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ESV Children's Bible (Blue) Hardcover – April 30, 2015
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- It's a good size for little hands. Big and sturdy enough to be manipulated easily, but not so big as to be too heavy or cumbersome.
- Hardcover/binding has held up well for a couple months so far, granted we put it in a padded case pretty quickly after receiving it.
- It does open flat and stays open at the page you want.
- Uses color-coded text for page/chapter/paragraph headings. These visual cues are helpful, especially for children.
- Has plenty of full-color images in OT and NT. I haven't looked closely at all of them, but from what I've seen they are illustrative without taking too many artistic liberties.
- Has a brief Dictionary in the back with common Biblical/spiritual terms, as well as definitions for things like cistern and papyrus.
- It has a chart on weights/measures/monetary units that compares them to modern units.
- It has an OT and NT timeline of major Biblical events, including when major Biblical characters lived.
- It has easy-to-read maps of both OT and NT times.
- It also has a "God's Word for Me When..." section that addresses things like feeling guilty, feeling alone, etc. with a few passages of Scripture. Some of it seemed a little soft and simplistic, but it is geared towards kids, so..
- It has a "God's Word for me About..." that covers The Word of God, Who Jesus is, What Jesus Did, Sin & Forgiveness, Prayer, and the Commandments. Each section has only a few references though. I would've appreciated something a bit more thorough and comprehensive, with even a few more topics covered. But it's a good start.
- The first thing I noticed is that the pages are veeery thin (to be expected), but felt cheap and fragile, not like your typical Bible pages that almost have a gloss to them. These pages are very matte and seem like they would easily pick up finger smudges just from natural oils, or that they would easily get wrinkled/creased. Not really what I want for a young child who's still learning to be careful with books.. but it's held up decently so far.
Additional Preference Notes:
- There's not a line break for every verse, only for paragraphs. So some verses start in the middle of a line. Which, as an adult, I actually prefer. But for a child, may make it harder for them to find a specific reference.
- Even though the dictionary and unit chart is in the back, and it's nice to know there's a consistent place to turn to for that, it could be handy to have informational boxes on the pages where those things are referenced. Like a brief explanation of a denarii on the page where Matt 18:28 is.
- Other than the illustrations, the pages with Scripture are JUST Scripture (with a few technical footnotes). On one hand, I very much appreciate that distinction for a young child. On another hand, I could see the helpfulness (especially as a child gets a bit older), for reference/study type info to be included (very distinct from Scripture itself) to help - such as unit info, as I mentioned above; explaining other historical facts that provide insight, or even highlighting key passages for major doctrines, etc.
- I would've loved additional technical illustrations like a layout of the tabernacle. But maybe that's asking a bit much for a children's Bible ;)
I prefer an actual translation for children's Bibles; that way, all stories are told in their entirety without all the (otherwise necessary but occasionally less than accurate) editorial one finds in other children's Bibles which at best are paraphrases. Moreover, even young children are surprisingly adept at asking amazing questions when reading from an adult text. Children deserve credit for this amazing faculty, and running into a tough word or phrase is a great way to introduce kids to a lifelong habit of inquiry, question, struggle, and resolution so necessary for critical thinking.
I also am very happy with the illustrations. They are remarkably well done. (I am in the process of putting together a watercolor series for the book of Revelation, so I am sensitized to the skill on display in this Bible's illustrations.) This Bible is such a visual joy, I'm thinking of getting another copy just for myself.
My oldest daughter is 5 1/2, next daughter is 4, and the youngest is 2 1/2. They all understand what I read out of the ESV. It's really cool. We all read from the same translation, and they love that they have a real Bible like Daddy and Mommy. My 5 1/2 year old sometime begins reading the text that I am going to read, and other times she can follow along in her own Bible. We can do it together because she's seeing the exact same words that I'm pronouncing. (Which is also excellent for improving her reading skills.) Sometimes I have to explain certain words, but learning new words is what it means to be a kid. They have a lot of fun giggling while they try to pronounce big words like "pro-pit-ia-tion," then they are very interested to hear me explain what such a fascinating sounding word means--"a wrath removing sacrifice."
I would most highly recommend this Bible to anyone who wants to buy a children's Bible for their kids or for the children of friends and family.
for the ESV Children's Bible tells me so.
It's a good first "real" bible. Got this for my first grader when she outgrew her basic comic book style picture bible.