I'm always on the lookout for books and Bibles that I can use in our home to hand down our Christian faith to our children.
Even though our youngest daughter, Brittany, is a couple of years older than the age recommended for this Bible, I was interested in reviewing this ESV (English Standard Version) Children's Bible. And so was she!
The inside flap of the ESV Seek and Find Bible states that it "is the ideal complete Bible for pre-readers and young readers (ages 5-9) to grow up with."
I do agree that this is a great Bible to grow up with! But I would venture to say that for pre-readers and new readers, the 10-point font size might be a little bit intimidating for them. My oldest, Kelsi, would have felt comfortable with this format and size of font when she was about 7 years old and was reading fluently. My youngest, Brittany, would have enjoyed using this Bible when she was about 5 years old - but she was a very early reader and was reading out of my own Bible at age 4-1/2.
Every child is different! But to sit and read this together as a family and have children sit and listen while Dad reads the Bible? Well, this would work well.
The copy I received of the ESV Seek and Find Bible by Crossway is hardbound with a thick, glossy dustjacket. This Bible also comes in at least two other versions that I've seen, which are leatherette:
Here are some of the things about the ESV Seek and Find Bible that I really like:
There is some color on the pages, but not enough to be distracting or overwhelming. You can view a small section of this Bible HERE.
The ESV Seek and Find Bible feels and looks like a real Bible, which it is. It is not just a condensed version of an adult Bible. It is a word-for-word Bible translation. It contains the entire text plus additional helps for children. Most children would be very happy to have this as their first real Bible. It contains 1,888 pages (!), is 1-3/4" thick, and seems a little bit on the heavy side for very young children, but would work well inside of a Bible cover that had handles.
The Table of Contents is easy to use at a glance.
There are over 130 beautiful, full-color paintings illustrating an important story or event right along with the text of the Bible. They are neither too childish, or unappealing to children. Each painting is also paired with a simple retelling and summary of its story to help children understand the Bible.
At the beginning of each book of the Bible, there's a short, one-page introduction that includes the author, date, key people, purpose, central themes, a timeline, and suggested memory verses. This is part of the "grow up with" portion that 9- to 11-year-olds would appreciate more than the younger children.
At the end of each condensed Bible story that follows a full-page illustration, you'll find a "Seek and Find" section, to help children understand and apply Bible truths. It tells where to find the real Bible text in the Bible, a key Bible verse, three key questions to help children apply what they are reading, and related Bible readings that show connections between the major themes, events, and characters in the Bible.
You'll find over 50 character profiles of key Bible figures in this Bible. Each includes a brief description of who the person is, what he may have done, and how he fits into the storyline of the Bible. Notice the beautiful paintings that accompany these profiles.
There are eight full-color maps included in the back of this Bible to help children locate Bible places as they read about them, and to trace the travels of Jesus, Paul, and other key people of the Bible. Most of us in our home love maps, so we were happy to see these here.
A simple dictionary and concordance allows children to find out the meanings of important biblical terms, and to find places throughout the Bible where those words are used.
I think that the ESV Seek and Find Bible is a wonderful Bible resource to use with your family! My only concern is that I do wish Crossway hadn't placed an age range at the bottom front of the dustjacket. Even though one of my daughters read well at an early age, I would still suggest that this Bible is more appropriate for children who are already reading fairly fluently, without struggling sound by sound through individual words. I'd recommend this Bible for children, in general, ages 7-12.
Thankfully, if you remove the dustjacket from this Bible, the hardbound cover doesn't contain the age range listed on it. I was pleased to see that. For older children who are not strong readers, they wouldn't feel badly about using this even in the junior high years, as long as the dustjacket was removed. In fact, I'd recommend removing the dustjacket and placing this Bible into a Bible cover to avoid the age range altogether, even before your children see or begin using this Bible.
While browsing the internet, I've seen the ESV Seek and Find Bible retail for as low as $14.60 and as high as $28 for the same hardbound version. For a well-made Bible, that's a decent price range. Children's Bibles can be found in lots of places, but this is one that I do recommend for families who want their children to have their own full-text Bible that is not goofy or silly yet is applicable to their ages.
You can learn about new Crossway books and other updates at their BLOG.
Disclosure: Crossway Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of the ESV Seek and Find Bible for children. No other compensation was provided. As always, my opinions are my own and were not influenced by Crossway or any other person.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!