My First Hands-On Bible is a preschool targeted Bible story compilation using the New Living Translation. The Bible translation is abridged but is not revised for children, so the editors recommend stopping and discussing complicated words when necessary. Each story is about 3-5 pages long and is accompanied by illustrations that children can understand. Additionally each story includes cues and activity suggestions that help engage children in the story with actions to perform, like saying a work or pretend playing an action. Additionally, each story is followed by a short prayer, questions suitable for preschool and short activities. The text does not include all of the Bible, but selected stories from both the Old and New Testament.
Overall, this Bible is very appropriate for preschoolers. The NLT translation does not speak down to them, but provides them a piece of text that their parents could easily be reading in their own Bibles. I used this Bible with my church’s preschool classroom and found that children stayed engaged as I read the story thanks to the brief activities interjected into the text. Additionally afterwards they stayed on task, and had fun, as we did things seven times in celebration of Naaman’s cleansing. And each child remembered, thanks to that activity, that Naaman washed in the Jordan seven times as they were released their parents. I’m very impressed with the post lesson activities and am seriously considering using this Bible with preschooler’s long term. My only complaint, which another children’s worker had to point to me, is the illustrations. The illustrations of people are exclusively Caucasian, and I wish they showed the greater diversity of God’s people. But despite this complaint I would easily consider adopting this text in my ministry.
Review Copy Provided by Tyndale House Publishers