The Jesus Storybook Bible

Every Story Whispers His Name

written by Sally Lloyd-Jones
illustrated by Jago


Sally Lloyd-Jones's The Jesus Storybook Bible

Book review by Sherri Trudgian

Ages 3-10

Picture book stories about Jesus

Sally Lloyd-Jones in The Jesus Storybook Bible has taken what might seem complex and made it simple.

For those who have a personal faith in God through Jesus Christ it resonates, touching an emotional chord of deep joy. Moms have shared their personal stories of tearing up as they have read this book to their children.

It is after all the amazing story of God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”

In spite of Adam and Eve’s sin, God would persistently pursue and personally sacrifice in order to restore the broken relationship with his children. Jesus is the thread that ties the whole story together. “Every story whispers his name.”

The Old Testament stories anticipate Jesus’ birth. He is the Hero. He is the Rescuer. The New Testament tells the story of his life and death but the story doesn’t end there. In fact God raises him back to life.

Sally tells how Mary ran from the empty tomb to the city. “And it seemed to her that morning, as she ran, almost as if the whole world had been made anew, almost as if the whole world was singing for joy – the trees, tiny sounds in the grass, the birds … her heart.”

The entire creation seemed brighter because Jesus had given his children a gift - a restored relationship with God.

The Jesus Storybook Bible:
Every Story Whispers His Name

Although published in 2007, I just recently discovered this book. My daughter who has two boys said it was a must read and would benefit my work with preschool moms.

I was amazed to find twenty-three pages of parental reviews on amazon.com. For mothers to take time out of their busy schedules to actually write their personal review about a book speaks volumes. Most loved it, a few didn’t.

Those who didn’t, believed too many liberties were taken with the text. The title itself, The Jesus Storybook Bible, should have alerted those readers. It is not intended as an exact interpretation of the Bible but is instead a paraphrase for children.

Sally Lloyd-Jones has taken forty-three stories from the Bible and written them in fun language that kids can understand.

You're so good!

Instead of the serpent’s literal words, Sally has put Satan’s lie into a question - one that echoes down through the ages, one to which kids can relate.

“Does God really love you?”

What is more important to a child or to anyone than love? Satan was implying that God wouldn’t deny Adam and Eve anything if he really loved them. As parents we know that’s not true! We want to protect our children. It is because we truly love our children that we withhold things that would harm them.

In one of the New Testament stories Sally describes the predicament of the disciples when Jesus wants them to feed five thousand people without the advantage of fast food restaurants (burgers and fries hadn’t been invented). She then ties in the fact that to Jesus miracles were a “natural thing”.

“It’s what God had been doing from the beginning, of course. Taking the nothing and making it everything.” These might seem like glaring errors or embellishments to some but I believe it helps young children understand scripture and relate it to their world.

The Jesus Storybook Bible:
Every Story Whispers His Name

The illustrations are beautiful and I applaud Jago’s work in creating so many. It was truly an act of love. I also find it pleasantly surprising that the Israelites including Jesus are middle easterners and not caucasians.

However, I must admit that the style is not particularly to my taste. I would have preferred a more realistic style in keeping with the truth of the stories. Unfortunately the drawings seem wooden, two dimensional, almost medieval in nature which might lead to a child’s perception of these Bible stories as mere fairy tales. Goliath in particular reminded me of the giant in Jack and the Bean Stalk.

My daughter however, was quick to point out the similarity between these illustrations and the Arch Book series which we read to her and her brother as kids. Their faith as adults seems unharmed so I can’t complain too much.

I must admit I read The Jesus Storybook Bible in two sessions. If time had permitted, it would have been one. Beautifully written, it is truly an amazing love story. It is a story that you can’t put down. One that the whole family will want to read again and again. (My grandsons are reading it for the fifth time.) Sally Lloyd-Jones almost ends the story but not quite. The story is to be continued, “Because, you see, the most wonderful thing about this story is – it’s your story too!”

More bible books for children.

in two sessions. If time had permitted, it would have been one. Beautifully written, it is truly an amazing love story. It is a story that you can’t put down. One that the whole family will want to read again and again. (My grandsons are reading it for the fifth time.) Sally Lloyd-Jones almost ends the story but not quite. The story is to be continued, “Because, you see, the most wonderful thing about this story is – it’s your story too!”

More bible books for children.

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