Monday, February 29, 2016

Zonderkidz: Faith Builders Bible {TOS Review}

It's very well known that my kids are huge fans of LEGO and other similar building blocks, and they love building and creating.  In fact, I can hear someone digging through a bin of blocks right now.  Zonderkidz, the children's division of Zondervan, has harnessed the popularity of brick building, and created the Faith Builders Bible.  My boys were over the moon excited when this children's Bible arrived in the mail for review.

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

The Faith Builders Bible has taken the brick-building theme and inserted it throughout the Bible with colorful pages of brick creations that represent Biblical events.  The Bible begins with four of these pages.  The first has a a picture of a cross and some loose bricks on the presentation page, and the Building Block Verse--Romans 14:19 "Let us do all we can to live in peace.  And let us work hard to build up one another."  (NiRV)  Then there is a full page spread that discusses how the books of the Bible are like layers, and shows how the Bible is divided into books of Law, History, Poetry, etc.  It suggests a color pattern for each of the nine groups to practice building them in order to aid memory.  I love hands-on learning, and that's a great way to aid in memorization of the books of the Bible.  The fourth page is is a Can You Build . . . page with three simple pictures and corresponding verses.

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

Throughout the Bible are more colorful pages with brick scenes to represent major Biblical events and passages.  I found the placement of these sort of random, though.  For instance, David Defeats Goliath shows a minifigure battle.  In the description it tells us we can read the story in 1 Samuel 17, but instead of the picture being in 1 Samuel, it's in Psalm 23.  Most of the pictures are scattered throughout like this, but I found this one particularly odd because on the back of the page is a scene with trees and flowers built with bricks that is titled Psalm 23: A Psalm of David.  I'm not sure why these two pictures weren't flipped, so that the picture representing Psalm 23 was facing the verses, especially since the picture of David and Goliath was out of context.

The pictures and scenes depicted are cute though, and my kids don't particularly care that the stories represented are not depicted in context.  I do like how each picture includes a relevant Building Block Verse (which could easily be used as a memory verse) at the bottom of the page.  Other features include a simple dictionary, and a list of "Great Bible Stories" which is a list of 92 prominent stories/passages and their reference.
Zonderkidz Faith Builders Review

This is a New International Reader's Version (NiRV), so I would suggest that if you use a different version, you could use this one alongside of your preferred version.  The NiRV has a reading level that is appropriate for elementary ages and is simpler to understand.  It reads more like a devotional to me.  We usually read this after our preferred version, which helps simplify things for the youngest listeners.

If you are wondering, this Bible is not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by LEGO, Mega Bloks or any other company.  You will not find any specific toy brands mentioned in the Bible.

The boys enjoyed browsing through it, and since we have tons of sets and a variety of unique pieces, they could make just about everything in it with little tweaks here and there.  The 6 year old built the red cross, and added some embellishments of his own.  I think a few pages with more memory verses and ideas for building would have been fun.  Even if just the reference was included without the full verse and the picture was only thumbnail size, it would have given more depth to the concept behind the Bible.  The concept is great, but I felt like it fell short in some areas as a children's Bible.  Aside from the first four pages, there are only 20 colored pages (10 front/back) with the large scenes.  When I think of a children's Bible, I think of larger print, perhaps some color sprinkled throughout the text (even if it was just in the headings), or even text overlays for vocabulary words would have been a unique touch.  It's just not as kid-friendly as I had expected.  The boys like it well enough, and I guess that's what matters!  My 6 year old has shown it to everyone who will pay attention, and I still think it would be a unique little gift for your brick lover.  Zonderkidz has a lot of other interesting looking children's materials (including other themed Bibles) so if you're looking for appropriate reading material, this might just be the place to start.

You can find out more about Zonderkidz on their websiteFacebook and Twitter!  Also be sure to check out the remaining crew reviews!

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

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1 comment:

  1. My ten year old loves his Faith Builder's Bible. Great review.