children in the stories respond to every situation, but we have read through it twice and the kids are always eager to hear the next story.
- Sammy and the Shepherd (Hunt) – This is beautifully illustrated story that helps children to understand the metaphor in Psalm 23. Each section is only 2 pages long and expands on a phrase taken from the 23rd Psalm. Smaller children enjoy the story each night, and for older children there are discussion questions in the back of the book. You could use this as a tool to aid in memorizing this psalm as well.
- God’s Names (Michael) – Desiring God has some of our favorite resources for adults and this is one of their newer resources for children. Each chapter introduces a new name for God (El Shaddai, El Elyon, etc.) and teaches about specific aspects of His character related to the name. She writes in a conversational tone, communicating the unfamiliar words and concepts to younger children in a way that they can understand.
- Sowing the Seed (Kleyn) – This book contains short stories of evangelism which encouraged our children (and me!) to be more intentional in sharing Jesus with others. Some of
the the children became very prayerful about the salvation of specific family members and friends while reading this, and have continued to pray faithfully for many months following. There
are also 2 other books in this series that look intriguing though I have not taken the opportunity to read through them yet.
- Growing Together in Gratitude (Rainey) – We like this short devotional for Thanksgiving season. There are 7 stories of people (like Corrie Ten Boom and Harriet Tubman) who displayed gratitude in difficult circumstances. There are some difficult subjects-slavery, internment camps, and death- which may not be appropriate for young children. I chose to tell my children these stories to help them understand that God is still sovereign, and even in the most desperate circumstances we can trust Him and be grateful.
- The Priest with the Dirty Clothes (Sproul) – All of R.C. Sproul’s children’s books are worth reading, but this one is our favorite. He teaches deep theological concepts with powerful stories. I rarely make it through one without wiping tears from my eyes as I am struck with absolute awe at what Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
- Herein in Love Commentary series (Ganz) – These books require a slightly longer attention span (school-age) but are quickly becoming one of my favorite resources. Don’t be intimidated by the word “commentary” in the title. We have read through the book on Genesis this year and it is well-written, engaging, and very Christ centered. My 5 and 7 year old children have benefited greatly from the thorough examination of the lives of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph and the sovereign work of God in their lives. We are all eagerly anticipating reading through the rest of the books in the series.
I hope that some of these books will be an encouragement to your families as well!