Reading to my children has always been important to me. Maybe it is because my mother and father read to us a lot as we were growing up, maybe because I inherited my father’s love for reading and books.
When I find a great book or series of books that will teach my children biblical truth, reenforce what I have been teaching them from God’s Word, or build their faith, it finds a special place on our bookshelf and I add it to the rotation to ensure as much use out of it as possible.
Authors Agnes and Salem de Bezenac have done a fantastic job of putting together a series of books that walk children through passages of Scripture, teach godly character, or explain life lessons with easy to understand words and beautiful, childlike illustrations and all from a biblical perspective.
Because the author is also the illustrator (and an excellent one at that!), the pictures show the heart of the passage in the way the author truly intends them to. The illustrations are very engaging and childlike, with lots of color and plenty of movement, but not too busy to overwhelm little eyes.
I would definitely recommend these books for preschool through early elementary aged children. As children learn to read, these would be great practice for them, while building their faith and spirits.
The Psalms Series
In the Psalms series, each page features a phrase from the actual passage and a simple interpretation/paraphrase for easy understanding. Although there is an entire series, I have, have read, and recommend the following titles:
In the Bible Thoughts On… books, an initial verse is given and then a rhyming story follows depicting the character trait focused on in the title. The accompanying activity book gives parents ways to take the lessons from the book and bring them into the home to help children learn to develop good, biblical character traits.
I have also had the opportunity to preview several of their books that just deal with life or just fit in the “other” category.
14 Jesus Tales: 2 Minute Stories While On Your Way, or At the End of the Day These stories are fictional stories about Jesus as a little boy designed to teach character and to remind children that Jesus was once a child, too. The author is very clear to parents the importance of making sure children understand the stories in this particular book are not true and are not given equal status as Scripture. (Personally, I have a hard time with books that portray Jesus as a child in situations that are outside of Scripture. Although, Jesus is always shown in the best light with great character, it’s just a step I’m uncomfortable with.)
Where is Grandpa? My Visit to the Cemetery I love how the concept of death and life are portrayed in this book. The entire book is a conversation between a grandmother and granddaughter which beautifully describes why the grandfather died, where his body is, where his soul is, and how one day God will reunite us with our loved ones who are saved. If your young child has experienced a loss, this is a great book to read to them.
God Talks With Me About Comfort How many children are afraid of sounds that go bump in the night? This story takes children alongside a little girl who is afraid of the dark and the scary sounds they hear at night. Throughout the story, Bible verse phrases are given to help calm the child’s fears until she realizes the sound she is hearing is a family of birds outside her window. My favorite part of the book is the end, however. The author devotes an entire page to giving the references and Scripture to the verses given in the story, another page for conversation started to help children express their fears, and a final page with ideas for 4 activities to help children overcome their fears.
The Lord’s Prayer As with the Psalms series, this book takes the individual phrases from the passage and gives a side by side paraphrase for easier understanding.
Reading to our children is important, but far more important is imparting the truth of God’s Word in their hearts. These books do just that.