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Book Review: “The Jesus Book” written by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Claudine Gevry

The Jesus Book written by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Claudine Gevry discusses the Who, What, When, Where and Why of Jesus. Using short sections, Elkins has put together a collection of information regarding Jesus that is easily accessible. Included with the book is a music CD with songs that many of us who grew up attending Sunday school may be familiar with.

I appreciate Stephen Elkins’ efforts at putting a book like this together. It teaches some great stuff about Jesus. The thought, though, that more information will translate into a relationship with Christ that transforms the life of a child and will last them into adulthood and beyond is faulty. I’m not saying the children don’t need the information… they do! But I think we have put too much stock in information alone.

Another concern I have of this book is that the wording is geared for a child who is 7-10 years old while the illustrations and music CD are more appropriate for a 3-5 year old child. This phenomenon is unfortunately characteristic of many Christian materials for kids. I think this is more a lack of understanding of kids in the publishing world rather than the authors.

While it sounds like I hate this book (which I don’t), I think that the style and illustrations definitely need to be geared for older kids… and market the CD for younger kids. This book can be a good resource for parents to add to their library. It isn’t, though, a substitution for reading through the Bible with your kids and helping them understand the Story of the Bible as well as helping them live out their part in that Story.

You can check out a preview of the book here.

2 Responses to “Book Review: “The Jesus Book” written by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Claudine Gevry”

  1. Sarah Thompson October 8, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    You're right about the pictures! They are very young.
    I guess as far as the information content it is quite a lot, but I guess it depends how you use it. I suppose it is something you read to your child over time, not all at once. Would be cool for each part to have an encouragement to respond somehow so that the child learns what that actually means for them, not just random information.

    • henryjz October 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

      A response section is a great idea.

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