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The Rhyme and Reason Series Review by Lori Hooten

Catherine Zoller
(918) 928-2608
PO Box 470994
Tulsa, OK 74147

The Rhyme and Reason Series by Catherine Zoller takes a unique approach to helping children understand the story that God has placed in each of the books of the Bible. Using rhyme and humor to retell the stories from the books of the Bible, Catherine Zoller reveals God's plan throughout each of the stories.

Each of the books in this series is a colorful, hard-cover book that is about 8x8 inches. They are all about 45 pages in length. The pages are illustrated by Mr. Sketches with vivid, bright images that help show the story of God's love. When combined with the rhyming text of Mrs. Zoller, the stories of God's plan and his love jump to life.

Each book covers one of the books of the Bible. All of the text is rhyming. There is an introduction at the beginning that gives an overview of the entire book. Then the details of the main stories and themes of the book are covered over the remainder of the pages. Each page or two also includes a citation from the Bible so that parents and children alike can open their Bible and read the story as God wrote it down. This tie back to God's true word is so important and takes these from good books to great resources.

One of the books in this series is Matthew. To get an idea of how Mrs. Zoller address the large ideas, let's take a look at the rhyme for Matthew 5-7, often referred to as The Sermon on the Mount.

            About this time the folks around the land began to hear

            The wonderful things that Jesus said and came from far and near.

            He sat them on a mountainside and then began to teach

            The paradox of heaven, how this Kingdom they could reach.

            This famous talk today is called "The Sermon on the Mount;"

            He tells us how to turn our hearts and make our choices count.

                                                                                    Matthew 5-7

                                                                                    (page 15)

This puts the ideas into a setting that children can read and understand. Each of the ideas or stories from the books of the Bible in this series are placed into a setting like this.

These books would make wonderful snuggle times with little ones and discussion points with older children. They talk about the big idea while still bringing the simpler and smaller ideas into the discussion. The rhyme makes it more accessible for students that struggle with reading, and it seems to help with comprehension.

Between the rhyme and the images, these stories are brought to life and into the reach of the understanding of young minds. In the book on Genesis, after the sin in the garden, the idea that God, even then, had a plan to redeem man is included.  Some of the prophecies of how it would be fulfilled are included. A few of the moments the book of Acts covers are the testimony of Stephen, the mission of Paul and it closes with encouraging the reader to follow in Paul's footsteps and to proclaim God's message. The story from Revelation is a lovely retelling of all the prophecy of that book. One of the unique things Mrs. Zoller does in the book on Revelation is refer back to other books of the Bible that relate or support that part of the story. This tying together is a really neat thing that I appreciated. The book on Daniel included all of the stories that you would expect, with rhymes that really help place the reader in the story. Esther brings to life the story of the Jews from that time and the way in which Esther helped rescue them through God's plan. The books on Genesis and Exodus cover all of the main ideas and stories - creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the 10 plagues and the 10 Commandments.

Since each page of the book contains a reference back to God's word, the reader can use these books to strengthen their beliefs and understanding of God and his plan. These all are accurate biblically, and the rhyming text really helps younger readers get to know more of God. That is a wonderful thing. I have enjoyed reading these and will be using them to study with my children and with my bible classes as they are bold and colorful and true.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2018