Stephen Elkins is a Grammy Award–nominated record producer and a multimillion-selling children's author and songwriter. He is owner and founder of Wonder Workshop, a multifaceted Christian media company specializing in the creation of juvenile books, audio products, and DVDs. Stephen has produced recordings featuring Christian personalities TobyMac, Rebecca St. James, Michael Tait of dcTalk, Steve Green, Max Lucado, Twila Paris, and many other notable musicians. He also wrote and produced the Joni Eareckson Tada song "The God I Love," which is used in conjunction with her book of the same title and is now the theme song for her nationally syndicated television show. Stephen lives in Nashville with his wife, Cindy.
My husband and I really enjoy reading Bible stories to our daughter at night before she goes to bed, so it’s always fun to get new Bible story books to review.
After a few nights of reading this one, though, we were wondering if she might be too “old” for it. She is almost four years old and can already listen to and somewhat understand what we read to her from the Bible. The one-page stories and babyish drawings seemed more suited to babies and toddlers rather than preschoolers.
The “Hug Time” at the end of each story was cute, but to me it seemed like it was just a gimmicky thing to add to a Bible story book. Not that I don’t love giving hugs to my daughter, but the prompting of the hug was just odd sometimes. For example, after reading about Cain and Abel, it says, “Give the one who pleases the Lord a great big hug!” or after the story of John baptizing Jesus it says, “Give the one who will obey God and be baptized a great big hug!” I’m not even going to go into all of the confusion that this could lead to for a four-year-old.
Some of the stories are fine and easy to understand. There are even some questions in some of them that would be good to start discussions about biblical truth. But the thing that really bothered me about this book is that the Fall of mankind and Christ’s death are completely left out. At the beginning of the book, there is a creation story and a story of God creating Adam & Eve then the next page skips to Cain and Abel. So, sin and our need for a Savior are not mentioned at that point. Several of the New Testament stories in this book talk about sin and our need for salvation, but then the book skips from the Last Supper to Jesus’ resurrection. On one page Jesus is fellowshipping with his disciples. On the next he is dead, and there is no explanation. I realize that maybe the authors thought that it would be too heavy for this age group, but I think it’s almost worse not knowing!
When I started reading this book, I presumed it would be good for preschoolers, but it seems too simplistic for that age group, I think. And leaving the two key events necessary for salvation out of it completely greatly affected my rating of this book.
I will give Bible Stories That End with a Hug … 2 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."