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This forum is collecting resource suggestions and links. Lesson plans and ideas for specific Bible stories are organized by story in the Lesson Forum. Post lesson and resource questions in the Teachers Lounge.

Add your suggestions for Bible Storybooks that are appropriate for preschool through 3rd graders.  Offering examples of storybooks for toddlers is okay, too. But also refer to this collection of ideas for that age set: here. Good illustrations are important for the non-readers!

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Keep in mind that Storybook-style Bibles are usually paraphrased and illustrated. They also tend to go out of print, so it's an ever-flowing stream. The following suggestions point you to storybooks others have found and should still be available in some format or perhaps under another name or with a new publisher.

Please add your own favorites and tell us why you like them.




Neil MacQueen posted:
I've purchased the following two Bible storybooks for classroom and teacher use, that I think are top-notch compared to others I've seen:

  • GOD PRINTS FAMILY FUNSTUFF FOR PRESCHOOLERS, Cook, 2001, 9780781435482. 
    [Note: Out of print, but still available.]

    Review: GREAT pictures ..and the best thing is it has story summaries for teachers/parents to conclude the story, ie, "the point." It also has at least two suggested activities related to each story. Really age appropriate I thought. Lots of stories too, not just a few. Not just a book for families. This works well in the classroom.

  • GOD PRINTS "ELEMENTARY FAMILY FUNstuff BIBLE STORIES, Cook, 2001, 9780781435475.  [Note: Out of print, but still available.]

    Reveiw: LARGE collection of "Retold Bible stories" for younger and middle elementary (too young for 5th-6th). The thing I like about this book is it helps me write lessons. It has freshly told stories, and "Points to Ponder" (they call them "God Prints") which are usually right on target. They advertise it with the word "family" in the title, but there's only one family activity idea per story. All the suggested follow-up activities are very appropriate for Sunday School. Really good illustrations in varying styles—which is refreshing.

    Theologically speaking, while I'm not a fan of all of Cook's resources, I was very comfortable with these.  And while I'm on the subject... I've been comparing a lot of Bible story books lately...

  • The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories, by Karyn Henley and Ill. by Dennas Davis, Zondervan, #9780310709626.  

    Review: This is still one of the best collections of fun illustrated Bible stories for little kids ages 4 to 8. Great as a gift Bible and classroom resource.

    Note: Beginner's Bible has a whole line of products with that name. I'm only recommending the 95 stories product.


    I'm STILL looking for the right 4th-6th grade Bible. The God Prints elementary one could be used by students and would make a good gift, but I'm still looking for (and haven't seen) a Bible for older kids that has regular kid-friendly study notes and background notes, has illustrations for EACH story, and doesn't try to cover the entire Bible.

The American Bible Society has a TERRIFIC collection of illustrated Bible storybooks for young children.

  • OPEN YOUR EYES COLLECTION - 12 VOLUME SET
    American Bible Society, 9781585165544
    [Note: Out of print, but sets can still be found on-line by searching ISBN.]

    Review: Booklets for reading and showing to children. Nice big graphics, and nicely retold stories. Sower, 5000, Man down through roof, Samaritan, Prodigal, Catch of Fish, Forgiving the sinner, and more. You can buy them individually, but truthfully, you'll use all 12. This set of 12 children's storybooks depicts the life and teachings of Jesus. Each story uses the easy to understand Contemporary English Version text and includes explanatory notes and a summary of each story. 30 pages each. Ages 5 - 8


Tami Ziegler posted:

  • MY FIRST STUDY BIBLE, Tommy Nelson Inc., 1994, ISBN 0745930689. Updated 2011, 9781400316908.

    Review: 1st - 3rd grade for sure. Each Bible Story has scripture references, introduction, background info, added detail notes and summary. All with illustrations. We struggled to find things for our early readers! 
    Volunteer Moderator adds - Best of all it has introductions for all 66 books of the bible!


Wendy In Roch posted:

  • THE WORD & SONG BIBLE, By: Wonder Workshop, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999, 9780805416893. [Note: Out of print.]

    Review: is a great Bible for 3 year old to grade 3 and maybe even up to fifth grade. It also includes 5 CD's that read the story by Max Lucado, Larneele Harris, Rebecca St. James, Joni Eareckson Tada, Roy Clark and some of the stories are even ready by children. The story of Saul being blinded by the Light is one such example. It doesn't hestitate to share difficult stories such as Abraham and Issac sacrifice and covers difficult or unexpected lessons such as Habakkuk "Two Questions": How long will you allow these sinful and quote: "hardhearted people to go unpunished? How can you use an evil nation like Babylon to accomplish good."

