Wednesday, January 26, 2011
TOS Review ~ Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids from Lifeway Christian Stores
My first impression of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids was that it is much larger than I expected it to be. I have no idea why, but I assumed it would be about the size of a Bible. It's actually closer to 8 inches by 11 inches. The more I used the book, the more I like the size Holman made it; it lies flat when it's open, no matter what segment of the book you are using. The binding is well done - I don't foresee this book falling apart as we continue to use it. And the slightly larger size allows it to sit well on the bookshelf without tipping over.
The youth in our church have used Holman products in the past, primarily when we participated in Bible Drill. I have always been very impressed with their products and their commitment to advancing young people's knowledge and understanding of God's Word. So I was not at all surprised by the quality of the content in the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids.
In addition to being a homeschooling mother, and partnering with my husband in leading the youth group in our church, I also teach J-Kids on Sunday mornings (something like Sunday School) and for the past few years have been the sole teacher for our annual VBS. (Each class is taken from center to center, and at my center each class hears an age appropriate Bible lesson.) That means I work with young people from age 2 through 18. And in the summer months, our youth group grows as the college students home on break join us; for 3 months of the year I work with young adults in addition to children. I say all that to make the point that this product is one I will use for years to come as I teach children from all age groups. I have already used it in planning lessons for the youth group and in my homeschool. There is no age limit on the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids. Yes, it says "Kids" in the title, but this is a great resource even for adults (especially adults who work with kids!).
The colorful cover is appealing to kids; it looks like a book they will want to pick up and flip through. It isn't intimidating and "grown-up" looking, which makes kids much more likely to use it as a resource. Holman has done a great job in making it aesthetically pleasing. For children, pleasant to look at = more likely to be perused!
The Holman Illustrated Bible for Kids seems to have a goal of making the Bible more understandable to younger readers. This book can easily be used with any version or translation of the Bible. It contains charts, reconstructions, photographs, and much more.
This is a very thorough book. For example, on the second page of "A's" there is a map of the migration of Abraham. Recently in our youth group we have taught on Genesis and had some trouble finding maps to use with our lessons. This would have been the PERFECT map for our time spent studying Abraham.
The page on the Apostles (page 8) is one of my favorite parts of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. All of the disciples on the same page with individual descriptions. What a great teaching tool!
Being a student of the Bible, I do not like to see inaccurate renderings pertaining to God's Word or His chosen people. I am pleased to say this book is as accurate as most any I have seen. Noah's Ark is shown as it most likely was; the Ark of the Covenant is drawn per the Bible's description rather than to man's interpretation; Jesus is not shown with blond hair and bright blue eyes. Biblical accuracy was a priority when Holman put this resource together.
My husband was out of town when I received this product in the mail. I have had to keep it "hidden" from him while working on it's review. Now that the review is posted on my blog, I am certain I will have to track this book down when I need it because he will "steal" it! It's really THAT GOOD.
Of course, if you don't know your Bible well enough to understand the full value of this resource, or you aren't studying your Bible as you use this book, it won't be of nearly as much value. It's a text to accompany your Bible reading and to enhance your child's Bible literacy. Open your Bible - and then open your copy of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids!
I'm not the only one enjoying this product. When my 8th grade daughter finished her Bible curriculum she strongly urged me to let her use this for her next curriculum. She's my middle child, which means she isn't my most vocal child; when she says she likes something, she really likes it! Homeschool moms, don't hesitate to buy this book if you're concerned it won't work for older children.
Lifeway Christian Stores sell this product and you can take a look around their website here ~ www.lifewaystores.com
Click on this link to be taken directly to the product page for the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids ~ www.lifewaystores.com/holmanbibledictionary It is available for purchase online or in LifeWay Christian Stores and sells for $14.99.
A final word from me about this resource ~ the more I use it, the more I love it. This is a keeper and will remain on my homeschool bookshelf ready for me to grab at any moment (that is, if I can keep it away from my husband!) I received this product free of charge for review purposes.
Have a wonderful homeschool day & don't forget to take time to get into your Bible today!
Day 72 done :)
Jan L. Burt