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Read and Share Stories About Jesus (Read and Share (Tommy Nelson)) Board book – 2 Feb 2011


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Amazon.com: 29 reviews
This is a 'niche' book. 2 Feb. 2011
By lovingliterature - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Board book
Read and Share Stories about Jesus by Gwen Ellis

Wow. I'm always intimidated when I have to review things written about Jesus. I mean, with that kind of subject matter, is there really an appropriate way to say, "I didn't like this aspect of it." without sounding nit-picky... unless of course they say something that is absolutely anti-biblical.

That said, Gwen Ellis did a MASTERFUL job in Read and Share Stories About Jesus of using simple language and selecting stories with points small children could understand. The illustrations are unique and friendly and the overall book practically exudes comfort and love as any toddler book should.

A few things that are neither positives nor negatives but may be the 'clincher' as to whether this is what you are looking for.

-This is a board book, but is the size of a traditional story book.

-It contains 13 stories that from start to finish are a paragraph or two long.

-As I mentioned above, this book was written and illustrated in a style that simply envelopes the reader in comfort. As such, the book skips the trial, crucifixion, resurrection in a rather masterful way by using, "Before Jesus went back to heaven to live with God," as the opening for the story of the ascension. Again, very suitable for children who need the love and assurance, and just aren't ready for the grisly details.

-The author included a recap and/or discussion question at the end of each story which is great if you wish to use this as a sort of devotional.

And here we hit the nit-picky portion of this review.
I LOVE making Bible stories accessible to kids, which this team did. I appreciate the effort to get kids involved in discussing/retelling stories so that they will better remember them by using follow up questions. I applaud the author for the effort, but I think a few of the questions were not designed for the otherwise targeted audience for this particular book.

Children the age this appears to be written for would certainly be able to recall the story. They may not, however, be able to explain "How is Jesus like that shepherd looking for his one lost sheep?" based solely on the story read prior to this question, since the story is merely a short version of the parable without any explanation of what the parable taught. Nowhere in the story does it state plainly: "Jesus is like the shepherd because...." Now that's a great concept for the adult to explain, but unless the child has already heard the comparison made at another juncture, they simply will not be able to answer it based on the text. The follow up thought is great, though. "Remember you are as important to Jesus as that one lost sheep was to the shepherd."

Now parents could explain the answers to these or ad lib the answers as part of the story if they read the question first. I will be the first to admit that though answering a question of that nature would be difficult for a toddler, even the smallest toddler can handle HEARING and absorbing deeper discussion like: Jesus loves you just like the lamb in that story and He seeks out one lost person just as wonderfully as the shepherd sought out that little lamb.

Another spot that seemed age in-appropriate was "Have you been baptized?" I might expect a question like that after an elementary age story that perhaps included an explanation of what baptism is and why it is done, but not at the end of a two paragraph tot-age story about Jesus' baptism. Perhaps the author's intent with regard to the questions that I mentioned was for the child to say, "I don't know" so that the parent could explain? Even so, questions posed to toddler/pre-k children that expect (however simple) reasoning and extrapolation just doesn't fit with the rest of this book's layout.

To be fair, some of the questions and thoughts were spot on, requiring simple recall or use of imagination: "If you had been in the boat, what would YOU have done?" or "When you are frightened, what do you do? Remember Jesus is always there with you. Just ask Him to help you and He will." That one is excellent. Likewise, I appreciate the non-question of "When we ask God for something, sometimes He says yes and sometimes He says no. The most important thing is that He always hears us and does what is best for us." that follows up one of the stories.

So for a welcoming, first Bible story book for an infant or toddler, it would work. Due to its limited scope and nature (though it excels at what it does), I would probably appreciate it as a baby/toddler's gift, but would not purchase it on my own simply because I have children between the ages of 1 and 6 and may as well use a single Bible story book that works for all of them at the same time. The Big Picture Story Bible has filled that need for us and includes a general overview of the whole Bible where this one would probably only be instructive for my youngest two and is only about select portions of Christ's life. Nevertheless, if you have a sensitive child who needs to hear a gentler version of Christ's life, or a child who needs SUPER QUICK reads, this one might be just the ticket for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the [...] <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Read and Share Stories about Jesus 28 Jan. 2011
By mandaandtom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Board book
My daughter and I read through the Read and Share Stories about Jesus book by Gwen Ellis, illustrated by Steve Smallman today. This is a large board book written for Children ages 4-8. It has 13 Bible stories about Jesus and after each story one or two questions are asked. Also, under each title, the Scripture reference is listed of where the stories are located in the Bible. The stories that are included in this book are:

