NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition – A Review

teal-niv-journal-bible-coverNIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition is a very pretty journaling Bible for girls, or young women, or any woman that likes pretty. Each page has the place to write your thoughts, verses, etc. down the length of the page. There is a nice elastic to keep the Bible closed, and a lovely bookmark that matches the cover. I chose the turquoise edition to review (a personal favorite color) and the cover is incredibly lovely. The cover doesn’t contain text so it’s nice to have sitting out.  The book is more compact and a bit ‘smaller’ than a lot of Bibles, so it would be nice to slip into a book bag for  a Bible study or to cart with you.  There is a nice dedication page and unlike most Bibles, no maps or reference pages.

A horrible web cam image, but it shows off the cover without the  cardboard holder

A horrible web cam image, but it shows off the cover without the cardboard holder

This is a very lovely Bible, and I love that every page has a place to jot down thoughts, but I found the text really small in comparison to other Bibles I’ve read.  And because of the layout of the lines for journaling, I find the text to be a little compacted on the page.  I wouldn’t say this would be a good Bible for anyone under say 14 or so because of it’s small size, but at the same point, I don’t think most girls will journal under that age. I think for a young woman in Bible study it would be a nice edition to be able to jot down your thoughts and prayers.

I really loved the color and feel of the book. My biggest complaint would be the size of the text. Overall, it’s a nice Bible and it would be a lovely gift for a young woman for baptism or some other special occasion.  I would give it probably a 3 out of 5 stars.

This bible was provided to me for my honest review from Harper Collin’s Christian Publishing and BookLookBloggers. I have in no way been compensated for my review.

Kate

Love Letters From God: Bible Stories – A Review

91QjaJsWoXLLove Letters from God: Bible Stories by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a collection of short Bible stories for children published by Zonderkidz. Each of the 18 stories has a companion ‘love’ letter to the reader written by “God” hidden under a flap with a charming ‘stamp’ as if it had just been mailed. There is a blank spot to fill in the name of the child for each letter, making this a highly personalized book. There is also one last letter at the end of the book asking the reader to join Jesus’s team and a blank letter for the reader to pen a response to Jesus.

Of the 18 stories, some are classics, like the Creation, Noah, Jonah and the Whale, and the birth of Christ. Then the less ‘popular’ stories such as Samuel, David’s Anointing, the lost sheep, and Zacchaeus. The pages are filled with full page illustrations, that are unique to each story, some having a more photograph feel set in with the drawings. The overall feel of the book is very elegant with heavy pages and a glossy and mat dust jacket. The choice of a turquoise as the main color makes it incredibly soothing in its own way. It’s a very well done book.

I found this book, though, hard to review. I found the premise of the book was creative with the personalized letters to the reader, yet I found each story to be ‘dumbed down’ to the point of being cutesy instead of containing enough depth to really teach anything. Most Bible stories are not what I would call ‘happy’, but Ms. Nellist has made every story exuberant in some way. The story of Noah, while one of my favorite stories, is all about God destroying all but a few people. It’s not about just Noah’s family and the animals in the ark. Nor is it exactly exciting for the lions to be soooooo happy because they are going to get to eat Daniel, in the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. I just think there should have been better content in regards to the stories instead of making them so ‘happy’. ( I feel like I should cue Pharrell Williams and his song “Happy”)

That being said, I think many Christian families will enjoy this book. I myself was raised with a more traditional backing where we read the Bible instead of learning the stories from other books. I think that there are methods to Bible stories that make it more simple for a child to understand without making it ‘fun’. For instance, one of the best methods I remember being taught the stories was with large flashcard pictures, that were works of art in themselves, while the story was read. The content wasn’t taken out, but the pictures helped coalesce the whole story. I found this book to be just cute and I wonder if once the stories have been read over it will become old. Also I would say with what I have seen of most children reading books, don’t let your 4-8 year old alone with this. The letters will get torn because there is great care needed in reading this book.

I’d would probably give this book at the most 3 out of 5 stars. And I can honestly say I hate to write more negative reviews.

I was provided this book free for my honest opinion and review from Harper Collins Christian publishing.

Signing off

Kate

Goodnight Ark – A Review

51LYm8I1YXLGoodnight, Ark  By Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman must be one of the best modern picture books I have read in quite a while. Laura Sassi tells the tale of Noah and the ark in a sing song rhyme that is incredibly pleasing and something that will charm a child.  The ark is filling up with animals and it’s time for bed…. but when the loud storm scares the animals, they all start ending up in Noah’s bed. Boars, goats, elephants, tigers and even skunks! How will Noah get the animals to calm down and sleep? Maybe a softly crooned song will do the trick!

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this picture book.  I am always on the lookout for a really charming and well written picture book, and this one fits the bill.  Regardless of whether or not it has a ‘Christian’ theme with Noah being the main character, this book is marvelous and any child would enjoy the wonderful rhyming rhythm Laura Sassi has used. Rhyme in any story is incredibly difficult (I know as I write picture books). Making it interesting enough for children is sometimes even harder. Laura Sassi has captured the lovable qualities of animals in this story and the style make you want to read the book over and over. (personally I have always been a fan of the story of Noah and the Ark.)

However, no picture book would be complete without the illustrator. I cannot expound enough about how much I love Jane Chapman‘s illustrations. I was first introduced to her illustrating with Karma Wilson‘s ‘Bear series books’, which I also own and adore. Jane Chapman’s art is incredible to look at with all the intricacies within the illustrations.  The fuzziness of the tiger’s hair, the little things that make you feel like you are on the ark. Food for the animals and even an umbrella for Noah.  I admire her illustrating so much that it was specifically for that reason I chose this book to review. I have said since I found her work, I want her to illustrate one of my picture books.  With Laura’s marvelous rhyme (akin to Karma Wilson’s) and Jane’s endearing illustrations, this is a wonderful picture book.

I would highly recommend this book for any child and I will enjoy reading this book over and over. Five stars and I could continue gushing, but I say, just get the book!

This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson, Zondervan and Harper Collins Christian Publishing for my honest review.

Signing off

Kate