Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Bible Stories that end with a hug!" by Stephen Elkins & illustrated by Simon Taylor-Kielty

When a parent engages a young child with a book to read and a lesson to learn, the art of the book is key to making a special moment in time of the occasion.  "Bible Stories that end with a hug!" is just such a book.  The soft, delightful art is geared for the young child (and the young in heart) and will properly engage their attention for the lessons to be learned in the book.  Commendations to Simon Taylor-Kielty for this beautiful artistry.

Now let's get to the "meat' of the book.  Author Stephen Elkins has taken 75 Bible events/stories and presented a very short "thought" about each story.  There is a sweet full page picture on the left side that gently illustrates the story and includes a short Bible verse.  (Verses are from the NLT. My personal preference is KJV.)  On the right hand page the short paragraph or paraphrase of the Bible story is given.  Below that are three other sections:  1) A couple of questions such as "What did Moses do?" and 2) "Will God supply my needs too?".  Then there is an application to the idea of the story as it pertains to the child.

In the story of Daniel in the Lions' Den, the verse is "Never stop praying." I Thess 5:17.  And the questions are "Did Daniel stop praying?" and "Can I learn to pray like Daniel did?" followed by the  application - "The bible teaches that we should never stop praying."  Basic, straight-forward application and lesson.

However, in places the book deals with "decision making" of a theological nature.  The parents' responsibility is always to lead and guide their child toward a relationship with God. However, one should guard against improperly pushing a young child into decision making for which they are truly not ready - just to get that hug the  book promises.

The concept of the hug at the end of each story lesson is great.  But a child should never feel they will receive a Mommy or Daddy hug only if they are good or only if they make the right response to a story application.  So care needs to be exercised that hugs are not given as payment for such.

Again, this is a beautiful book and filled with opportunities to gently teach the young child lessons from the Bible.

About the author:  Stephen Elkins is a Grammy Award–nominated record producer and a multimillion-selling children's author and songwriter. He is owner and founder of Wonder Workshop, a multifaceted Christian media company specializing in the creation of juvenile books, audio products, and DVDs.

A complimentary copy was provided by Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of the publisher and author for the purpose of an honest review. 


  1. I looked at this book on amazon because I thought my kids would love it. It is 160 pages long! Perhaps the author might consider redoing the book as a series? Here is what would happen at my house. I would be forced by my kids to read ALL 160 pages in one sitting (each chooses 3 books per night before bed so this would be one of 3) PLUS I would have to hold up a heavy book while sitting in bed with a little one.

  2. Time to establish new rules for the book-reading-playground. As they get older the books will get longer anyway. So this is set up so each two-page spread is "one" story. It could be that "one" of these per night would count as one of your 3 books. :)


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