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May 26, 2013

The Catholic Children's Bible Review

Rosarymom.blogspot.com

Recently I was given a complimentary copy of The Catholic Children's Bible from St. Mary's Press to review. It has exactly 2,000 pages of bright and informative pages of highlights woven throughout the books of the bible. It is P.E.R.F.E.C.T. for children. Each book is color coded and the text is large for easier reading. The beginning of the bible has a section titled "The Bible is Like a Bookshelf" where it outlines the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. It explains how the books are set up in the bible and compares it to a bookshelf. The idea is that the different books of the bible are divided up into sections yet are part of the whole bible. For visual learners, it's a good tool to conceptualize how the bible is organized. For young children who do not know the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament, this is a great visual aid. It categorized the books into color coded sections such as "Pentateuch", "Historical", "Wisdom", "Books of the Prophets" in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, they are "Gospels and Acts" and "Letters".

A few pages later, the reader will find an explanation of the Old Testament and then the book description follows. It's a type of summary of what to expect in that book. (The same can be found in the New Testament.) The first page of each book begins with an explanation of how the reader can relate to the book. It helps set up the book and then lists the "Featured Stories" with the page numbers. I think for young children, this will aid comprehension and help to imprint it in their memories. On succeeding pages, the reader will find the Featured Story broken down in a relatable way. It also includes definitions of some words the reader may not be familiar with, a "Understand It!" section, a "Live It!" section and ends with a "Tell It!" section. The featured story uses brightly colored images to tell the story and to break it down into manageable parts. These extra sections are necessary for young readers which is why it's a 2,000 page bible. The last few pages have a Prayer and Bible Helps section which has beautiful pictures, a Bible Timeline, maps, Catholic practices and prayers, and ends with Bible Passages for Special Times.

For a struggling reader who is reading the bible, it can be intimidating and frustrating. The Catholic Children's Bible makes it less daunting by featuring the main stories within each book. Even for the youngest of readers, they can look at the pictures to assist in reading comprehension. To be honest, teenagers and adults could learn from this bible too. If an adult Catholic bible is intimidating, then pick up the children's version. I would even recommend Catholic Schools have this bible in their classrooms. Their students will be drawn to colorful pictures and larger text.

I'm going to make a bold statement here. Every Catholic family should have this bible. Let's face it. Many Catholics of my generation are bible illiterate and were poorly catechized. The Catholic Children's Bible is just what is needed so the younger generation grows up knowing their bible. This will help in their faith formation and draw them closer to God. You can find more information about this children's bible and other great resources at St. Mary's Press. Besides their store, they have a Resource Center with tons of information about the liturgical calendar, assessments, and Catholic news. Go HERE to check it out for personal or professional use.

Blessings,
Noreen