Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Another book...   but this one is for a new audience!!  Girls under 4!  But if you are looking at the picture, you can see that it's for girls!

Here's what I like:

  • Each story is short and sweet appropriate for the under 4 crowd.
  • Each story begins with scripture and reference. Each story has a life truth that could be the application of that story (this is connected to a life truth, not always the text of the story).
  • The stories are factual, yet simple, and point to theological truths and what God is like.  
  • Those theological truths come across in the summary with a Princess Prayer and a Princess Jewel.   
  • It's definitely illustrated for the little girl- there are borders/headers (can you say crowns, flowers, wands?)  as well as images that connect with the story, and on the summary page, a princess girl.
  • The size/structure- silly I know but it's a nice 6x8 book, the cover is padded, the pages are thick and sturdy (but not a board book), its sturdy but not too heavy, and as a mom of a girl-- these things matter to her!  
  • The book talks about sin, in the prayer/jewels application and is direct with this concept, and it explains salvation through Jesus birth, life and death. 
  • God and His character are truly integrated in the short sentences.  Also christian life principles like trusting God, prayer, God cares for us, God asking us to do the right thing... come across clearly.  
Things that bugged me: (and I think this is more appropriate than cons or weaker areas because I am a bit snobby and ideal about Bible Story books and I use many of them but like to point out nit picky things that can ruin them for a few.) 
  • The book ends with a lovely summary page that says the Bible is 'alive' and sends a letter to the princess from God.  This only bugs me because some critics won't like Mrs. Shepherd writing as if she were God, but as a teacher and mom, she's taking a little literary license and I don't think she is saying her letter is inspired like the Bible. It's to make a point, but it still bugs me when I know it may bug some of my colleagues, and I hate to have a good book ruined by one or two small literary license to connect with girls a concept.  
  • The book ends with a "salvation prayer" which I am not fond of... I get why it is there because the author wants to be crystal clear that you have all the info you need to be saved.  She isn't here when you are reading it, so its an example,  and she's doing what a good teacher does meta cognition: a model of how to pray.  
  • The prayer starts with 'Please come into my heart.' and while many still say this, we try to avoid this extra-biblical phrase, that can be confusing to children because they are so literal. 
  • Some of the prayers and jewels do not connect to the few sentences that create the story, they are a a bit of a jump, but they are true to applications from the fuller story and I don't know how you could keep it short and sweet and toddler appropriate, so I like the leaps but some may not have the background to see where they come from if the Bible is new or they may be too simplified to one truth, and detract from the Who God is and His one big story.  
Overall I really enjoyed this Bible storybook and believe it will be a delightful read aloud for the 4/5 and under crowd, and also wonder if it wouldn't be a great early reader book for the new princess reader.   

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