Book Review: Precious Moments Storybook Bible

At approximately 8×10 inches, Precious Moments Storybook Bible is larger than I expected it would be. The font is very large, and the pages, enhanced by colorful borders, are sweetly illustrated with Precious Moments characters. About 90% of the characters appear to be Caucasian, with the remaining 10% appearing to be of other races. The illustrations are somewhat inconsistent in this book—although nearly all of the characters, including animals, have Precious Moments-style teardrop-shaped eyes, adult Jesus and adult Moses are depicted realistically, and Joseph’s brothers are drawn in a cartoonish style.

According to the copyright page information, the stories in this Bible are retold from the International Children’s Bible. I appreciate that the book and chapter of the Bible that each story is taken from is listed under the title. The Bible stories and passages are divided into three sections–“Favorite Bible Classics” (15 selections), “Words of Praise and Wisdom” (16 selections), and “More Stories of the Faith” (15 selections). There is also a section called “Songs and Prayers,” with four songs (“The B-I-B-L-E,” “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Amazing Grace”) and seven prayers, including St. Francis of Assisi’s “Lord, make me an instrument” and the traditional “Now I lay me down to sleep.”

The text of the stories, although using simple language, stays true to Biblical meaning, for the most part. For example, in the account of creation, instead of “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it,” this Bible reads, “’I want you to have big families and take care of my creation!’ God said.” The endings of several of the stories are abrupt or incomplete. The story of Joseph ends like this: “’My son has been killed by a wild animal!’” Jacob sobbed. He didn’t know that Joseph would become a successful ruler in Egypt and a faithful man who loved his God.” That’s it—the next story is about Moses, and neither Jacob nor Joseph are mentioned again in this Bible. The story of Jonah in this Bible ends with Jonah getting spit out of the fish.

There is a very limited selection of stories in this Bible, and they are not logically ordered. There are stories from Genesis and Exodus, then David and Goliath, then six stories about Jesus, then some paraphrases of poetic and wisdom passages, then back to Joshua, then Daniel, then Jonah, then eight more stories about Jesus, and then a few random New Testament paraphrases—I Corinthians 13 (the love chapter), the armor of God, a very abstract passage from I Peter 1 that I don’t think most young children could follow, and a description of heaven from Revelation.

The Precious Moments Storybook Bible also contains a presentation page, family tree, church record, and places to record a child’s favorite things and personalized prayers.

I’d have to say that the pictures are the best thing this Bible has going for it. I wouldn’t have a problem giving this Bible to my kids, but it’s too disjointed and incomplete to be their main storybook Bible.

My rating: 3/5

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher through BookSneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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