I just purchased Archbishop Desmond Tutu's "Children of God Storybook Bible" for Ages 4-8 . It's highly recommended by Christian Library Journal and I'm impressed with the selected stories, colorful, appealing illustrations by several illustrators, and general format of the book--children and parents will certainly appreciate it. What is your opinion of this title?

Some reviewers (on other sites) suggest "The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name" as a better title, but I was not impressed with the illustrations and it is recommended for children ages 9-12. Please share your opinions...

Barbara Troisi

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I have not seen the book, Children of God Storybook Bible, but I love the title, because, as a storyteller, I believe that it is extremely important that these stories be "told" in language that is appropriate for their age and stage. As a teacher of preschool children for 25 years in our Sunday School, I know that children can be completely turned off by the Bible story by the time he is four or five because of these tactics having been used by well meaning parents or teachers.

1. Reading the story  aloud in a monotonous tone of voice, while requiring the child to listen attentively.

2. The meaning or lesson is drilled into the child.

3. A dogmatic approach is used to teach Bible truths.

4. They may not realize that children do not understand figurative language

5. They have not considered age capabilities in the interpretation of Bible material. (adapted excerpt from my book, Storytelling in a Nutshell,  Maxine J. Bersch, Nashville, LifeWay, c1998 now in 4th printing. p.123)

I believe, as church librarians, it is our responsibility to assure ourselves that the material is graded appropriately for the age of the child that will be using it, and that the parent is made aware of the teaching of Jesus, "First the corn and then the ear."  We can assist them by getting to know them and building relationships that will permit conversations that can be helpful.  We can have a story hour in the library and invite the parents to stay in and listen.  If we have a book that is special because of its art, we can show it as a picture book and "tell" the story as we turn the pages.  Maxine Bersch-Lovern


I have not seen this book.  Where was it purchased?  I am curious as to why it is called a storybook Bible.  Children do not need to think of the Bible as a storybook, but the living inspired word of God. I will have to reserve my opinion until I have reviewed the book.  Thanks for calling this to our attention.


Rita Kirkland

First Baptist Church Euless





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