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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz, a review

The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz, a review at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Are you looking for a Bible that fits your child’s small hands and her young reading skills? The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz, with its large, colorful illustrations, short blocks of text, and compact size might be just right.

The Beginner’s Bible features:

  • a full-color illustrated hardcover
  • heavy-weight, semi-gloss pages with full-color illustrations
  • a table of contents
  • 48 Old Testament stories
  • 46 New Testament stories
  • a very brief dictionary (3 pages)

According to the back cover, there is also a free downloadable iPad app available with stories, audio, and games.

Who is The Beginner’s Bible for?

The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz, Emma readingThe back cover states that this book is intended for ages 4-8. The website states that it is for ages 6 and under. I think the age range really depends upon how you intend to use it. I would recommend it as a book for parents to read to their pre-readers and/or struggling readers ages 3-6 or for independent readers ages 6-8, who may enjoy reading it either aloud or silently on their own. 

The reading level seems a little higher than what I typically see for 2nd grade readers, but this is mainly due to the biblical names and content (most 2nd grade secular readers don’t talk about tabernacles, prophets, anointing, Israelites, etc.).  My 2nd grader had no difficulty reading it independently.

Measuring 7-3/4” x 6-1/2” x 1-1/2”, The Beginner’s Bible can easily be tucked under a young child’s arm.

This would make a lovely gift.

The Format

Upon opening The Beginner’s Bible, you’ll first notice the high quality paper used and vibrant images. This is a book that should stand up to the rough and tumble of its young audience. The illustrations are a half page and larger (some are full page) in a modern 3-D style. They are a bit cartoony, which will probably appeal more to younger children (preschool to early elementary) than to their older siblings.

The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz, garden of eden

The table of contents lists all the stories. Each story notes the relevant scriptural passages beneath the title.

The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz, table of contentsReading selections are brief. Each story is only 2-6 pages long, with only a few lines of text per page. Beginning readers who are intimidated by early chapter books may be attracted to this format.  It is easy to read one or two or several stories in a sitting, depending upon the child’s mood and ability.

What translation is used?

The stories are re-tellings of familiar Bible stories, so not a literal translation taken from the Bible.  The Beginner’s Bible does contain the Lord’s Prayer, however, and the NIV translation is specified for that one page. I did not find another reference to any particular translations anywhere else in the book.

How did we use it and what did we think?

My 7-year-old daughter, Emma, was instantly drawn to The Beginner’s Bible. As soon as it came in the mail, she disappeared with it into her room and devoured its contents.

In 2 days, she had read all 500+ pages. I asked her what she thought of it.

She said, “I like it!”

The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz, happily reading

I think that perhaps her actions speak louder than her words, because then she asked if she could read the “big kids’ Bible.” She was hungry for more.

She found that the large, crowded pages and more difficult vocabulary of the higher level book were beyond her, however. The Beginner’s Bible was just easy enough to keep her reading and absorbing the stories.

I’m very pleased with this book, and I would love to see a Bible story book that is just a level above The Beginner’s Bible for kids who are not quite ready yet for more difficult texts.

Here is Emma reading The Beginner’s Bible to Frilly (her stuffed peacock):

Visit The Beginner’s Bible website from Zonderkidz for more information or to purchase.

Interested in reading more reviews of this product? Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog:

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

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