Book Review: I Can Learn the Bible
I Can Learn the Bible: 52 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know sounded like a book with a lot of potential. Right off the bat, I spotted several attributes in this book that I thought were very positive. First of all, I love that this book tackles "weighty" subjects. Instead of just providing fluff for kids, topics such as modern day idols, understanding the role of God when bad things happen, evangelism, sin, and how to live the Christian life are tackled with ease and in an easy to understand format. I also really like the idea of the kids memorizing a Bible verse a week. Each week's devotional is short enough that a child could easily get through it in less than a week and is also laid out in a way that the child could choose to read under one of the headings each day. The recommended reading plan is for a parent to read the devotion on Monday and introduce the Bible memory verse. Then, the child works on the verse throughout the week, and the parent rereads the devotional at the end of the week. I like that plan a lot. Another part of this book I liked is the section in the appendix which contains tips for how parents can help their children memorize scripture.
What I don't like is that most of the verses are not in a commonly known translation that the children might run across in other settings; they are from the International Children's Bible which, to my knowledge, is not a very common translation. Yet, the forward in the beginning of the book quotes a verse in the NIV translation. If only the entire book could have followed suit...or at least if different translation options were available to purchase. I also don't like the content of the one devotional that states, "God gives us keys to a happy life. Really, He does!" (203). I know God promises us "joy" in His Word, but I think stating that God's plan is for us to be happy is very misleading and, to be quite honest, kind of dangerous. However, perhaps the author simply mistakenly used "happy" for a synonym for "joy," a word that kids might not understand as well. That was a little bit of a theological concern on my part, though. Christians might not always be happy, but they can certainly experience His joy no matter what is going on in their lives.
So, for this book, I would give it a 3 out of 5. I think it could have had a lot of potential. While some families may find that it meets their needs, I feel that others will not find it usable due to the choice of translation.
Memory verses and devotions that will write God’s word on your children’s hearts.
In this 52-week devotional for children, author Holly Hawkins Shivers adapts the gift book The Joshua Code (written by her father, O.S. Hawkins) into a devotional that will help kids learn and live the scriptures. Using kid-friendly language, I Can Learn the Bible teaches scriptures in a way children can understand. Each week, kids will commit a new scripture to memory by reading a fun, engaging devotional that’s doable for a child. Matthew 7:7 will remind kids to always ask God for help. Philippians 1:6 will teach them that God is always working in their lives. And 50 more scriptures will continue to write the truth on their hearts so that they will remember it forever.
Parents using the gift book will love using the kids’ book as a discussion tool for the entire family. A great gift for baptisms, confirmations, and any special occasion, I Can Learn the Bible includes clever tips for memorizing scripture. Each new day and each new verse will reinforce to young readers that “God’s Word is FOR ME and TO ME, it is IN ME and working THROUGH ME, and just like His love, it goes on and on forever!”
About the Author
Holly Hawkins Shivers is actively involved in children's and women's ministry and is a contributor to various writing projects and ministry blogs. I Can Learn the Bible is her first book. She lives with her husband and four children in Plano, Texas, where she also enjoys traveling, music, and running . . . mostly after her little ones!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”