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The Bible's Big Story: Salvation History for Kids Review by Gwen ToliverJames M. Hamilton, Jr.
Christian Focus Publications
Geanies House Fearn, Tain
Ross-shire IV20 1TW
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the details. This is a pitfall that many parents seem to encounter in teaching the Bible to their children. Bits and pieces of the Bible are taught, but giving the overall picture is neglected.
In The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids, author Jim Hamilton addresses that pitfall and the result is a lovely, simple picture book, which will be a nice addition to the Christian family library.
The illustrations by Tessa James are sparse and stick figure-style, but they effectively communicate the truths of the text without being a distraction.
Hamilton writes in rhyme – he avoids the singsong text which can drive parents a little crazy. The rhythm of the words makes it appealing to children without it being shallow, although my nitpicky side would say the rhyming could have used a little tweaking in a few places.
Each page has a simple drawing, along with just two lines of text. Each page also includes a brief Scripture reference. For me, the book is best read by only reading the two rhyming lines on each page – particularly when you’re reading to preschoolers. Then you can cover the included Scripture references in detail separately for older children.
Hamilton does an excellent job of giving an overview of how God has worked throughout history. This really appealed to me because we so often remind our children of this fact – how through each event, God was bringing salvation through the Messiah, even thousands of years before His birth. God’s sovereignty is beautifully seen throughout the book.
Hamilton notes at the end that these big events should be taught to give your children “landmarks” as they learn to know and love God and His Word more. What an excellent, effective way of teaching the Bible!
My one criticism is Adam and Eve. By now, illustrators should know that pre-Fall mankind requires a generous amount of greenery and strategically placed animals. A little work with my daughter’s art pens made the Creation illustration a bit more appropriate for my family. Otherwise, Hamilton did an excellent job with this book and it is one we will continue using in our home to give our children the “big picture” of God’s hand in history.