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Bible Animal Tales: 50 Devotionals for Tween-Agers

By Mary Rose Pearson
Illustrated by Kerry Adcock
Fair Havens Publications

PO Box 1238
Gainesville, TX 76241

Bible Animal Tales (335 pages) is a devotional book for children ages 8 to 12. In addition to the 50 devotionals, there is a section of answers to the included puzzles and a section on "God's Wonderful Plan of Salvation." Each devotional includes a verse, a brief discussion about the particular Bible story, animal facts, a cartoon illustration, and a Bible animal tale with Scripture references and a personal application. The devotional ends with a puzzle, game, maze, or other learning activity. The book is all that is necessary to complete simple devotions with your "tweenaged" children; activities can be completed directly in the book.

This versatile tool could be used for devotions, Sunday school classes, children's church, vacation Bible school, or even homeschool zoology from a Creationist perspective (though additional reference materials would be needed). The book covers a wide range of animals, including ostrich, snakes, sheep, rooster, wolves, mules, behemoth, lions, ravens, horses, locusts, and more. The book begins with Creation and moves through the Flood, David, Solomon, Christ's birth, and all the way to His death, resurrection, and eventual return. The last two pages of the book present a clear plan of Salvation that can be read by, or read to, a student.

We enjoyed this devotional book, and although my 8-year-old was not developmentally able to complete some of the activities, many were very enjoyable for him, and I found most of them entertaining myself. The activities are creative and different each time, not just a bunch of crossword puzzles. The cartoon drawings are comical and offer adequate representation of the Bible tale. Great facts are dispersed throughout the book. Even many parents may not know that Bible animals obeyed every time God gave them a command. Pigs are presented as actually being very intelligent and clean animals; they wallow in mud to keep themselves cool. The approach to the behemoth and leviathan are open-ended, allowing parents room for discussion regarding dinosaurs.

Be aware that some of the more intense subject matter may necessitate extra explanation or discussion. David and Bathsheba were presented carefully, with their adultery wisely referred to along the lines of marital bonding, but the loss of their child may be difficult for some children to understand. Another story included the killing of people who complained (Numbers 11:4-34) and may also require extensive explanation for children to fully grasp the sovereignty of God. Queen Jezebel being eaten by dogs after being trampled by horses was far too intense for our 8-year-old. I understand that there is spiritual truth to be gleaned from each of these stories, but parents may just want to use care in presenting the stories to their children.

Bible Animal Tales fills a need by offering devotionals for children who are too young for in-depth teen Bible studies and too old to hear just the basic Bible stories over and over. The closing plan of Salvation will be a welcome resource for parents who may be insecure about leading their children to the Lord, and it would even be understandable for children who are able to study this book on their own. Bible Animal Tales offers a wonderful series of devotions on the topic of God's wonderful animals.

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, July 2007

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