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10 Bible storybooks for your family

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May 26, 2022

As a dad to three children now between the ages of 16 and 12, I’ve been thinking about Bible storybooks for a number of years. During that time, not only did I read many such books to my children at various ages, but I also had the privilege of writing a preschool storybook Bible and accompanying curriculum: God’s Love: A Bible Storybook (2012, the Kindle version is available for free). Trying my hand at writing a book of Bible stories for children helped me appreciate the challenges of summarizing the stories of God’s Word in a way that faithfully captured both the events (facts) and their connections to the rest of the Bible (themes). 

Some storybook Bibles focus on mainly retelling the facts of biblical events, while others also add an emphasis on a passage’s thematic connections. Some more “thematic” storybooks showcase the gospel or Jesus, while others highlight God’s love or “how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden” (see below). In addition to the descriptions below for each storybook, I’ve also assigned a “Thematic” score to each book. (A “1” indicates the book has practically zero interest in themes/connections, but sticks with retelling the facts of the stories. A “5” indicates that the stories, while attempting to be factually accurate, also significantly emphasize how the stories fit into the larger story of the Bible, often using a particular theme.) I’ve also added information about the ages each book might best fit. 

(Note: The score for “age” is based upon the youngest age at which the book is aimed to be read. With one exception—The Action Bible—the age score indicates the age of a child to whom a parent is reading a book, not the age at which children would read the book for themselves.) 

1. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones 

This beautifully written and illustrated children’s story Bible has become a classic. The stories focus on Jesus and the beauty of the gospel—it’s like reading the best Tim Keller sermons, but for kids. (The author, a member at Redeemer in New York City, where Keller pastored for decades, gladly acknowledges his influence.) You may enjoy this storybook as much as your children, or even more. The book features 21 Old Testament stories and 23 New Testament stories, with each story spanning about 5-8 pages, featuring lots of illustrations, and a few paragraphs of text. 

Age: +4 read to/+9 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 4 

2. More than a Story (two volumes: OT & NT) by Sally Michael 

If you’ve ever visited a historical site, you’ll know how an expert tour guide can make all the difference. With decades of Bible study and teaching, Sally Michael now puts a masterful guide to God’s Word in your hands. Packed with Scripture, this book is more than a story because it tells the true story of what God is doing in his world. If you use these books, you can lead your family on a life-changing tour of God’s Word. Volume One features 90 OT stories and Volume Two features 66 NT stories, with each story spanning about five pages and containing a few small illustrations and mostly text. 

Age: +6 read to/+9 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 3 

3. Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos 

Catherine Vos, wife of the famous theologian, Geerhardus Vos, brings a steady hand to faithfully retelling the stories of the Bible. First published in 1935, the Child’s Story Bible has stood the test of time, having been recently redesigned, with 26 new color illustration, by P&R Publishing. The book features 110 OT stories and 93 NT stories, with each story spanning about three pages of mostly text. 

Age: +5 read to/+8 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 1 

4. The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm 

If you want your child to get a glimpse of how the whole Bible fits together, this is the storybook Bible for you. The author, Pastor David Helm, has taken the best of biblical theology—as taught by scholars like Graeme Goldsworthy—and summarized it for very young children. The fun and age-appropriate illustrations also help children see connections among the stories. The book features 11 OT stories and 15 NT stories, with each story spanning about 10-20 pages, each of which contains an illustration and just a few sentences. 

Age: +2 read to/+6 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 5 

5. The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments by Marty Machowski

Beautifully illustrated, this storybook faithfully retells Bible stories but always with a one eye on the gospel and the other on how it applies to life. Covering 156 stories, each one spans two pages, features bright and colorful artwork, and contains 5-7 paragraphs of text. Each story ends with a few questions to discuss. 

Age: +5 read to/+11 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 3 

6. Seek and Find Bible Story Board Book by Sarah and André Parker 

This board book, Seek and Find by Sarah Parker (and illustrated by André Parker), will captivate young imaginations with stories from the Old Testament (volume one) and the New Testament (volume two) as they seek and find dozens of “hidden,” fun elements in each captivating illustration. This series, the Where’s Waldo? of Bible storybooks, mixes Bible learning with hours of fun! Each volume of this board book covers eight Bible stories, with one paragraph of text and lots of illustrations. 

Age: +2 read with. 
Thematic Emphasis: 4 

7. Bible Stories Every Child Should Know by Kenneth Taylor 

Some Bible story books are more story than Bible—but this wonderful update of Kenneth Taylor’s classic lets the Scriptures speak. Parents and children will love the simple and direct retelling of stories from Genesis to Revelation. With fun illustrations and family discussion questions, Bible Stories Every Child Should Know points even the youngest hearts to the good news of Jesus Christ. The book features 120 stories, with each story featuring several illustrations and spanning about 2-3 pages. 

Age: +4 read to/+7 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 1 

8. The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story, illustrated by Sergio Cariello 

This is a Bible comic book, which dramatically retells stories from the Bible using exciting illustrations by Sergio Cariello. The text for this award-winning book is penned by authors (unnamed), writing for the publisher: David C. Cook. Middle-grade readers will enjoy over 230 stories, covering both the Old and New Testaments. Each story lasts about 2-4 pages and states which Bible passage the story is based upon. 

Age: +9 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 2 

9. The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung 

Like God’s Big Picture Bible (mentioned above) but for an older readership, The Biggest Story also focuses on telling a unified story of God’s Word. In 10 chapters, this stunningly illustrated book tells the story of “how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden” (the book’s subtitle). This book is a work of art (illustrations by Don Clark), and its unifying gospel message will fill hearts with wonder and worship at its beauty. Each chapter is packed with illustrations, spans 10-12 pages, and contains about 35-45 sentences. [Note: Kevin DeYoung has also published, The Biggest Story Bible Storybook, also illustrated by Don Clark, which includes 104 stories and spans 528 pages!]

Age: +4 read to/+8 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 5  

10. The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible by Jared Kennedy 

Once I started reading The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, I could hardly stop. Jared Kennedy retells favorite Bible stories with a freshness and clarity that toddlers and preschoolers (and their parents) will love. Open this book with your little one, and watch eyes light up, fingers point, and smiles start to spread. Every page pops with bright colors and playful illustrations. Best of all, each of the short chapters will point your child to Jesus. The book features 52 stories, with each story containing 15-20 sentences, featuring lots of illustrations, and spanning about 6 pages. 

Age: +3 read to/+6 read by themselves. 
Thematic Emphasis: 3 

Bible Storybooks—Honorable Mentions:
The Tiny Tots Bible Story Book by John Walton and Kim Walton
The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell
The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (from The Gospel Project) 

Champ Thornton

Champ Thornton (Ph.D.) is an acquisitions editor at Crossway. He and his wife, Robben, live in Newark, Delaware, have been married since 1996, and enjoy being parents to three energetic teenage children. He’s the author of numbers of books for kids and families, including The Radical Book for Kids, The Serpent Slayer and … Read More