{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} – The Jesus Storybook Bible Edition

This post is a part of my “Board Book Beauty – Savoring the small as I read to my toddler” series. To see all of the posts in the series, go here.

I wrote about The Jesus Storybook Bible early in this series, which was, perhaps, a bit short-sighted of me. I didn’t realize how much could be drawn from it for this series, and I’ve let those moments go by unnoticed here on the blog in an attempt to add variety, to keep from featuring the same book multiple times. I also didn’t anticipate a girl who would, halfway through the month, go through a period of about a week in which the only book she wanted to read was her Bible.

(I’ll admit, this posed a bit of a conundrum for me as a parent. Because really, who discourages their child from reading the Bible? But goodness, she could have picked a better month, a month in which I wasn’t trying to write about as many different children’s books as possible!)

But here we are, the last Thursday of the month, and The Jesus Storybook Bible is really a perfect candidate for {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real.} It is the Bible, after all.


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To be honest, I find many of the drawings of people in this book to be a bit … odd. But I love the illustrations of nature and of animals. Like these – demonstrating the creation story and the calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee.



The thing I most love about this particular Bible is its Christological focus. The subtitle is, “Every story whispers his name,” and it’s oh-so-true. Sally Lloyd-Jones does an excellent job of pointing to Jesus in every story she includes. The ending of each one talks about a rescuer or a savior or a friend who was coming. It explicitly names the ways in which Old Testament figures and heroes are often shadows of the One who was to come.




The humor is often over Katie’s head, but it won’t be long before she’s laughing at the ways some of the stories are told. For instance, the story of Zacchaeus (titled “The man who didn’t have any friends (none)” starts, “There was once a man who didn’t have any friends (none). Do you have any friends? Well, of course you do. But not Zacchaeus. Poor Zacchaeus didn’t have any. You’re probably wondering why. Was it because he was so short? (That’s not a reason not to like someone.)” And so it goes. Every story’s told in a conversational, down-to-earth tone perfect for young kids.



For a few days, Katie’s favorite page was the one on which Jesus is crucified. She returned to it again and again, asking about it, wanting me to read the words there. We had many, many conversations about how Jesus was hurt but then he got better.

I don’t know how to explain such things to a two-year-old (as evidenced by the “hurt” and “got better” language – how does one talk to a toddler about death and resurrection? Should one talk to a toddler about such things?), and I’m unsure of what it was on that page that so fascinated her. Left to my own devices, I’d probably have left that story alone for a few more years, stayed focused on tales of Jesus healing illness or calming storms or feeding people. I know it’s the center of our faith, the pivotal point in all of history, but I don’t know how to communicate such ideas (and, honestly, whether it’s even a good idea to do so) to someone so young.

And yet, she found this page and was focused on it, and so we talked about how much Jesus loves us, about how he loved us so much that he got hurt and was sad, about how he got better and he and all his friends were happy again.

Maybe that’s good enough.

There you have it. {PHFR} – Jesus Storybook Bible Edition. How about you? Any pretty, happy, funny or real literary or biblical moments you have to share?

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