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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bible Stories that End with a Hug review

Bible Stories that End with a Hug! Description:

Little children love getting—and giving—hugs! Hugs generate warmth, affection, and a feeling of acceptance. Show your little ones just how much you treasure them while teaching them about the Bible and God’s unconditional love for his creation. Bible Stories that End with a Hug! features 75 easy-to-understand Bible stories with charming illustrations, lessons on how to apply the stories to your child’s daily life, memory verses from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, and a special “Hug Time” during which you can share a great big hug with your child.

For children ages 2 and up

My Review:

First I really want to say thank you to Tyndale for allowing me to review this book and participate in their blog tour.  I have LOVED Stephen Elkins books (see my review of his Hide and Seek devotional here) and was tickled pink to know this one was coming in the mail.  I just knew that Princess and I would love it.
The bad.  This arrived Christmas Eve and my regular postal delivery woman was on vacation.  I really wish I knew who had delivered my mail because had this been a gift I would have been very disappointed.  Where I live we don't get mail delivered to our door, or even to a mailbox by the driveway.  I get mail at boxes like the one below that are stationed throughout my subdivision.

Usually when a package arrives that doesn't fit my totally awesome mail lady just drives to my house (which she has to pass anyway to get to the next community mailbox) and drops it off at my door.  Whoever delivered my mail this time decided to fold the package in half and force it into the box.  This was an intentional act of destruction because this is a HARDBACK book.  It took some effort to fold it.  So now this really beautiful book has a crease down the back cover.  Hopefully that doesn't happen to you.

On to the book.  It was written for young children, and as such my precocious Princess found some of the stories a bit simple.  Not a huge deal since this is more of a devotional type book rather than a story book.  For example, here is the entry for Luke 2:41-52 entitled Growing by Knowing:

When Jesus was a boy, what was He like?  Did He like to sing or draw or read?  Did He play with friends or chase butterflies?  We don't know for sure.  But we do know Jesus loved to go to church (called the Temple) to talk about God, His Heavenly Father.

What does the Bible tell us about Jesus as a boy?
When Jesus was 12, His family took Him to the Temple.  For three days Jesus listened to the teachers there and asked questions.  He was growing by knowing.  This pleased God! ...

And that is the end of the story.  The book goes on to discuss how we can start growing by knowing and then give a suggestion to "Give the one who is growing by knowing God a great big hug!"

A perfect place to start for a very young child, but for us this is more of a recap or a story introduction.  Now just because I say she found them simple don't think she didn't love them.  They are just short enough to fit in before bed but as you can see from the excerpt above there is lots of room to take it deeper.  You can discuss with your little one all of those questions.  Each entry gives the Bible verses it is from so you can also read the original text and compare.  Simon Taylor-Kielty does a beautiful job illustrating the book.  

The illustrations appear to be oil pastels and are soft.  All of the characters are portrayed child-like.  For me this is a drawback.  While visually appealing to my daughter it gives the wrong impression at times.  (Mom, why was Esther married before she grew up?)

What I really like it the give a hug element to each devotion. While it can be used to reinforce what you just read to your child, and that it is a quality they possess ( you can hug your child every time), we chose to use it as an opportunity to encourages princess to be observant of those around her, to look for the qualities discussed in others.  I LOVE that.  You can never start too young teaching them to look for the good in others and to focus on someone other than themselves.

All in all, a great addition to Princess's bookshelf, and I bet it would be in yours also.  

Find it on Amazon at the link below

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