First off, I struggle with choosing Bible Storybooks. Sometimes I get it home and find out it’s not theologically sound, or it’s totally watered down. I’ve gotten a few that had me itching to throw them away, and if you know me and books, that’s just not normal! I Love Books. I can rarely stop in the middle of a book, and won’t, unless it hits my 3-strike tolerance for inappropriate content. Poor writing or typos don’t usually phase me. Theological issues, well, that’s the only other thing that can stop me. Especially if it is something I want to read to my son.
Also, finding the balance between teaching our little ones TRUTH, and being too graphic or explicit, can be tricky. We don’t want to water it down, because they can understand a lot more than we give them credit for, but we also don’t want to overwhelm them unnecessarily.
Having read so many Bible Storybooks in the last 4 years, I’d like to share the good ones I’ve found. If you’re looking for Bible Storybooks to give as a gift at the next Baby Shower or Birthday party you’re invited to, or for something to read with your own kids, I have a few suggestions for you. *please note that this post has affiliate links for your convenience. Full Disclosure Here.
My First Bible Storybooks
This type of Bible Storybooks are designed for the first couple of years, but would also make good ‘beginning reader’ level books, with easy rhymes and simple stories. Honestly, my little guy didn’t seem to mind hearing whatever novel I was reading, as long as he thought I was talking to him, that first year or so. But as he was 1-2.5, they were just the right style for his attention. Yes, we often read the whole 2-inch book through in one sitting, particularly during a storm!
Our Favorite First Bible Storybook still is the Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers. Samuel and Daniel’s stories are both memorized and still quoted at bedtime frequently. I found a damaged copy at church one day, and though the first 30 pages were badly torn, I was still able to quote the stories for the little ones, from memory. They are accurate, and well told. The only one I tried to skip on a regular basis was the Jonah story. I just didn’t like how it flowed. It is accurate, and there’s nothing wrong with it, it just didn’t connect with me.
Preschool-Early Elementary Bible Storybooks
The Jesus Storybook Bible is the Top choice for this category. It follows the HIS-Story style of connecting all things to God’s Love and Jesus’ Mission. I learned a few things while we read this one together. Or at least had things pointed out and connected the dots that I had missed. And they don’t stick to the top 25 stories everyone knows. There are several less “common” stories, that are included! And it’s also available on DVD-a kit with both!! This is not a high-tech cartoon, it’s the same drawings from the Bible, but still a powerful message! This book is my Mother-in-law’s go to choice for a baby shower gift (Thanks again!!).
The Jesus Storybook Bible is very specific in things that happened, and I know some will find it too intense. There are times I read it with my 4-year-old, and find myself skimming/glossing over things. But I know I’m not doing him any favors. I genuinely think it’s right to share with him, and have some conversations. It is written for kids, and I think they can handle it. I’m trying to do better here.
It’s hard for me to not go overboard. Finding the balance of what he needs sheltering from, and what it’s better he learn right up front can be tricky. God has entrusted him to my husband and I, and I know that our responsibility to raise him to honor God needs to be forefront in our daily actions.
Arch Books Bible Storybooks
The Arch Books line is filled with awesome Bible Storybooks. The first one I received as a Baby shower gift from my awesome friend Shannon. Jonah and the Very Big Fish. Catchy, rhyming, and detailed. It portrays Jonah so accurately, the good and the bad, and has a note in the back about teaching your kids the lessons in the book. I’ve since purchased a Treasury from Arch Books, of the first 10 stories they wrote. It has Zacchaeus, the Rich Fool, The Good Samaritan, a couple of stories about the first Christmas, Eight Bags of Gold, The Prodigal Son, Noah, Creation, The Parable of the Lost sheep (Wow) and The Little Boat that almost sank. An Incredible collection!
Many of the Arch books were written in the 1960s-70s and there was a different mindset then. There was less ‘sheltering’ of the kids, so they have more details than many are comfortable with these days. I think that’s a good thing. Jesus’ lessons weren’t COMFORTABLE, so giving the kids a good foundation while they are young, wait, what’s the verse? They won’t depart from it? Proverbs 22.6. Worth a try!!!
Lessons with Storybook Bibles-Preschool-Elementary
The Memory Bible is a great set of books. They come with an audio CD, where KIRK CAMERON narrates the Bible story, gives the reference for further study, then there is a song to help the main point of the story stick in your memory. The books themselves have a key verse, an illustration of the key point from daily kids life, then the Bible story that exemplifies the point (Complete with the approximate year!), an application point, and the lyrics to the song for that lesson. The whole thing takes about 2-3 minutes to read, but usually leads to conversations that can last a while.
Lessons for Elementary & Middle Schoolers
The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New is a beautiful book, full of easily understood theology, broken down into bite-sized pieces, in eleven categories (71 lessons) including:
- “The Ology of GOD” which has lessons covering God’s existence, trinity, power, control…
- In “The Ology of the Promise and the Law” there are chapters about God keeping his promises, us breaking the law, and Jesus’ Sacrifice…
- “The Ology of Adoption into God’s Family” has lessons like Chosen, Called, Born Again, etc.
- “The Ology of God’s Word” has how God wrote the Bible, The Bible as food, Talking to God…
- And so much more!
The Ology starts with a parent guide filled with instructions on using this book with 6-9 year-olds, 10-12 year-olds, and how Teens and Adults can even use it as well. It works as a family devotional, or Bible class material, etc. I’m looking forward to using this one in our house in a couple of years! And again a few years after that…
The Right Bible Storybooks for Your Family
I hope this helps you to choose the right Bible Storybooks for your household. Or your next Baby Shower or Birthday party, Easter or Christmas gift idea! I know it’s hard to pick sometimes, for so many reasons. A few other gift suggestions can be found here and here. Please share this list with anyone who you know is looking for great Bible Storybooks!