Reading Level: Ages 3-9 (but everyone will enjoy it, really)
Reviewed by Michelle Kerns
I bet most of you other Christian homeschool moms are just like meâyouâre swimming in an ocean of Bibles, Bible devotional books, toddler Bible picture books, early reader Bibles, middle-grade adventure Bibles, etc. Why should you even consider another addition to the stack? Besides the fact that you never can have too many Bibles, Stephen Elkinsâ 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs really is unique in that it offers something for everyone in the family. Itâs perfect for using as a daily devotional book for children of different attention spans and ages.
My two oldest children are devoted lovers of books and will sit enraptured through long Bible story readings. My two youngest, however, have a somewhat shorter tolerance. Iâve struggled to find a book for our morning devotionals that wonât lose the younger children but likewise isnât too basic to be thought-provoking for the older children. 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs fits the bill perfectly. Each colorful two page spread deals with a different Bible story and includes a short summary, a picture, and the Bible verses where the original text can be found. What I really like though, is that the book comes with 2 CDs that contain 100 perky Bible songs, each one specifically pertaining to one of the Bible stories. In addition, each story includes a personal application for discussion and reflection.
For example, the pages about Queen Esther briefly describe her story, encourage children to consider the following statement: âI was born at the right time to serve God,â and reference an original song from the first CD, âFor Such a Time as This.â The story of the blind man Jesus healed is accompanied by the song âRejoice in the Lord Alwaysâ and this personal lesson: âI will praise Jesus for His healing power.â
While many of the songs are old favorites (âHis Banner Over Me is Love,â âJesus Wants Me For a Sunbeamâ), quite a few, like âIn the Beginning,â which is based on the first chapter of Genesis, are original to this book.
My children like to read the story, sing the song along with the CD, and then discuss the personal application. I really like that portion of the bookâitâs so short (usually only a sentence at most), but itâs amazing how often we discuss Biblical stories with our children without discussing how it applies to us here and now. Talking about how Jesus walked on the water to the frightened disciples in the boat and learning a song about it is one thing; listening to your children tell you what things they are frightened of and hearing them pray for Jesus to help give them strength to face that fear is something else entirely.
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