Friday, March 21, 2014

The Big Picture Interactive Bible from B&H Kids

Another Bible for children? The publishers have designed it so that it could be your child's first Bible. It is self described as an “interactive” Bible. It is a little interactive, but not nearly as much as it claims to be. But more of that near the end of this review.

You may wonder what makes this Bible one you would be interested in so here are some of its positive characteristics.

The translation is the Holman Christian Standard which has a reading level of middle school age. While you can rely on the accuracy of the translation, it does mean that you may have to read the Bible with your younger child.

There are a number of colorful text boxes throughout the Bible. Some of them are verses to memorize. Others are important words, defined when they appear for the first time in the Bible. Some boxes help the child see the big picture, how a particular story relates to the entire Bible. There are boxes containing questions and answers, ones that children would probably ask. And there are Christ connections, showing how Jesus relates to the passage (especially in the Old Testament). There are also Parent Connection icons, informing parents of related B&H materials, such as LifeWay's Gospel Project curriculum. (Go here to see about this curriculum.)

There are 146 full color illustrations. Many illustrations include icons that can be scanned with an Android or iOS devise making the illustration “enhanced”. I was expecting more, like an animated action short but it is really just the illustration with the figures sort of coming off the page, like a pop-up book. The narration is not that exciting either. You can go here to watch a video showing how this works.

Like other children's Bibles, there are introductions to the books of the Bible, a little topical concordance, colorful maps, helps to find well known Bible stories, and an index to the bullet notes.

The prayer of the creators of this Bible is that it would help parents, through the work of the Holy Spirit, introduce their children to Jesus. The material in the Bible is aimed at helping children see how stories point to Christ and His work.

Here are my thoughts:

This is a very colorful Bible. Many pages have an interesting box or two or more with additional information. Unfortunately, in books like 1 and 2 Chronicles, there are pages and pages of text with no colorful additions. So the interesting parts of the Bible are made more interesting while the difficult parts of the Bible, parts kids might find boring, remain rather drab.

I have one great disappointment in the Bible. The feature I anticipated the most was the interactive aspect. In the “About The Big Picture Interactive Bible” section is this statement: “Plus, QR codes throughout connect to videos featuring key Bible stories.” (xiii) I went through the entire Bible, page by page, and could not find one QR code. I know the technology is available and I was sorely disappointed that, even though it claimed to be included, it was not. For children who watch YouTube videos with ease, this Bible might be a big disappointment. (Note: in the promotion material I read, this feature was never highlighted. But, it is mentioned within the Bible introduction.)

You can go here to watch a trailer about the Bible.

B&H Kids, 1350 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this Bible through a publicity firm for the purpose of this independent and honest review.

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