Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Play-Along Bible: Imagining God's Story Through Motion and Play by Bob Hartman, Illustrated By: Susie Poole

ISBN-13: 9781496408648
Ages 3-6 - Tyndale House Pub.
My thoughts: If you've ever sung "Itsy Bitsy Spider" you know that children love it and love the actions of the song. There are some fun Sunday School "Bible" songs that have actions, too. These are always a hit. I know when telling the story of Joshua marching around Jericho and the walls of Jericho falling down, the young children relish the opportunity to "shout" to make the walls fall. That is the concept of The Play-Along Bible. No, it isn't a song or songs. It is a simple way to engage young children as you tell them the stories from God's Word.

Each of the 50 stories has a title, Scripture reference from which the story is taken, and the text told in simple words and phrasing accompanied with instructions for the child (and the parent or caregiver) to do that illustrate that part of the story....
In the very beginning, everything was completely dark. You couldn't see a thing (Place your hands over your eyes. Shut them tight.)
Then God said, "Light!" (Say, "Light!")
And it wasn't dark anymore--it was bright! (Open your eyes.)
God called the light "day" (Shout, "Day!") and the darkness  "night." (Whisper. "Night")
And that was the first day. (Shout, "Hooray!") 
Opportunities to wave hands and arms, wiggle fingers, etc. are given throughout. This is engagement that will capture the attention of the young child and ingrain the basics of each of the stories in their mind. Keep in mind that the story-telling is very basic. The concept is to give the basics and to capture the child's attention. This does it very well.

This hardcover book can be used in Children's Church, Sunday School, preschool, or at home. There are four Bible verses given at the end of the book. Parents can actually read the Biblical text to the child if they so desire because the reference for each story is given. Since the Scripture is not printed in the book, parents will also have the option to select the version that they prefer. My preference would be the King James.

The illustrations are light and whimsical. There is joy depicted and a myriad of objects on the pages for little eyes to seek out and identify. Another great opportunity to engage and teach.

About the book: Looking for a way to integrate the Bible into your child’s playtime?

The Play-Along Bible inspires children’s imaginations while growing their understanding of and love for God’s Word. Through simple hand motions, facial expressions, verbal exclamations, and funny noises, kids can participate and respond to God’s amazing story. Whether it’s acting out the dawn of creation by making a funny fish face or belting out a giant roar while pretending to be a ferocious beast in Daniel’s lions’ den, kids will encounter hundreds of fun ways to actively engage with the Bible. Using this fresh and easy, multisensory approach, you’ll be surprised how well your child will recall and absorb the Scriptures. Adding to the experience are delightful full-color illustrations from British artist Susie Poole.

About the author: Bob Hartman is a pastor, author, and storyteller with a rich history in publishing and whose books have sold more than 1 million copies. Primarily he's written children's books with a strong moral theme or Bible story books. Bob is best known for The Lion Storyteller Bible, which sold more than 200,000 copies, and The Wolf Who Cried Boy, with more than 90,000 copies sold. He is also the author of You Version's Bible App for Kids, which has been downloaded over 5 million times. Bob is married to Sue, and they have two married children and three grandchildren.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Blog Network to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.


  1. What a cute way to teach Bible stories to little kids! Visiting from Booknificent Thursdays. I actually popped over to your adult coloring book post too. God bless!

  2. This sounds very much like one we have called The Pray and Play Bible. I always appreciate new ideas for introducing Scripture to our littlest ones. Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week!


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