Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: The Catholic Children’s Bible by Saint Mary’s Press

Recently I received an email from Saint Mary’s Press asking if I might be interested in checking out and reviewing for my readers their new Catholic Children’s Bible and app for iPad. Alas, I do not have an iPad so I cannot review their app, but I was more than happy to review their Catholic Children’s Bible.

I have seen Bible story books for young children and I use one with my first grade CCD students. I wondered what The Catholic Children’s Bible had that would make it different and suitable for children. When The Catholic Children’s Bible arrived, I was not disappointed. I was amazed by what it contained. It is the first complete children’s Catholic Bible that is written just for children to learn about our faith and it also helps develop young readers reading skills.

*Be sure to click on the pictures below to make them larger.

Saint Mary’s Press has really taken the child’s point of view when they designed this book. Children will be able to easily locate Bible passages and stories by the color coordinated sections and tabs. These colorful tabs are also visible from the side of the book allowing children to find what they want quickly. They also kept early readers in mind as well by using larger print, child engaging fonts, more spacing between lines, colorful column dividers, bold and colorful text, etc. This makes it easier for children to read and they can do it on their own.

Included are all 73 books of the Good News Translation Catholic Edition Bible. This 2,000 page Bible is designed for second, third, and fourth grades and packed with countless ways to make it easier for your child to understand and comprehend the Bible.

• Easy to understand directions on how to find a Bible passage.
• Explains how the Bible is divided into 73 different books.
• Pronunciation key
• Introductions to the Old and New Testaments
• One page introduction for each book of the Bible explaining the central theme of the book and also highlights the feature stories that are in the book.

The Catholic Children’s Bible also has 125 featured stories which highlight key Bible passages. These featured stories are a shorter version of the Bible story and are two pages long.

These stories include:

• Colorful illustrations and borders that children enjoy and want to see more.

• Bold text vocabulary words with definitions.

• Understand It!, Live It!, and Tell It! sections help children understand the story.

Understand It! section explains what the children just read.

Live It! section helps children to relate the story to their lives with fun activities and prayers.

Tell It! section uses pictures that help children retell the story in their own words.

In the back of the book are Prayers and Bible Helps. It includes:

• Bible Pictures
• Bible Time Line
• Bible Lands in Old Testament Times
• Israel in Old Testament Times
• Bible Lands in New Testament times
• Israel in New Testament Times
• Catholic Practices
• Catholic Prayers (including the Rosary)
• Bible Passages for Special Times

The Mother Test

The Catholic Children’s Bible would be a great addition for your home to be used at story time at night with your children or as Bible study. Having your child read for story time will be a delightful change. It will enable further participation and comprehension and also help improve their reading skills. Children will also want to read it on their own because they will find it geared just for them and they will learn more about our faith.

The Kid Test

Will it pass the kid test? Will children like it as much? To find out I took it to CCD to see what my students thought.

My 1st grade CCD students are quite familiar with a Bible story book I use in class, but when I first opened the Catholic Children’s Bible they immediately found it colorful, interesting, and easy to understand. They really enjoyed the Understand It!, Live It!, and Tell It! sections.

My students also liked reading from it and asking other students questions about the story. Seeing my students become more involved and wanting to learn about our faith was so rewarding.

Conclusion: The Catholic Children’s Bible has been kid tested, mother approved. This children’s Bible is great to use with your child at home and in the classroom because children want to use it and enjoy learning from it.

*I received a free copy of The Catholic Children’s Bible in exchange for my honest review of this product. All opinions expressed are my own.


Em said...

It's amazing how life works. I recently came across your blog while looking for ways to teach the Mass to my 4.5 year old so he's not so bored during Mass. I've spent the last hour looking up good Catholic bible story books for him because, although we have a nice bible story book, I wanted a Catholic one. Right as I'm about to get off the comp I decided to check your blog and look at what I find! It may be a little too much for him now but its on my wishlist! Just curious what bible story book do you use for you ccd class?

p.s. i love your blog! it has helped me so much in the short period of time i've known about it

Amazing_Grace said...

Em- I am so glad that you like my blog. I try to post things that people can use and help students learn about our faith.

I use for a Bible story book: The Usborne Children's Bible by Heather Amery.
I got it a long time ago so there is probably new stuff out there that might be better for little ones. :)

Heather said...

Thank you for such a thorough review. It has really helped me in choosing a Bible for my children. No pressure but have you by any chance seen the activity book. I am just wondering if that would be just as good.
Thanks once again.

Amazing_Grace said...

Heather- I haven't seen the activity book.

I have been teaching CCD for 15 years and each year the students are different. They are at different levels and like different things. One year they will like doing _____, the next year they won't. Be sure to have many different kinds of activities for all your children so they will enjoy doing them. :)