A Gift that Really Will Last All Year: Children’s Bibles

One of the best gifts that a parent or grandparent can give a child is a good Children’s Bible.  We have found that there is no better time than Christmas to give our son a new Children’s Bible that we can read together all year.  I have given a few questions to consider before choosing one, and a brief review of four excellent Children’s Bibles.  What Children’s Bibles have been helpful to your family?

Questions to consider before choosing a Children’s Bible:

  • Does it contain enough Bible stories to read together for most of the year?  Some only have about 20 stories, but think long-term with reading this with your child every night.
  • Does it have enough pictures, and are they age-appropriate?  Children love to be read to, and you don’t want your child to dread reading their Bible with you as opposed to the other books with exciting pictures that you read together.
  • Is it biblically and theologically accurate?  Read a couple of the entire stories to get a feel for how they have explained the Bible stories.  The last thing you want to do as you read Bible stories together is teach your child incorrect facts about the Bible and God.  It is worth taking the time to look it over closely!
  • Will I commit to reading this Children’s Bible with my child regularly?  One of the most consistent ways that you can disciple your children (Eph. 6:4) is to read Bible stories with them as part of your night-time routine or other set time daily.  I am always amazed at the questions my 4 year old son asks when we read his Children’s Bible together.

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and pictures by Jago is my favorite Children’s Bible.  It ties the stories of both the Old and New Testaments into the hope of Jesus as our Savior.  We read this Bible to our son during the year that he was 3, and he loved the pictures and the way the stories are written–and so did I.  After one year of reading this, I was ready for something different that would teach him even more of the Bible, but you won’t regret getting this Bible for your child or grandchild about ages 3-10.

The One Year Bible for Children by V Gilbert Beers has been an excellent way to bring our son through some new Bible stories this year.  There really are 365 Bible stories including Psalms or Proverbs for the weekend!  My son loves the “classic” Bible story pictures.  It may have been too much for him as a 4 year old though–every other page has no pictures, so I would often google the Bible story as he would request a picture.  I would highly recommend it for ages 5-9.

What do you read to your toddler (or younger) to begin to teach them about God and His Word?  A Child’s First Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor has been perfect.  I would recommend it for infants up to age 3.  Even our 16 month old enjoys a couple of brief stories out of this at night.  For now I paraphrase the story in a couple of sentences and point at the pictures in an excited voice as I talk about God.  She likes looking at the animals in the pictures too.  When she is closer to 2 and above we will systematically go through this whole Children’s Bible and read the text which is simple but faithful.

I am excited to begin reading The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski to my son who will be 5 this year.  It has all of the elements that I listed above:  enough Bible stories to last for much of the year, a picture for each story, and biblical and theological accuracy (It has excellent reviews and I enjoyed reading several stories–it was hard to put down!).  The subtitle, “Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments” reminds me of The Jesus Storybook Bible but for kids who are a touch older.  I think the sometimes abstract but colorful pictures may be too much for a child younger than age 5.

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