Today I wanted to share with you a Bible story collection that has taken over our bedtime story routine! Bonnie seriously asks to read it every. single. night! The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy, illustrated by Trish Mahoney was specifically written just for preschoolers and toddlers, and is perfect for my daughters ages 4 and (almost) 2. The 52 stories presented in the book begin, of course, with creation:
“Once there was no sky, no trees, and no animals. The world was empty like a blank piece of paper. Then God made everything. God didn’t use crayons or stickers like we do when we make things. God used only words. He said, ‘Let there be sky and water, land and plants, sun and moon.”
The language throughout continues to be direct and age-appropriate, and this helps my very literal minded daughter make connections from the Bible to her life. The theme running through each story is God’s promises, demonstrating the truth that God always keeps his promises. The Old Testament stories show promises God made and the New Testament stories show promises kept. With each story, children learn how we can trust God to be faithful to keep his promises to us, just as he did over and over for His people in the Bible.
The illustrations throughout are bright and colorful. They have a smart, almost info-graphic design style, that not only brings the characters to life, but also illustrate preschool learning concepts you can incorporate into the story as you read like opposites, counting, ordering, etc.
I like that Kennedy makes connections in many of the Old Testament story to how they anticipate Jesus. A different storybook Bible that we love does this as well, but because the connections are often so subtle, Bonnie doesn’t always follow that they are referencing Jesus. In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, connections to Jesus are direct and clear, and I love we are learning Old Testament stories in the context God’s bigger plan to rescue his people through Jesus.
We are easily able to go beyond just reading a story by using the questions offered at the end of each story. These are great starting points for conversation and dialogue exploring Biblical concepts like obedience, mercy, faith, and love, and of course, what it means to trust in Jesus.
We received a review copy of The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible from Litfuse Publicity. You can read a sample, and purchase your copy from the publisher, New Growth Press. Find more resources for children’s ministry at Gospel Centered Family.