Last summer, when the first waves of COVID-19 were hitting our country and we had entered into the first of many lockdowns, I spent some time each week reading through some of the best children’s books I could find on live stream for our TableTalk series. Over the course of a few months, I read through many books, including The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and The Promise of Life by Jonny Atkinson. However, of all the books that I read that summer, one stood out to me above the rest and quickly became one of my most favourite children’s books to recommend to families—The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
I remember it took a very long time into my early adult life before I fully grasped that the Bible is much more than a series of disconnected stories. I had heard these stories many times (and knew them well), but they remained disconnected in my mind. As such, their true power and meaning was, in large part, lost on me. Each story may have had its own individual and useful application, but it wasn’t until I began to understand the overarching narrative of the biblical story (The Story of Everything, if you would!), that I began to see that each of these stories was one small piece of a bigger puzzle. Each story played a role in telling a greater story—the story of Jesus and of the salvation that God had planned to work through Jesus from the very beginning.
The Jesus Storybook Bible seeks to teach children this exact truth, and it does so in a theologically rich and biblically accurate way. The subtitle of the book is “Every story whispers His name,” and it does a wonderful job of pointing the reader to the greater story of salvation in Jesus with every story it tells. These connections can sometimes be difficult to see (even for those who are well trained in understanding the Scriptures), and I will joyfully admit that on more than one occasion—while I was in the middle of reading the book on live stream—I found myself learning new things about how Jesus connected to certain stories in ways that I had never even considered. While this book is certainly geared towards children, I love to recommend it to families because I know with confidence that parents will find themselves learning right alongside their children about how the story of Jesus is woven all throughout the narrative of the Bible.
Last summer’s readings through the Jesus Storybook Bible are still available on our YouTube channel, and we have copies available at the church for families who would be interested in owning a copy for themselves. If your family is looking for a strong resource to help children understand the truths of Scripture more deeply and see Jesus in every story, give this one a read. I could not think of any book to recommend more highly!
All the best,