Thursday, February 18, 2016

Faith Builders Bible {Review & Giveaway}

A while back I was able to do a review and giveaway of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  I LOVE that Children's Bible.  This somehow got me on the mailing list of bloggers at Zonderkidz, how cool is that!  I recently received an email about The Great Big Super-Duper Easter Basket Guide.  They had some great recommendations for books, divided by age groups, to fill your Easter baskets this year.

I really never would have thought of books for an Easter basket, but it is a brilliant idea!  They will get plenty of candy I am sure.

Zonderkidz was gracious enough to send me out two of the books that caught my eye.  The first is the Faith Builders Bible.  In this post I will give you my first impressions and then introduce you to the giveaway.  Yep, I get to giveaway the whole PreK to 4th grade set of recommended books (more info on that below).

The box arrived with our new books while we were sitting down at the table for lunch.  They were in the box upside down and backwards as the boys peered in.  I first lifted the blue book which I knew was the Faith Builders Bible.
Lachlan immediately saw the Lego figures on the cover and exclaimed "that's my Bible, that one is for me!"  Obviously I had him in mind when I first saw this Bible, but I didn't necessarily think about giving it to him and having it be his and his only.  Whether I planned it or not, it seems this Bible has a new owner.
He continued to admire the book which I am sure you can tell by the look on his face, peanut butter and jelly streaks and all!  Why do kids have to eat right out of the middle of the sandwich?  None the less, you can see we live a real life around here.  Cluttered table, messy faces and all. 
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book.  It was recommended for PreK to 4th grade children.  It also said it was a full text Bible with features.  With out some guidance it would be hard to know where to start.  
Soon Lachlan asked to read something from the Bible.  I had to think quick because I wanted to keep the excitement going.  So I pulled out Lachlan's Awana book and looked up the current scripture he is learning.  "Let's look up your Awana verse!  Won't that be fun to look it up in the Bible?"
I read Colossians 1:3 from the Faith Builders Bible and he repeated after me.  Awana always encourages getting out a Bible and reading the scriptures from there but we often fail at this.  I need to get better about it though.  I want my children to know where these words come from, not the Awana book but the Bible. 

While he finished eating I grabbed the book to take some pictures of the "features" included.  Here are the books of the Bible all laid out.  Seriously, I learned a few things from these pages.  I have never seen them categorized like this.  I have been a Christian for a while but obviously I am no Biblical scholar. 
Of course these feature pages are filled with wonderful information, but the best part is the fact that the images are Legos.  This quickly catches the eye of my oldest, Lachlan, who is 7 years old.  He loves Legos, building and designing.  If it catches his eye it catches his interest.  
This next page is also at the beginning and asks Can You Build . . . Encouraging them to build these items out of building blocks to represent the meaning in the corresponding scripture. 
The page about Building the Tower of Babal is a typical layout of one of the feature pages scattered through out the pages of this Bible.  It has a large image of the Biblical scene made out of building blocks, a short abbreviated story and at the bottom a Building Block Verse.  It turns out that these feature pages are a perfect answer to the question of where to start.  For younger children like my own, I can sit down, let them flip through the pages and read which ever feature page they choose.  We could even spend some time memorizing the Building Block Verse. Next they could try to recreate this scene out of their own Legos.
 Another couple examples of a feature page.

I love this picture because of it's craziness.  But also because of it's simple imagery.  Faith building at the center of it all. 
Lachlan hopped on over to the couch when we were done eating.  I had to clean up the table a bit or that lurking chihuahua would jump up there and eat all the left overs.  As I cleaned up Lachlan chanted "Bi.ble, Bi.ble, Bi.ble".  I couldn't help but smile. 
By the time I had sat down he found the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector.  I knew this before even seeing the page because he said "look Mom, there is Jesus and there is a man in a tree!"  On this page at the end of the brief reading it says
"Just meeting Jesus made Zacchaeus want to be a better person.  Read the story in Luke 19:1 - 10 to see how Jesus responded."
It told enough of the story to teach a lesson to my small children but then sent us to the scriptures to dive in more.  This would be great for an older child to be able to do on their own.  

When we flipped the page we found the story of Jesus walking on water.  I read the words on the feature page and again it sent us to scripture.  It said we could find out what happened to Peter after he asked to come out on the water if we turned to Matthew 14 or Mark 6 or John 6!  We ran into a little bit of an issue when we chose to flip to Mark 6 and in Mark's telling of the story they don't even talk about Peter coming out on the water so we had to quickly turn to Matthew 14.  I would have to put that as my first critique of this Bible.  No, it didn't turn out to be a huge deal, because my Peter was so curious about what happened to Bible Peter that he was willing to stick around and read another passage of scripture to find out.  
However, I do have boys and I do know that their attention can be fleeting.  So had it been another moment in time I could have lost him there and our time in the word would be done.

Thankfully that was not the case this time and Peter lingered on the couch studying this page. 
I think he was studying it in various ways, one was recalling the story and what happened and the other was trying to figure out how to build the scene with his own mini-figures.  We both thought it was pretty neat that they made Bible Peter look like he was sinking by taking off his mini-figure legs. 
What ever the reason may be, it is never a bad thing to see your child cuddled up on the couch reading the Bible.

Something else you might want to know is that the Faith Builders Bible is NIV but it is the newest translation of NIV and it's not just NIV it's actually NIrV which stands for the New International Readers Version. This readers version simplifies the words and makes them more modern.  It also simplifies sentences to make them shorter and easier to understand. The goal of this version was to make a Bible for people, young or old, just beginning to read and for those who may speak or read English as a second language.  Who wrote this translation?  The CBT or Committee on Bible Translation did not produce the NIrV, but a few of those who worked on the NIrV are members of the CBT.  I am sure you could find more information about this translation if this is something that may worry you.  I did a quick search and found a little more information on Wikipedia.

I can really only give you my first impressions since this Bible has been literally in my house for only hours as I sit down to write this.  It is a well made hard cover Bible.  I am excited to graduate my 7 year old son to his first full length Bible with translation that is perfect for beginning readers.  I know we will be using this for our Awana Bible.  I am hopeful that this Bible will continue to grab my sons attention because the illustrations are so meaningful to him and his love of Legos.  I am pleased with the layout of the feature pages and feel like I can use the content to individualize our time in the word to each of my sons.  I also believe based on digging through this Bible that it will easily grow with him.  I can't help but think of his older cousin Colton who is 3 years older.  He often starts his day reading chapter books in bed because he is such an early riser.  He is also a HUGE Lego lover.  I could totally see him flipping through the feature pages, reading the story and then finding the scripture to read a little more.  
So for what it's worth, this peanut butter and jelly faced kid gives it two thumbs up!!

If you think you or someone you know would enjoy the Faith Builders Bible please enter this giveaway.  One lucky person will win all 4 of the recommended books for children PreK to 4th grade (images below).

To see my review of the Angels in the Bible Storybook click here.

Raffle opens February 18th and ends March 12th.  I have one more book to review during that time.  Angels in the Bible Storybook is up next.

As I stated at the beginning Zonderkidz sent me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.  These words are my own. 

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  1. Hi Tracy,
    Wow! You are so lucky! My children would love these books. What a cool idea to make a Lego Faith Bible book. The angel book looks beautiful. I hope we win.

  2. Your boys are so lucky to have an awesome Momma. ps, that lego bible does look fantastic =) such a fun way to bring it to life