The Bible is filled with memorable stories -- David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions' den, Jonah and the big fish, the wise men following the star to Jesus. This selection of stories, retold in simple language for young readers, will introduce children to some of the Bible's most heroic figures and unforgettable events.
|Publisher:||Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Marie-Hélène Delval is a French author whohas written several books for young children. She currentlyworks as the literary director for Bayard Editions inParis.
Jean-Claude Götting is a French artist and illustrator whose work has been shown in numerous exhibits throughout Europe. Visit his website at www.gotting.fr.
Read an Excerpt
The Bible FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
By Marie-Hélène Delval Götting
Eerdmans Books for Young ReadersCopyright © 2002 Bayard Éditions Jeunesse as La Bible pour les tout-petits
All right reserved.
In the very beginning, the world looked like nothing. The day and the night were all mixed together. Then God said, "LIGHT!"
God made the sky with its sun and moon and stars. God made the earth with its seas. God made the trees grow, and all the plants too. It was beautiful!
God made the animals: the very big ones and the very small ones. The ones that fly, the ones that run, the ones that crawl, the ones that swim. It was beautiful!
God gave the earth to men and women and their children so they could live there and make it even more beautiful!
Noah and the Flood
But then people became mean, so mean that God was sorry that he had given them the world. He wanted to destroy everything he had made. So God sent a flood to wash it all away.
But there was Noah. Noah loved God, and God loved Noah. God told Noah to build an ark. Noah brought two of every creature from the earth into this huge boat — even the birds and the snakes. Finally Noah went into the ark with his wife and his children, and God closed the door behind them.
It rained for forty days and forty nights. Then the water slowly went away and the earth dried out. Noah left the ark with his family, with the lions, the bears, the elephants, the doves, and the snakes. Among the gray clouds a colorful rainbow shone. This was God's promise that he would never, ever again destroy the earth like this.
Abraham and His Children
Abraham and Sarah were old and they didn't have any children. God said to Abraham, "Can you count the stars in the night sky? I promise you that your children and grandchildren will be like those stars — so many that no one will be able to count them!"
The next spring, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy. She called him Isaac, which means "God laughs."
Jacob was the son of Isaac. One night, he had a dream. He saw God's angels walking on a ladder of light that stretched from the earth to the sky. And God said to Jacob, "From now on, your new name will be Israel, which means 'God is strong!'"
Moses and the Israelites
Life in Egypt was hard for the children of Israel. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, made them work like slaves. Because there were so many Israelites, Pharaoh ordered his soldiers to kill the newborn babies.
One mother hid her baby in a basket and placed it by the edge of a river. Pharaoh's daughter found the basket. She took the baby in her arms and said, "Little one, you will be my son. You will be a prince in Egypt!" She called him Moses, which means "saved from the water."
Moses grew up. One day, in the desert, he saw a burning bush. The voice of God called to him from the fire, "Moses, Moses! My people are miserable. Go and lead them out of Egypt!"
The Israelites finally escaped from Egypt. Pharaoh sent his horses, chariots, and riders after them. But God divided the sea in two and let the Israelites pass. Then it closed up behind them, swallowing the chariots of Pharaoh, and all his horses and riders.
The Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. Moses climbed the mountain, and God spoke to him there. God gave Moses his commandments written on two stone tablets.
For forty years, the Israelites walked in the desert. At the end of this very long trip, they came to the Promised Land, the country that God gave them — the sweet land of Canaan!
Prophets and Kings
Samuel was a young boy. One night, God called to him: "Samuel! Samuel!" The child answered: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." Samuel would become a prophet, someone who speaks in the name of God.
God sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, a man who had seven sons. The youngest was a shepherd named David. God had chosen him to become the king of Israel. Samuel laid his hand on David and blessed him.
God's people were at war. In the enemy army was a giant named Goliath. The Israelite soldiers were afraid of him. But little David said, "I am not afraid — God is with me. I will laugh at this giant!" David threw a stone with his sling. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead, and Goliath fell to the ground!
King Solomon was the son of David. One night, God spoke to him in a dream: "Ask me for anything you want, and I will give it to you." Solomon answered: "Lord, give me a heart that is wise, so that I might be a good king!" And God was happy with the answer.
King Solomon built a magnificent temple for the Lord. He put the stone tablets that God gave to Moses in the middle of the temple, in a gold box.
Jonah and the Giant Fish
There was a huge city called Nineveh. One day, God said to the prophet Jonah, "Go tell the people of Nineveh that I am going to destroy their city because they are very wicked!" But Jonah was afraid to go to Nineveh. He boarded a ship to flee far away from God.
God sent a raging storm. The ship was going to sink! Jonah said to the sailors, "God is angry. It is all my fault! Throw me overboard!" The sailors threw Jonah into the sea, and immediately the storm stopped. God sent a giant fish to swallow Jonah.
Jonah stayed in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. He prayed and he cried out, "From the bottom of the sea, from my deep despair, bring me back, Lord!" And God heard his prayer.
God told the giant fish to spit Jonah out on the shore. Then Jonah went to Nineveh. The people listened to him and promised not to do wicked things anymore. And God promised not to destroy their city.
Daniel and the Lions
In the kingdom of Persia, King Darius made a law that anyone who prayed to God would be killed. But Daniel still prayed in secret. The king learned about it and commanded that Daniel be thrown into a pit full of hungry lions.
When the king came to look inside the pit, he saw Daniel sitting with the lions. The lions had not hurt him. The king declared, "God of Daniel, you are great! There is no God greater than you!" And the king had Daniel taken out of the pit.
