This attractive 24-page soft-cover book tells the story of Jesus Christ’s life with verses of Holy Scripture taken from the Orthodox Study Bible. Each page has a full-color illustration, iconographic in style but done in muted watercolors. The words that Christ spoke are printed in red, which will help young readers notice them especially, and remember them.
The Biblical texts are accompanied by the author’s explanations and definitions of significant words, ideas and phrases. For example, the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus is entitled “Give Glory to God.” At the bottom of the page, we read: “To give glory to God is to serve, worship and thank Him for all the gifts He has given us.” On another page, describing Christ’s raising of the widow’s son in Luke 7, the note at the bottom reads, “Compassion is pity, mercy and a loving heart.” These kinds of additions to the Bible text can be helpful to children reading the pages, as a review of the story, and of its meaning.
Another good feature of the book is that it begins with the prophecy found in Isaiah 7:14. It is always a good idea to show children, or anyone reading about the miracles, teaching and work of Jesus Christ, that His coming and the things He would do were already described in the Old Testament, and particularly the books of the prophets.
John the Baptist also appears in the book, and the author describes him as the “Forerunner of the Lord’s first coming.” This is another helpful reminder to readers that God the Father prepared His people for the coming of His Son, out of concern for their salvation.
The book’s watercolor illustrations are well done, but some children prefer a bolder and sharper style, with faces more distinct. There are minor mistakes of grammar or usage in the author’s text, but these do not detract seriously from the ideas presented. Those ideas give the reader a good opportunity to meditate on what the Lord has done, and to share the author’s thankfulness and reverence before Him.
The book is available from Xlibris Corporation, at 1-888-795-4274 or Orders@Xlibris.com.
(Reviewed by Valerie Zahirsky, Chairman, Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America)