“The Bible is not a fairy tale. Every great story happened once upon a time.” This is the premise Zonderkidz has built their NEW NIrV Once Upon a Time Bible and Storybook Bible upon. In our princess and fairy tale obsessed culture, I feel it’s important that our children understand this truth. The people and stories of the Bible existed in time and space. They had their fair share of trials, triumphs, and failures—each contributing to the overarching story of God’s love and redemption.
The NIrV Once Upon a Time Bible is a traditional format, full-text (66 books) Bible. Aside from its eye-catching cover which boasts both metallic lettering and raised iridescent glitter accents, included inside are 6 full-color story inserts depicting: Adam and Eve in the garden, Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth and Boaz, Queen Esther, Joseph and Mary, and the Resurrection of Christ. These 4 page stories are similar to the Storybook in this line, but have their own unique illustrations. Additionally, Isaac and Rebekah’s story is not found in the Storybook. I believe coupling this easy to read translation with modern illustrations will make this Bible very appealing to young (mid to upper elementary) girls.
The Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible, offers 18 Old Testament and 15 New Testament retellings. With each tale limited to 4 pages, the original text needed to be condensed. In my opinion, parents can either have a quick bedtime story or they can elaborate on the story by giving additional details as they read aloud.
The storybook has many positive attributes, my favorite being its clear and captivating (Disney-like) illustrations. Occasionally, they tended toward traditional rather than more realistic/biblical depictions, but on the whole they were delightful. I also enjoyed the transitions between stories because they provided clues as to the amount of time that elapsed between events. Though there is mention of Goliath falling, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, and Daniel being tossed to the lions, the violence is minimized. Finally, the “Happily Ever After” text boxes were helpful in highlighting the main takeaway of each story. In the end, my only desire would have been for the publisher to have used the NIrV of Lord’s Prayer instead of the paraphrase they chose. In all, the Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible is solid choice family reading or independent readers who are not quite ready for the entire Bible.
I received a copy of this book for free through FlyBy Promotions and the publisher, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.
NIrV Once Upon a Time Bible available where books are sold.
Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible available at Sam’s Club or wherever books are sold.