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Review: Story Bible for Older Children by Anne De Vries

  

Here’s a  two-volume story Bible I recommend to all families, whether they know the Bible well or not, whether they ‘believe’ in story Bibles or not, and whether their children are beyond such things or not.  

     

The Story Bible for Older Children by Anne De Vries comes in two 300+ page volumes, one about the Old Testament and the other about the New Testament.  These two hard-cover books, carefully bound to last, are meant for children ages 7-12 but will bless the entire family.    

Anne (ah’-nuh, a man’s name) De Vries, a Dutch teacher and popular author in the mid-1900’s, skillfully and reverently retold over 400 Bible stories in this, one of his greatest projects.  Whereas most story Bibles simplify and trivialize Biblical history, De Vries expanded upon the Biblical narrative, expressing implicit emotions, details, and conversations.  He did not ignore difficult episodes, but retold them in a manner suitable for children.  De Vries, an experienced teacher, gave explanations where a child would ask for them. Occasionally he went overboard, though, and I have had to remind my little ones that the real Bible doesn’t say quite as much as the story Bible does.  Be that as it may, anyone who knows the Story Bible for Older Children knows the narrative of the Bible well.  

Even our youngest children have gone through the entire Bible several times, but sometimes the stories can get lost in the midst of genealogies, laws, prophecies, and letters.  The Story Bible for Older Children helps by presenting a memorable, chronological narrative.  In fact, these two volumes would benefit anyone, child, teen, or adult, who doesn’t know the Bible stories well.  Even those who are very familiar with the Bible can gain a fresh perspective from Anne De Vries’s retelling.  

For example,  I, who have been blessed with Bible reading from early childhood, never really understood Sarai’s struggle until I read this excerpt:  

A solitary woman went about her work in her tent.  In the evenings she was joined by an even older man – Abram.  It was quiet, very quiet, in their tent.  They were alone with their great desire for the child the Lord had promised them.  

“Nothing will ever come of it,” said Sarai, feeling depressed.  

Abram tried to comfort her.  “We must wait patiently until God’s time has come.  His promises are sure.”   

“We have already waited so long,” Sarai replied.  “We’re getting older and older.”  

My two little girls, 8 and 10 years old, love their story Bible time.  After we’ve read a story, they usually clamor for another one, and after that for just one more.  When I hesitate, I often hear, “After all, it’s the Bible, Mom!” and I usually give in.

The reunion of Jacob and Joseph

Just to give an idea of the detail and scope of the Story Bible for Older Children, here is an excerpt from the Table of Contents of each volume:

Old Testament:  

  • 221. A plot against prayer
  • 222. Daniel in the lions’ den
  • 223. The return from exile 
  • 224. The rebuilding of the temple  
  • 225. Ezra and Nehemiah  
  • 226. The rebuilding of Jerusalem  
  • 227. Esther becomes queen  
  • 228. Mordecai and Haman  
  • 229. Esther and Haman  
  • 230. Haman’s humiliation and death  
  • 231. By faith  

New Testament:  

  • 1. A miraculous message  
  • 2. The handmaid of the Lord  
  • 3. Two joyful households  
  • 4. Jesus’ birth  
  • 5. Shepherds and angels  
  • 6. Simeon and Anna  
  • 7. Wise men from the east  
  • 8. Herod’s hatred  
  • 9. Worship and murder in Bethlehem  
  • 10. Jesus as a boy  

The careful and detailed illustrations by Cornelis Jetses, a well-known Dutch illustrator, add immeasurably to the stories.  These pictures are not the silly cartoons of so many children’s Bibles, but rather serious, well-researched art work that respectfully treats the Bible as God’s holy Word.   

Ananias restoring Paul's sight

 

I highly recommend the Story Bible for Older Children.  It is wonderful for reading aloud. It would also make an amazing Bible curriculum.  Although expensive, it is a worthwhile investment in a family’s knowledge of God’s Word.  In fact, if grandparents or other relatives are wondering what to buy for your children this Christmas, you might wish to suggest this two-volume story Bible.

The Story Bible for Older Children is available from Inheritance Publications, for $29.95 per volume, or $55.95 for both volumes.  (Note:  you’ll have to scroll half way down the page to find these books.)

Disclosure: I received The Story Bible for Older Children in order to review it.  I am not compensated for my reviews and my opinions are my own.     

6 Comments

  1. Stacy's Page says:

    Sounds very interesting!

  2. marj Kannegieter says:

    May I know for the Childrens’ Bible what lanuage are they published? do they do it in Mandrine?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I do not know, off-hand, but will check with the publisher.

  3. Raven says:

    Sounds like a fabulous book. Do you know how it compares with Egermeier’s Story Bible or Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible?

  4. ben says:

    Lets not compare, but just enjoy what people have done to bless us!

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