God's Baby Son Grows Up John Baptizes Jesus
Jesus Heals a Sick Boy Jesus Brings a Girl Back to Life
Jesus Walks on the Water Jesus Loves Children
A Very Short Man A Blind Man Sees Again
Jesus Stops a Storm One Lost Sheep
A Coin in a Fish One Man Says Thank You
Jesus Goes to Heaven

I think the illustrator did a great job with the art for this book. His art was appealing and captured the attention of my lively two year old. Since it is a board book, the pages are easy to turn for little hands and less likely to tear; although, I am not sure that a board book would appeal to ages 4-8. Board books are often seen as little kids books. The questions at the end of the stories are a great idea to get children thinking and not just reading another story. Many of the questions make them think about what it would be like if they had been right there with Jesus.
That being said, I think the content might be suitable for a 4 year old, but pretty shallow for an 8 year old. The stories don't have much substance to them especially when compared to the Scripture from which they are pulled. I would rate it as okay, but not outstanding. You would need to add quite a bit on your own to make them of any substance. I think that our kids can understand more than we know. I would not recommend this book.

***I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Great for Preschoolers 29 Jan. 2011
By C. M. Coppenbarger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Board book
Disclaimer: I received this book free as part of Tommy Nelson's Booksneeze program in order to provide a review.

This is another children's story book about Jesus, but it's a good one. In it, the author has taken 13 well-known stories about Jesus, and condensed them to one page in a format for toddlers to understand. The stories chosen include, Jesus growing up, Jesus' baptism, Jesus healing a sick boy, Jesus raising a girl from the dead, walking on water, welcoming children, Zaccheus, a blind man being healed, stopping a storm, looking for the lost sheep, finding a coin in a fish, healing the lepers and one thanking Him, and Jesus going back to heaven. Gwen Ellis doesn't water down the story, nor does she offer her opinion on what the story says. She has, however, put questions at the end of each story to ask your toddler or preschooler, to provoke thought about the story. I read it to my 7 year old and my 3 year old, and they both enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the book, as well, and thought it was well-handled. Most children's story books about Jesus or the Bible tend to annoy me as they like to water down the Bible because they think that a child doesn't understand it. That's what I appreciate about this one. The binding is in a board book style, so your infant can even look at it and not destroy it. Overall, if you're looking for a short Bible devotional for your toddler, then I would recommend this one. Just a reminder that this is a short book, but your toddler or preschooler will love it. It might be too simple for older kids, but the questions do help direct the line of thinking.
Read and Share- Delivers, almost 28 Mar. 2011
By Randy Burtis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Board book
This book is illustrated by Steve Smallman.

The back cover states there are 13 stories about Jesus-from his birth to his death and resurrection. Now in a collection that is only going to pick SOME aspects of Jesus life, the choice was good EXCEPT for the end, it felt a little like false advertising. There is one line given to his death and resurrection, "He even died and came back to life." This was in a 2 page story where the main focus was the ascension, so I felt it is misleading in what it delivers. It also asks kids if they have been baptized. Seeing the target group for this book, that is, in my opinion a bit early to be asking this.

The quality of the book is good, it is a board book, good binding, nice colors and art work. I really like that after each story there is an application question or comment included, kudos for that!

I would say the book is ideal for ages 5-7. I think you could use it for preschoolers for short story times, but not in a Sunday school teaching setting, they are too brief for that, but I could see using it at nap time with this age group and having a short conversation prior to the nap.
Recommend it with the content comment noted.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
A Wonderful Surprise - Read and Share Stories about Jesus 1 Feb. 2011
By CarolB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Board book
When I picked up the children's board book, "Read and Share Stories about Jesus" I expected to read a very simple Bible storybook. What I found surprised me, as it was more advanced than I had expected. I found this Bible storybook to be very interesting and I believe it would be enjoyed by children from infants through second grade. This would be a wonderful book for a family with several children of different ages.

This book contains 13 stories from the life and ministry of Jesus Christ including: God's Baby Son Grows Up, John Baptizes Jesus, Jesus Heals a Sick Boy, Jesus Brings a Girl Back to Life, Jesus Walks on Water, Jesus Loves Children, A Very Short Man, A Blind Man Sees Again, Jesus Stops a Storm, One Lost Sheep, A Coin in a Fish, One Man Says Thank You, and Jesus Goes to Heaven. (one quick note, the publisher's website has incorrectly listed a couple of the stories included in the book.) the choice of stories was very appropriate for young children and provide the important details.

I love that after each story in the book there is a question or thought to help discuss the story. As a teacher, I've learned that it is important for children to be actively involved in the stories they hear to develop in-depth understanding and improved memory of the material.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
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