Excerpted from The Bible FOR YOUNG CHILDREN by Marie-Hélène Delval Götting Copyright © 2002 by Bayard Éditions Jeunesse as La Bible pour les tout-petits. Excerpted by permission of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A simple presentation of an important Bible story. This little book is an excellent example of how to present Bible stories to children. This is a book that children can make their own, teaching them the importance of reading their Bible as well as beginning their own library of important literature.
Illustrated beautifully, and told in simple language, this book is an ideal introduction to the classic Biblical stories every child should know. I appreciated the gentle, respectful way the author translates the stories for children to understand and love. The illustrations are stunning and complex. I love this book. Appropriate for ages 2+.
Marie-Helene Delval. The Bible for Young Readers. Eerdmans, 2010. 80 pp. $16.50.This 80 page book contains 40 pages of text (on the left) and 40 colorful pictures (on the right). My grade school aged children enjoyed the pictures. The text was simple and easy to read.To boil the Bible down to 40 pages of short text is bound to boil some reader's blood. The first 10 pages are dedicated to Genesis, mostly the creation narrative and the flood. Moses is given six pages. Joshua, the Judges and Saul are passed over and Samuel is given one page of his own. David receives two pages and Solomon two. Jonah is given four pages while Daniel is given two. Isaiah is given one page which leads to the birth of Christ on page 66. The rest of the book is dedicated to Jesus' birth narrative, life, death and resurrection.The stories chosen are your typical children's stories: the creation, Noah's ark and Jonah. That Jonah received four pages is questionable in my opinion However, it is understandable why the author dedicated so much space to this minor prophet over say Micah 3:2-3. The cover is unfortunate. Why put Moses on the cover of a book about Jesus? Would Jesus be too obvious?I will continue to prefer reading my children The Graphic Bible by Jeff Anderson and Mike Maddox (Broadman & Holman, 1998) and Andy Holmes' Bible for Me series (Tommy Nelson, e.g., Christmas 2005 and Easter 2006). However, I hope Delval's work will help my children to read the Bible own their own and enjoy it as much as I do. Only then would it justify the $16.50 price tag.
The self-described purpose of The Bible For Young Children is described as follows: "This selection of Bible stories, paraphrased for young readers, uses language and imagery appropriate for children while remaining faithful to the spirit of the biblical texts." I would suggest that it does neither really well. However, all of my critiques are for content and not for the illustrations. I found the illustrations captivating and fresh, a nice change from the children's books filled with stock images. However, I found the text itself a bit disappointing both in form and content. First, the content. I found myself confused as to whether this was a story or a collection of isolated events. In some in instances, one narrative flowed right into the other. It read like an actual narrative. This was great but a rarity. More often, there was a major disconnect between the pages. For example, after talking about Noah's flood, which ended with, "This was God's promise that he would never, ever again destroy the earth like this," the next page begins, "Abraham and Sarah were old and they didn't [actually though, "couldn't" is more appropriate and actually part of the point of the story] have any children." How are those related? Are they? Also, the story begins with God saying "Light!" And the next page begins "God made the sky..." I felt like I was starting and stopping every page and that the book couldn't stay focused. This is representative of how the whole book reads. There has to be a better way to have the story flow and not make the reader feel like there are big gaps in the storyline. The content itself was also a little disconcerting, but since my education and training is in Hebrew Bible, I recognize that I might just be a little too sensitive. For example, what does it mean for the world to "look like nothing"? It reminds me of Peterson's "soup of nothingness." To skip several other issues, I was also a little concerned with the portrayal of Jesus: "Jesus said to everyone he met, "Listen to the good news! God loves you all! You are his dear children!"" This sounds a little more like the Jesus of 21st century America than the Jesus that NT scholars tell me, and that I see, is in the New Testament. The author also changes details that don't need to be changed to make the story more kid-friendly. For example, why have Jesus resurrect "in the morning" instead of "the third morning"?It seems that if the author wanted to pick up on the "spirit" of the Bible, it would have been more appropriate to find the big-picture narrative of the Bible and pick episodes that were most important to the story, rather than trying to piece it together using only the most "popular" episodes from the Bible. Most importantly, if the tradition of the Scripture is as important to pass down to our children as the Scriptures themselves say they are, it's important that any book claiming to be "The Bible" for young children should represent, as the preface says, the "spirit of the biblical texts." And this could have easily been accomplished in this volume, but was not.
I have never seen a children's Bible with such gorgeous and realistic illustrations. The photo of the boat on the Galilee looks so real that I feel like I am there (and I have been there to visit in the past, by the way). The stories are true to the Bible, albeit condensed, but that is very appropriate for the targeted age group of the reader (4-8). I used to direct Children's Education at our church while living in Venezuela and I had many experiences with children in this age group. I think that the stories are at their level and the illustrations would definitely hold their attention (and let's face it--for the 4-8 yr old child, the illustrations are just as important as the story!). I love the fact that the book begins with Light and ends with the truth that Jesus is our Light. May God inspire the author to produce more books such as this one.
As a parent of young children, I'm always on the look for Bible re-tellings that I can read to them. If you read to your children often, you know that there's no such thing as having enough of these. Unfortunately, this is not going to be a keeper. It fails because it oversimplifies the Biblical stories to the point that they become almost meaningless -- just pithy homilies -- there is such a thing as over-simplifying. The pictures are interesting, but they did not hold my child's attention, so I found nearly nothing to endear this book to my children.
As Protestant Minister and father, I highly recommend this book for parent that love reading to their children. It compiles some of the most memorable biblical stories, in a simple and engaging style for children, and stunning drawings!