Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Zonderkidz Faith Builders Bible (Lego building anyone?) (Review)

I don't know if you have a LEGO/brick-building enthusiast in your home, but I happen to have an 8 year old that LOVES his LEGO's. :) So when I was given the opportunity to review Zonderkidz's Faith Builders Bible, I jumped at the chance. :)

Now, I realize that Legos really have nothing to do with the text of the Bible, and it might be a little outside the box to have a brick-focused Bible. However, it isn't quite as much of a jump as one might suppose (In fact, I have another upcoming review that reinforces this concept... you'll just have to wait and see)!

If you grew up in the church, did you ever make a Bible Story Diorama? Build the walls of Jericho out of blocks? Make clay creatures from the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, the Animals in the Stable at the Nativity? That was using what you had at hand to help illustrate Biblical truth. Well, Zonderkidz Faith Builders Bible encourages the same sort of "play" but using more modern materials, most likely LEGO bricks, although any modular bricks could be used.

Many Children's Bibles have a number of full color illustrations, and this one follows suit, with 24 pages featuring Brick build that illustrate a story and a "Building Block Verse." There are also occasional challenges (to either build with bricks, or read the text of the Bible to find an answer, or build on the story). What a fun way to create interest and engage your child's creativity as they read God's Word.

Because my son memorizes in NKJV, we did not use this Bible for memorization purposes, as it is the NIrV (New International readers Version, or NIV for new readers).
However, because it uses shorter words, and simpler sentences, it does make an ideal introduction to Bible reading for younger children. There are only two boys in my tiny Sunday School class, my youngest (who is 8 and reading fluently), and his friend (who just turned 5 and is only beginning to learn to read).  I decided it was a great Bible to bring to use with them on Sundays.

Showing the boys how it was possible to use LEGO bricks to illustrate Bible stories, I came up with small challenges that coordinated with our Bible Stories.

As you can see, although their quick "builds" weren't very detailed (due to lack of time, and quantity of blocks), they caught the boys' attention, and when asked about previous lessons, my son was able to remember the somewhat obscure location of the "Tree of Moreh" (where God led Abram, after he left Harran) because he had built a model of it. Score!

A few words about the Bible itself. As I mentioned, it *is* the NIrV, which I wouldn't personally use for a serious Bible Study. However, it isn't intended for that, but more as an introductory, easier to read version of the Bible for beginning readers, a step up from a "Bible storybook."

Some detailed photos of the Bible:

The text is 9pt, and fairly easy to read. Other elements besides the feature pages include a list of 92 Bible Stories to encourage children to find them in the Bible and read them for themselves, as well as a brief dictionary. The front-pages also include more detailed information about the NIrV, an alphabetical list of the Books of the Bible with their pages, and a "brick-built" visual of the books of the Bible in order and grouped by section. Nice!

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 

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