The Read and Share Toddler Bible is the latest addition to the Read and Share ™ series of children’s books written by Gwen Ellis and published by Thomas Nelson. Nestled between the covers of this almost 200-page book are 40 Bible stories created especially for very young children. A 60-minute bonus DVD is included and features amplified animated versions of 14 stories from the book.
My first impression was that this book is a great value for the $14.99 suggested retail price. Each story is very short to match a toddler’s attention span. The vocabulary is simple, yet engaging: It rained and rained and rained some more, but everyone in the boat was dry. The kitties purred. The bunnies hopped. The puppies chased their tails. Steve Smallman’s cartoon-like illustrations are colorful, fun and packed with plenty of details.
There are several added features directed toward parents. A table of contents includes easy reference to scripture verses, and scripture references are also shown at the beginning of each story. The page numbers have colorful tabs making it easy to find a place in the book. Best of all, each story ends with a simple creative activity that parents and kids can do together.
As I read the book, I discovered several flaws. Notably, the title is misleading. The Read and Share Toddler Bible is not a Bible, but instead a collection of Bible stories taken from the Old and New Testaments. This may be disappointing to some consumers who purchase the book sight unseen. There is no mention of the Ten Commandments or Psalms, for example, nor the Sermon on the Mount or the Last Supper. As a collection of Bible stories, the book is well done, but as a true first Bible, it falls short of the mark. The DVD is a nice bonus, although the narration moves slowly at times, and it might not interest young toddlers.
Overall, The Read and Share Toddler Bible is worthy of a place in your child’s library. Toddlers will enjoy sitting on your lap, looking at the pictures while you read aloud. Older children will be able to read some of the words themselves. The stories are true to scripture and written in a way that encourages children to think and ask questions about them.
You can view a flip book preview of the book on the Thomas Nelson web site.
The Read and Share Toddler Bible
Hardcover, 192 pages
Written by Gwen Ellis
Illustrated by Steve Smallman
As a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson, I will be posting more reviews of their latest titles. Check back often to see what’s new.