There are lots of kids’ Bibles out there. Each one seems to excel in some areas while falling short in others. While I would say the same is true about Kelly Pulley’s brand new (came out last week) Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times, the four areas where it excels far outweigh the two where it doesn’t.
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First, the super quick details.
- Author: Kelly Pulley
- Target Audience: Ages 4-8
- Length: 352 full-color pages
Here’s the 1-minute video overview…
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Now the Review…
Four Huge Pluses
The illustrations are beautiful! With a kids’ Bible, the illustrations are so, so important. I’m always surprised at the number of kids’ Bible publishers who miss that. Pulley does a terrific job. From the colors, to the facial expressions, to the animals, to the scenery – it is very obvious he has been doing this a long time and knows how to make a story come to life.
It’s not lily white. Yes…you know the Bibles I’m talking about. The setting is Biblical. The stories are Biblical. But all the people look like they were born and raised in Iowa. (Nothing against Iowa. Just saying.) Simply put, in this Bible the people look the way they should look.
The stories are long enough to actually teach something. In most kids’ Bibles aimed at this young of an audience the stories span 2-4 pages. The average story in Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times is 14-18 pages. When I sat down to read this for the first time with my kids, I was surprised – in a good way! – to see how long the chapters were. This might actually be my favorite thing about this Bible (since it’s so rare among kids’ Bibles).
The writing is terrific. First off, if you don’t like rhyming Bibles, this ones not for you. However, if you do, this might be the best I’ve found. The rhyming isn’t over-simplified. Pulley also uses words that are just the right mix of engaging-for-adults and understandable-by-kids. I could see reading this Bible many times without feeling like “Oh, she chose that book again.”
Two Little Minuses
The Beginning and the Ending. Yes, God still creates everything. Yes, Jesus still conquers death. However, it struck me as a little odd when I realized the title of the first story is Tricked by a Snake: The Slippery Story of Adam and Eve and the reference is Genesis 2-3. While Pulley does weave parts of the creation story into that first chapter, it seems to be a bit of a missed opportunity to to begin a whole chapter devoted to the creation narrative. Truth be told, Pulley is such a good illustrator, I would have loved to see what he came up with for Genesis 1.
Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times ends with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Nothing about the early church. Nothing about Paul, Peter, missionary journeys, or letters from prison. And nothing about Jesus promise to come back. Again, it seemed more like a missed opportunity than anything else.
If you have a child ages 4-8 (or a niece, nephew, grandchild or friend) – get this Bible. It’s really good. Your kids will enjoy hearing the stories. And you will enjoy reading them.