Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible by Zondervan

I love having a Study Bible. I enjoy reading the additional information that helps to bring a passage to life. It adds so much depth and understanding to the words. As soon as my children reach their teen years, I buy them a Student Study Bible. This NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible by Zondervan is the first Study Bible I've seen for children, and it's illustrated! There's a Bible dictionary/encyclopedia right in the Bible itself, which is great because my kids don't usually reach for the extra book to look those things up.

The Kids' Visual Study Bible is a hardcover Bible (because we all know kids tear up softcover books too fast) with helpful blurbs in the yellow column on each page. Many of those tidbits of information have photographs or illustrations to help children visualize the Scripture and its meaning.

Not every study Bible blurb includes an illustration; some of the pages simply have the information off to the side. Overall, the Bible is perfect for the visual learner or a child who needs context to understand the imagery in the Bible.

The text on the pages is small enough, that it would be better suited for an older student who is accustomed to reading chapter books with smaller font. An early reader would probably struggle to keep their location on the page, or be overwhelmed by the sheer number of words that is included on the page. I would recommend this Bible for 3rd grade and above. My almost 9 year old son could handle this Bible easily, but my almost 7 year old daughter would struggle with it.

In addition to the study Bible excerpts placed throughout the Bible, this Bible also has maps located at the back, as well as an index of the different infographics. If you want to find more information on the temple, you can check the index in the back of the Bible and find any information that's included in the Bible. The infographics are divided in lists by Old Testament and New Testament, so the temple may actually appear in both lists. You can also use the index to discover what isn't included in infographics, so you can seek out information elsewhere. For instance, you won't find an infographic on the Shroud of Turin or the Holy Grail.  (Yes, I'm being facetious there, as those are extra-Biblical legends.)

Each book of the Bible begins with a chart of information regarding the author of the book, the time it was written, the overall themes of the book, stories included in the book, and its geographic location. This information is so helpful for children becoming familiar with the Bible and beginning to read and study on their own.

I'm very impressed with the NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible. It has so much more depth than a themed Bible that has cute decorations on the cover and interior that aren't even Biblical. I like pretty and cute, but I appreciate the content of this Bible so much more than a floral design for girls or camouflage Bible for boys. Let's not underestimate what our children are capable of learning or the questions they might have as they're reading. This Bible gives them answers and respects their intelligence. It would make a wonderful back-to-school, baptism, birthday or Christmas gift for a middle to upper elementary student!

April E.