I was asked to review the Once Upon A Time Holy Bible and the Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible.
This children’s version is a series of retellings from the Bible. The book begins with a page about the Greatest Stories Ever Told – the real stories from the Bible. They are true and this page introduces them. There 18 stories from the Old Testament and 15 from the New Testament.
Each story is a short retelling based on the Bible. It has a related scripture to go along with it. Sometimes this scripture is from the section of the Bible that the story is; other times it is from a very different place. Each story is also accompanied by beautiful illustrations.
Beginning each story with “Once upon a time . . .” gives a feel of fantasy to the stories, which I did not care for. Each story also ended with a “Happily Ever After.” These I did kind of like because it summed up a theme from the story that was relevant and would help a child focus on aspects of God or of their walk in His will.
This would make a nice edition for a child to look through but it is a storybook version. Don’t expect a whole lot of growth in the child’s knowledge of the Bible from this version.
This New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible is a full version of the Bible. It includes a small glossary at the back and highlights a few stories with pictures throughout. These highlighted stories are where the theme of Once Upon A Time comes in – all except the final one are stories of a man and woman: Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth and Boaz, Esther and the king. These images are not placed in their actual Bible locations, which is something I don’t care for.
This is a hardback book that is about 5 inches by 7 inches. It is rather small, which influences the size of the typesetting. The type is very, very small. I had a hard time reading it because of the size. The pages are also very thin and will tear easily. All in all, I don’t really see this as a child’s Bible.
You can purchase these Bibles wherever books are sold. You can find the Storybook Bible at Sam’s Club or wherever books are sold. If you would like to purchase online, please visit HarperCollins/ZonderKidz.