Tag: paraphrase

Psalms for Young Children | Marie-Helene Delval

When it comes to the Psalms, I’ll be honest: they contain certain passages that aren’t exactly suited to small ears. And somehow, like a ship out of the fog, you never quite see those passages until they are upon you. (Not sure what I mean? Read Psalm 139. I’ll wait.)

So, an adaptation of the Psalms is nice, especially one as well-edited and beautiful as Psalms for Young Children. Delval does a lovely job of retaining the humanity of the Psalms, including some of the emotionally dark ones alongside the happy, sparkly Psalms of praise, in a way that keeps the heart of each passage beating.

Psalms for Young Children | Little Book, Big Story

Like storybook Bibles, this book is not a resting place but a springboard into relationship with the full book of Psalms, and I like that: we have a five-year-old and a three-year-old, so we deal with a lot of emotion in the course of a day. It’s helpful, then, to show our girls that, hey! People are pouty sometimes. King David was pouty sometimes. But still, he praised the Lord.

But as I said: springboard. We tend to read these at the table, where they serve as a nice segue into reading a full Psalm or two from “Papa’s Bible.” Discussion ensues. And the springboard of Psalms for Young Children has served its purpose.

Psalms for Young Children | Little Book, Big Story

Psalms for Young Children
Marie-Helene Delval, Arno (2008)

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Sally Lloyd-Jones

From the moment that we first met, I knew that The Jesus Storybook Bible was a treasure among children’s Bibles. Even then, I didn’t appreciate how wonderful it was until I encountered another, more old-school, children’s Bible and found that, where The Jesus Storybook Bible treats Scripture as a seamless, coherent whole, the stories in the old-school Bible kept an awkward distance from each other, like students at a junior high dance. That old school Bible made no effort to weave the parts into a whole, or to answer the pressing question, “Why do these stories matter?” Even to a child, it’s clear that most of the people in the Bible behave badly, so why must we read about them?

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Little Book, Big Story

Enter Sally Lloyd-Jones:

…the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is—it’s true. 

Every story in The Jesus Storybook Bible is told eloquently, with the occasional endearing aside to the reader, and every one ends on a note of hope: he is coming! The Savior—who will break that curse, heal that wound, fulfill that prophecy—is coming!

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Little Book, Big Story

These stories matter because they are all about Jesus. Lloyd-Jones makes that plain, even in the subtitle of the book: Every story whispers his name. They all point toward him, are fulfilled in him, are significant because of him.

As parents reading this to our 18-month-old daughter for the first time, we were stunned to hear such massive truths articulated so clearly, and we found ourselves moved as we read about Leah, unloved by man but beloved of God, or Zaccheaus, who didn’t have any friends (none)—until Jesus befriended him.

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Little Book, Big Story

The Jesus Storybook Bible shows the Bible not as a dusty tome of ancient lore or as a thesis on wishful thinking, but as a book that matters because it is true. So many different authors, spanning centuries and cultures, sat down to write their own chapters of that one, seamless book, detailing God’s “Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” and Lloyd-Jones conveys the magnitude and complexity of that with joy, grace and just the right sort of humor.

And I haven’t even touched on Jago’s illustrations. They are glorious.

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Little Book, Big Story

We have read this book dozens of times. We’re on our second copy of it actually, as the first has been lovingly manhandled by our small daughters. My husband even uses it when leading Bible study discussions (sometimes, even college students benefit from full color illustrations). But certain passages still take my breath away as I read them, still delight as though I’d never heard them before, and best of all, drive me to my Bible to dig into the stories with a new enthusiasm.

The Jesus Storybook Bible | Little Book, Big Story

The Jesus Storybook Bible
Sally Lloyd-Jones, Jago (2007)