It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s 500 years since the Reformation. The book ‘Reformation ABC’s’ by Stephen J Nichols and Ned Bustard is intended for children but extremely useful for adults. It fills in all the history of the Reformation; why it happened, where, how and who was involved. Each letter of the alphabet is used to explain a small part of the bigger picture. There is a lot of information! I think the book is a great resource for us adults trying to fit the history of the Reformation together and a useful book for families with older children. A map would be a useful item to have alongside as you learn about the Hugenouts, Geneva, Florence and Zurich.
At the end of the book there is a timeline of events and key people and a section called ‘Reformation in Numbers’
Marty Machowski’s ‘Leading Your Child to Christ’ is one of those books that you can sit and read all in one go (I just did!) and will want to dip back into time and again.
He has put together a book all about sharing the Gospel with your children. It’s mainly for parents but it has a lot of useful things to say to anyone who works with children in church/youth club.
So what’s it all about? Well clearly Marty believes that children need to be saved. But he is clear that this doesn’t mean that adults should try to manipulate them or lead them to ‘right’ answers about what the Bible teaches. Children often want to please us and so will agree to things on a surface level. This is not advocated in the book.
Instead, Marty explains that our conviction should be that God works in a persons life. We tell the gospel but it is God who saves. This book gives practical suggestions as to how we explain the gospel and how we live the gospel in front of our children.
The book begins with giving examples of children’s testimonies and an explanation of where the book is going.
The main part of the book is a breakdown of leading your child to Christ based on A- Admit you are a sinner; B- Believe in your heart the full Gospel of Christ; C – Confess your faith in Jesus and D- Demonstrate the fruit of repentance.
This may sound like a formula but as the headings are explained it becomes clear that this is not the case. I particularly found the section on Belief helpful. It’s such a hard concept to explain as it is more than an acknowledgement of a set of truths. It is a full trusting of all of ourselves to what God has said and done- not always easy to explain.
Marty also gives us the core truths of what the gospel is. What’s great about it is that each statement begins not with something about us but about God.
Kevin DeYoung has written an overview of the Bible in ten short chapters. That may sound like an impossibility but actually it’s a very good telling of the story of the whole Bible. He takes us from the garden of Eden to the new Heaven and the new Earth.
There is one small downside – he does use a few expressions that seem a bit clumsy and maybe the style is overly chatty. However, I either got used to this or it was more prominent in the early chapters as I soon no longer noticed. This is a great book. It is not just for children. Adults could easily find it a refreshing read reminding them of God’s love and his plan to bring about redemption.
The book is illustrated by Don Clark. I love the illustrations. They are colourful and striking. Lots of detail to look at and talk about with a child. But they aren’t childish and consequently this is suitable to give to a family to read and enjoy. For someone who is interested in putting the bits and pieces they have heard about Bible stories together, into a meaningful whole, this book would be a great gift.
Kevin DeYoung writes ‘I pray that for some this book may become a treasured ‘member’ of the family’. It is certainly a member of mine and will be read and treasured.
The board book ‘I believe in Jesus’ by John MacArthur and Pam Rossi is a little difficult to come by. But it is available second hand from Amazon and Abebooks. But be careful if you order because they have another title that is very similar. The ISBN No. is 1400303761.
The book is simply and colourfully illustrated. It tells the story of salvation from the Bible and there are Bible verses quoted which is more for the parents. The book begins with God the creator and explains how we can have God’s gift of salvation.
This book is very useful in helping adults explain the story of the Bible simply but accurately in Sunday school and would be great for Christian parents and grandparents to read with their children and grand children.
Looking for books about the Christmas story? These are a few of my favourites.
‘No Tree for Christmas’ by Marilyn Lashbrook illusrated by Stephanie McFetridge Britt. (ISBN 9781859857069)
This book is ideal for younger children. There are phrases to repeat and great pictures. (Not too sure that there would have been pigs in a stable in Bethlehem but I don’t think children would worry about this!)
My First Story of Christmas by Tim Dowler. Illustrated by Roger Langton. (ISBN 9781859856574)
Another great book for young children designed as a gift book for 4-7 year olds. I love the fact that this book accurately depicts the shepherds coming to the stable and the wise men to the house a few years later. The wise men were never at the stable! Great illustrations with lots of detail and suitable humour.
Jesus is Born! Children’s Activity Book. (www.dayspring.com).Illustration Jin Young Lee/Shutterstock
This strory/puzzle book with four pages of stickers would make a good stocking filler or a small gift for Sunday School children. Rather than retelling the Christmas Story the book includes the Bible references. There are puzzles throughout. The stickers can be added to the line drawn pictures which the child can colour in.
The Me Too! series of Bible story books by Marilyn Lashbrook, illustated by Stephanie McFetridge Britt are written for very young children. They are interactive – things to point at in the illustrations, questions to answer, repetitive phrases to join in with.The authors use of onomatopoeia allows you to add lots of expression to the story. The books are great to read aloud and still enjoyable after many repeated readings. They could easily be used in a small group setting – great books to have in a book corner at a toddler group or to use as prizes for the young children in Sunday School or as leavers gifts for children moving on from toddler group.
Some of the versionsof the books are very small and so unsuitable to reading to a group – so beware if buying online and check the sizes.
The illustrations are clear and often suitably humorous. Sometimes they aren’t quite true to the time in which the stories took place which I think is a shame. But that’s my only niggle. My own children loved these books when they were little.
Do you ever need a quick and easy activity for the children to do that has minimal preparation and no mess? Maybe you need a filler activity to have on hand for children who finish all their craft early or something to do for the children who arrive at your club on time – while you wait for the few who are always a bit late? maybe you would like something for your own children to do during the Sunday sermon?
These two books provide 52 photocopiable sheets of activities that only require a pencil/pen and a bible (NIV version is used here)
‘Little hands Fold and Do’ is for 4-7 year olds and ‘Fold and Do’ is for 7-10 year olds. They are written by Carla Williams, Illustrated by Richard M Heroldt and Becky Radtke and published by Concordia Publishing House.
The ‘fold’ part of the title refers to the fact that each worksheet is two sided and folded in half. The activities include tracing, joining up items, word searches, dot to dot, odd one out and lots of other activities.
Each worksheet focus’ on a different subject – these include Christmas, Easter, talking to God, the parables – 52 in all. Both books cover the same topic but at a different level.
Because the books are from the US they do include something for President’s day, Memorial Day, National Day of Prayer and valentines but they focus on truths from the Bible rather than how these days are kept so still useful if not in the US. The spelling is American too but loads of books use american spelling so I’m happy to overlook it!
I bought one of the books through Amazon – but be careful as they sent me the wrong one at first – they didn’t seem aware that there were two different books so the picture and description didn’t match the sent item. Abebooks did a much better job.