All About Jesus
Do you remember that book sale I went to a few weeks ago? One of the happy surprises I found there that day was All About Jesus, a children’s Bible that’s in some ways quite similar to the ESV Illustrated Family Bible. Given how much I like it, I’m surprised that I’d never heard of it before!
The text of All About Jesus comes directly from the New Living Translation of the Bible. I love that even though the selections are quite short and the NLT isn’t my translation of choice for myself, when I read this book my kids are hearing the actual language of the Bible instead of that of an author. (Not that storybook Bibles are at all bad; I’m just grateful to have both.) That makes this book a natural half-step to reading from a storybook Bible to a copy of the complete Scriptures.
The first nine stories are from the Old Testament while the remaining 200 pages focus in on Jesus: who he is, what he did, what he teaches, and how he remains with us. I like the selections that were chosen, but I especially appreciate that most of the stories that fall during Holy Week are included (because I find most children’s Bibles to leave out at least some of them). Come spring, I’ll definitely be pulling out this book as we’re nearing the end of Lent and walking through the week before celebrating the Resurrection.
As far as the illustrations go, they remind me a bit of a slightly more grown-up version of Mick Inkpen’s drawings in Stories Jesus Told, even though Blanc-Rerat’s style is less cartoony. They’re inviting to gaze at and I appreciate how they artfully help us to focus on the Scripture itself. All things considered, I’d say that this book is perfect for ages 2-7 (those at the older end of that age spectrum could read it themselves, as the passages are short and the translation is pretty kid friendly).
At the very end of the book there are a dozen pages that aren’t simply passages of Scripture, and a couple of those mention topics like Mary, saints, priests, and the Eucharist in distinctly Catholic ways. Personally, I’m comfortable with most of them, and find it easy to switch a word or two where my Anglican theology differs.