Thursday, July 02, 2009

Book Review: The Lion First Bible

The Lion First Bible
by Pat Alexander

I have been looking around for a few months for a book of Bible stories for Cherub. With the older two girls I used The Lion First Bible, but our copy had gone adrift somewhere. Angel loved this book, but I don't remember reading it much with Star, and I thought it would be nice to try something different this time round. I browsed the children's Bible section at Borders, which had several, but none of them shouted "buy me". Either the text didn't flow well, or the story selection was too limited, or something else wasn't right. I wondered about The Beginner's Bible (we have a copy from Angel's Sonlight Curriculum days), which I remembered as vaguely similar to The Lion First Bible - they both have a wide selection of stories, and are in the same small, chunky format - but the simplistic, easy reader text didn't appeal. In the end I bit the bullet and bought another copy of The Lion First Bible.

Now I have it, I remember why I liked it. The pictures are not really my style - too cartoony - but the text is just right for a three or four year old. Interestingly, it doesn't look good. The short sentences look bitty, but read aloud they work. The stories lend themselves to quite dramatic reading, and have enough familiar points of reference to appeal to small children. Here is a sample from the story of Noah, which is Cherub's top pick so far ...

Bang! Bang! Bang! went the hammer.
Noah was building a boat - an enormous boat. Big enough for all his family. Big enough to save two of every kind of animal and bird when the great flood came.

God was very sad about his world. It was all spoiled now. The people were so nasty and unkind. All except Noah. Noah was nice. Noah was good. Noah was friends with God.

"I have to get rid of all this nastiness," God said to Noah one day. "The beautiful world I made is all spoiled.There's going to be a great flood. Enough water to take away everything that is bad. But you will be safe."
Then God told Noah to build a boat - The Ark.

Noah did as God said. He always did as God said.
Bang! Bang! Bang! went the hammer.
At last The Ark was finishd.

The animals were so excited.
"Quack! Quack!" said the ducks.
"Moo! Moo!" said the cows.
"Hurry! Hurry!" said the geese.
"Cheep! Cheep!" chirped the sparrows. "Don't leave us behind."

"All aboard!" said Noah. And God shut the door of The Ark behind them.
I like the range of stories included. There are 64 in total, 32 each from the Old and New Testaments. They are straightforward, simple retellings, with no attempt to add any sort of doctrinal "spin". And best of all, Cherub likes them.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I agree with your thoughts exactly! I have just started using it with my newly three year old and it is a perfect fit. (still struggling with the pics for myself)