Those old, old stories have been retold with the youngest in mind. Shorter, simpler, sweeter and accompanied by charming illustrations (that bring to mind Sesame Street muppets.) The Read and Share Toddler Bible by Gwen Ellis, with Illustrations by Steve Smallman has been a categorical hit with my two year old.
I have to be honest here. I was skeptical at first about the value of a toddler-aimed bible. The short attention span of 1 to 3 year olds can make any undertaking difficult. Wandering minds and squirmy bodies have accounted for more exasperated sighs in my house than anything else.
However, with the Read and Share Toddler Bible, the question of how to bring God's word to my little one without losing him has finally been solved. My son especially enjoyed the story "Adam and Eve and the Sneaky Snake" and hissed through it along with me. At the end, parents are reminded to explain about "no-nos", and reassure the kiddos that they are still loved despite their disobedience. Lil' Man really seems to have been following along, and threw his arms around me to assure me that he loved me too. That sweet moment alone more than made up my mind. Featuring 40 oft-told biblical stories, the Read and Share Toddler Bible is an item I would call a must-have for the Christian family. For a closer look at the story, click here: Flip Book
After each story, in fact, is either a discussion tip, short activity or easy craft idea to help reinforce the object lesson of each story. (Hmmmm. Maybe this might help the grown-ups, too!) For example, after reading the story "A Little Boy With Lunch" the author, Gwen Ellis, exhorts you to pray over a tasty meal of fish sticks, and give thanks when done. As often as the kiddos eat fish sticks, it had never occurred to me that it would be a great way to tie in a story about God's abundance.
There 's even a bonus 1 hour-long companion DVD included with this bible, featuring 3 minute versions of 14 of the stories portrayed in the same appealing animation as the book. To be honest, the DVD was a bit old for my two year old son, but perfectly suited to my 4 1/2 year old daughter. After Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden, LivvieBug exclaimed, "Ohhh. That's too bad;" in a genuinely commiserating tone.
In the end, I have to say that I highly recommend the Read and Share Toddler's Bible, though I'd save the DVD for the next stage!
In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of Read and Share Toddler Bible by Gwen Ellis to review by Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for a fair and objective review. I did not take payment from the publisher or author of this book beyond a copy of the book in question.