The Big Picture Story BibleNot all children’s Bibles are created equal.

Some Bibles directed toward children tend to simplify the stories in order for the intended audience to be able to understand it. Most of the time this means they leave out the bad and difficult to understand stuff and use simple language. Other children’s Bibles spend more time on the visual illustrations and less time on the words.

The various approaches to writing and crafting a good children’s storybook Bible are not intrinsically good or bad, it just seems to have more to do with what the author and publisher want to accomplish.

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm with illustrations by Gail Schoonmaker, accomplishes exactly what the title insinuates: covering the “big picture” of the Bible.

Through full page graphics and simple verbiage, the illustrator and author seem to strike the perfect balance between amazing pictures and a simple, interconnected story line. There are not a lot of words on a page, which lends credibility to the publisher’s claim that this Bible is geared for children 2 and up. I can attest this Bible’s ability to hold my preschool age children’s attention. It seems that on average there are 15 or so pages for each story. So there’s lots of pictures to see in one story on multiple and yet minimal words to read on each page. This Bible can really keep a child’s attention.

The reduced amount of words does not mean that this is some cheap or diluted story book Bible. Quite the contrary. This children’s story Bible does a masterful job of telling the overall story of God rescuing His people. There are strikingly accurate thematic statements peppered throughout this retelling of the story of God and His people.

Themes like:

  • Obedience and disobedience
  • God’s people, place and presence
  • God’s word, blessing and promise
  • God as King
  • Humanity believing (or not believing) God’s word: doubt and forgetfulness
  • Judgment that happens when we reject God as King
  • The rescue of God’s people

As a student of redemptive history myself, I would recommend reading Helm’s thematic retelling of the “big picture” of God’s story as a helpful overlay as you read the actual biblical account. Even though this story Bible is written with an audience of children in mind, the themes transcend a “simple” understanding of God’s Word. The author did a phenomenal job of accurately conveying some core themes of Scripture.

Additionally, this children’s story Bible asks a lot of questions… something I find myself doing quite often when I teach children. I ask questions of the story to gauge the understanding of the students. The author of this story Bible does this sparingly and appropriately. It allows the reader, and the child listening, to be “involved” in the story.

There is one critique that I would levy at this publication: The entire section of the Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Saul are skipped over. The story line goes from the death of Joshua straight to the story of David and Goliath. Now I understand that in order to tell the “big picture” of the Bible some stories are going to be summarized and skipped over, but it seems to this student of the story of God that what happens in the Judges and Ruth (at the very least a summary of it) as well as an instrumental figure such as Samuel and the first king, Saul is worthy of note in order to explain why the Israelites had a king. This is not something I would have done. There is just a lot skipped.

Specifics

Is The Big Picture Story Bible a full text of the Bible? No.
Does this story Bible have a lot of Bible stories in it? Nope.
Are the major Bible stories present? Yes (in a thematic way).

There are 2 audio CDs included with this story Bible: the OT and the NT. It’s contains the author reading through the entire story Bible.
Number of pages: 456
Publisher: Crossway, 2004

This story Bible is available at Wesleyan Publishing House and also as an ebook on Kindle as well as in the iBooks store.

Gallery

Stories Contained in this Story Bible

[table style=”1″]

[tr][th]Testament[/th] [th]# of stories[/th] [th]Bible Stories[/th] [th]# of pages per story[/th][/tr]

[tr][td]Old Testament[/td] [td]01[/td] [td]The Very Good Beginning[/td] [td]20[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]02[/td] [td]A Very Sad Day[/td] [td]12[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]03[/td] [td]Life Outside the Garden[/td] [td]15[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]04[/td] [td]God’s Big Promise[/td] [td]14[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]05[/td] [td]God’s People Grow[/td] [td]18[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]06[/td] [td]God’s People Become Great[/td] [td]18[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]07[/td] [td]God’s Great Sign[/td] [td]16[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]08[/td] [td]Going Into God’s Place[/td] [td]25[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]09[/td] [td]God’s Blessings Grow[/td] [td]18[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]10[/td] [td]Another Very Sad Day[/td] [td]22[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]11[/td] [td]God’s Promise Remains[/td] [td]16[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]New Testament[/td] [td]12[/td] [td]Many Silent Years[/td] [td]12[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]13[/td] [td]God’s Promised One is Born[/td] [td]14[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]14[/td] [td]God’s Promised One is Announced[/td] [td]10[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]15[/td] [td]God’s New People are Called[/td] [td]14[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]16[/td] [td]Jesus Restores God’s Place[/td] [td]18[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]17[/td] [td]Jesus Reveals God’s Kingdom[/td] [td]14[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]18[/td] [td]A Blind Man Sees[/td] [td]12[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]19[/td] [td]A Dead Man is Raised to Life[/td] [td]20[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]20[/td] [td]Jesus Wears God’s Kingly Crown[/td] [td]14[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]21[/td] [td]Jesus’ Followers Are in the Dark[/td] [td]6[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]22[/td] [td]A Brand New Day[/td] [td]12[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]23[/td] [td]God’s Promise is Explained[/td] [td]16[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]24[/td] [td]God’s New Kingdom Spreads[/td] [td]15[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]25[/td] [td]Letters to Live By[/td] [td]8[/td][/tr]

[tr][td][/td] [td]26[/td] [td]The Very Good Ending[/td] [td]16[/td][/tr]

[/table]

Giveaway Details and Instructions

We are giving this story Bible away! Here’s how:

Anyone and everyone is eligible. In order to be included in the random drawing you must do one of the 3 things below.

  1. Comment below this post on how you will use this Bible if you were to win it.
  2. Share this post on your Facebook wall (copy the URL link of the post and paste it into your status). UPDATE: you need to mention “Wesleyan Kids” and make sure the Facebook page comes up or we don’t know who has “shared” this. Sorry, but 14 people have already shared (as of 12:30pm on 4-3-13)… if you could add “Wesleyan Kids” to the comment thread that should work. Sorry, this is a new process… if this doesn’t work then do one of the other options :) This isn’t working. Do one of the other three options.
  3. Tweet this post or retweet @wesleyankids tweet.
  4. Subscribe to WesleyanKids.org email notifications on the right sidebar of this webpage, titled “Don’t Miss a Single Post.”

The contest is open for one week. At midnight on Tuesday, April 9, the contest will close, and the winner will be picked using a randomizer program and announced the following day.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I would use this book to help teach my 3 children about the greatest story ever told. And also share it with my youngest sons Sunday School class :)

  2. We would use this Bible with our pre-school class at church. I think the audio component would add a lot!

    • The audio is a great addendum to the Bible. Also, if you purchase the Bible on an Apple device in the iBooks store, the Bible can actually read to you and turn the page automatically! We have this on our iPad at home and my two girls love to open up that Bible and let it read to them as they track through the story. You can even set it to stop reading at the end of each page and let your child “digitally” turn the page each time, then it resumes reading for you. My girls love that option because they get to be involved in the process. Lots of fun with different versions of this Bible.

  3. I am the Children’s Minister at our church and we would use this bible in our Sunday School classes. I have been looking for some GOOD children’s bibles for awhile now! This looks great!

  4. Would use this with my own children! We’ve been having a hard time finding an age-appropriate Bible for my 6 year old.

Comments are closed.