    It also contains a memory or primary verse with each story. Plus songs with many of the stories to help the child begin memorizing bible verses.


For PRESCHOOLERS and YOUNGER

  • GOD'S MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN, By: San-Mari Mills, Kregel Publications, 2001, 9780825472176  [Note: Out of print]

    Review: (we use for pre-schoolers) by Candle Books. 1 page stories with scripture passage, picture and a one sentence "REMEMBER." (For example: Each believer is an important part of Jesus' body.)

  • PRAY AND PLAY BIBLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (9780764420245)
    PRAY & PLAY BIBLE 2 FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
    (9780764425141)

    Review - books are 9" x 12". Have several activity ideas following each story, for more details, see this link.
     
  • PICTURE THAT!: Bible Storybook - by Tracy Harrast, Garry Colby (Ill.), Zonderkidz, 1998, 9780310725909.

    Reveiw: This book features over 65 Bible stories which will allow beginning readers to not only feel like reading is easy, but also fun through the use of over 90 different full-color picture icons (rubus style).

  • PICTURE THAT 2!: Bible Storybook! - by Tracy Harrast, Garry Colby (Ill.), Zonderkidz, 2011, 9780310727156. 

    Ages 4-7. Includes more than 60 Bible stories written with full-color picture icons integrated into each sentence in a nice large format 10.88" x 8.5" for easy viewing and reading.  Bright, colorful illustrations, plus a What Did You Learn? summary lesson to reinforce the lesson of that particular Bible story.  Great to include non-readers in participating in the reading of the story!

  • The RHYME BIBLE FOR TODDLERS, By: L.J. Sattgast, Zonderkidz (Zondervan), 1999, 9780310700784. Revised 9780310730163 (2014).

    Review: (pictures less vivid but rhyme is great for a change.) - Was created especially for one- to 5-year-olds! From the story of creation to the resurrection of Jesus, it introduces toddlers to the character and works of God using simple, easy-to-memorize rhymes and colorful illustrations. hardcover from Gold 'n' Honey.

  • TODDLER'S ACTION BIBLE, by Robin Currie, Ill: Bill Clark, Concordia, 1998, ISBN: 9780570050308. [Note: Out of print.]

    Description: Bible stories come to life as 2 to 5 year olds actively join in 20 Old and New Testament Bibles stories through actions, pantomimes and questions. Hardcover.

 
For BABIES and TODDLERS -- Boardbooks

  • BIBLE STORIES FOR TINY TOTS - by Kobus Sandenbergh, Candle Books (Kregel), 2001, ISBN: 9780825472121.  [Note: Out of print.]

    Description: A unique Bible storybook board book has colorful illustrations, questions for readers, and short prayer at the end of each story. Ages 1-3.

  • GOD LOVES ME BABY BIBLE, by Susan Elizabeth BeckAuthor Tracker, Zondervan, 1999, 9780310979500.

    Description: simple, rhyming verses about Bible characters and God's love for his children. Each page features delightful illustrations by artist Gloria Oostema. Board book, Ages: 2 & Under.

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE IN 365 STORIES, by Mary Batchelor, Lion Publishing, (Cook) 1995, ISBN 0745930689.
Review: A bestseller. The whole sweep of the Bible is told in 365 rich stories, with evocative illustrations.
This is the Bible I have at home for my kids, and the one we use on Wednesday night Rotation. Mary Batchelor "retells" the stories adding explanative remarks which make the stories more intelligible to kids.
The book is an excellent source for creating a Scope and Sequence as well.
Widely available in Christian bookstores or via the Web. Neil MacQueen - posted on October 16, 2000

Review: These stories can be read to younger elementary and older--probably 4th grade and up can read them. The stories are short 1-2 pages. Lynn C Wood - posted September 18, 2004

Review : By the way, The International Bible Society also sells the Children's Bible in 365 Stories for $11.99, much less than any other outlet I have found. Kris, First Presbyterian, Kannapolis, NC.
I live the Bible story board books by Carol Wehrheim.
Here is the publisher's description: The Word and Picture Books are the perfect "first Bible" books for infants and toddlers. These bright, colorful books are designed especially for young children up to 4 years of age. Each 2-page spread presents an illustration with one or two key words and a simple story line to help a child discover wonderful stories from the Bible. The sturdy coated-board bindings with rounded corners ensure safe and easy handling.

Publisher: PILGRIM PRESS

ISBN: 0829811958

Titles: Jesus Visits Zacchaeus
Three Visitors for Jesus
A Baby for Sarah
A Boy who Shares Food
Meet Simeon and Anna
Helping Others
I think there are probably more. You can find these books at Cokesbury for 4 or 5 dollars each.

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