Bible Stories That End With a Hug!

Stephen Elkins, illus. by Simon Taylor-Kielty. Tyndale, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4143-7543-4
In simple, rhythmic question-and- answer format, songwriter and author Elkins (Hide and Seek Devotional) retells numerous biblical tales, deftly conveying story, dramatic highlights, and key theological messages. Taylor-Kielty’s (Te Quiero = I Love You) equally accessible pastel-colored illustrations depict toddlers with button eyes and round faces, dressed in biblical garb and sandals, and accompanied by various small animals (squirrels, cats, dogs, mice). The left side of most pages offers an illustration, chapter title, and thematic scripture verse, wrapped in a heart-shaped ribbon. The right side contains a story, two questions marked by heart-shaped bullet points, and a vertical bookmark section called “hug! time.” For example, in “God Made Samson Strong,” Samson cheerfully balances a cow on his head; following the synopsis, the text asks (and answers): “Was a son born?” and “Did Samson use his strength wisely?” The “hug! time” section says: “Give the one whose strength comes from the Lord... a great big hug!” The predictable, friendly format will facilitate experiential learning, while recurring themes (the importance of Bible reading, telling people about Jesus, and praying) underscore the book’s evangelistic emphasis. Ages 2–5. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 12/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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