- Breadth of content. There are over 200 stories in this Bible. Many storybook Bibles cut out so much great content. This one touches a lot of topics that others do not.
- Brevity. Each story is just two pages, including great pictures. This makes me and my son want to keep reading more, which is better than having each one drag out and me wanting to just be done.
- Discussion prompters. At the end of each story, there is a question or statement that you can use to continue the discussion with your child. I'm a big fan of dialogue and keeping the conversation going (as I described here), whether talking with adults or with children. Thinking of life and discipleship as one big conversation seems to fit with a Deuteronomy 6:6-9 type of philosophy.
- Mostly accurate depictions. I liked that the angels seemed to be drawn as males, and without halos. I like that it says that Adam and Eve ate "fruit" (not an "apple").
There were a few minor things that I wish were different:
- More discussion questions. I would have preferred fewer statements and more questions as the discussion prompters at the end of each story. A statement tends to end conversation, while a question gives the listener (such as your child) a chance to share his or her thinking.
- More depth of content. I realize that this is in direct tension with me liking the brevity of the stories. But for many of the stories, I just wished there was a little more to them.
- Pictures that instill more awe. Angels that are a little more menacing (remember, they always caused people in the Bible to react in fear). A bigger ark for Noah. Just a little bit of blood. And why do all the men have big, peach-ish noses?
Overall, I've enjoyed using the Read and Share Bible, and I would recommend it for parents and leaders of preschool-age children, maybe even up to first grade or so. Additionally, you can get the DVD Bible, each of the four volumes has thirteen 3-minute stories. This would be a good tool for families, and our church as used it in our weekend programming for preschoolers. See the video trailer below, and you can order it here.
(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing copies of the Bible to review and give away.)