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Book Review: Read and Share Toddler Bible

As a parent of 3 young kids, I am all-too-aware of the glut of toddler bibles available, and the sameness that plagues the majority of them. Happily, the Read and Share Toddler Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, stands out from the crowd.

At first glance, it would seem that this bible contains the usual toddler bible characteristics: (1) short (4-6 page) accounts of the most common bible stories, such as Adam and Eve, Noah, and Joseph's coat of many colors; (2) colorful pictures which portray the "good guys" and "bad guys" accordingly (i.e. Jesus looks friendly, Goliath does not); (3) age-appropriate wording for the stories being told (we are told that Joseph is in jail due to a lie told by Potopher's wife, for example, but the book doesn't go into detail about what that lie is).

But a closer look reveals features which go beyond the norm for this type of book. For one thing, there is a DVD included, and it contains most of the stories that are in the book; some of them are a little more fleshed out in the DVD. The video version of the stories are told in a very simple way: this animation won't be confused with anything put out by Pixar. But it kept my 5-year-old's attention, and ultimately, that's what matters.

Another nice feature of the book is the suggestion included at the end of each chapter. Some are simply designed to help the parent ask the child some leading questions after reading the story, for the purpose of initiating a conversation so that the Scriptural truths contained in the story can be elaborated on. But many of the suggestions go beyond questions. Simple crafts and activities to reinforce the story are offered.

As for the stories themselves, most are worded at a higher level than 2-3 year-olds are likely to embrace. I found the "toddler" in the book title a bit confusing. The words used to tell the stories are probably best suited for an audience which is a little older than the common definition of "toddler".

At $14.99 (SRP), this bible is a great bargain, as it contains the normal toddler bible features in addition to the DVD and crafts/activities.

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