Bible Review: NIrV Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids

NIrV Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids. Zondervan, 2019, 1632 pages (8 point font)

Reading Level: 3rd grade

Recommended for: Ages 4-8

This new edition of the NIrV is marketed as a transition Bible from storybooks to the actual text, and that seems about right. Almost 750 full-color illustrations of varying sizes draw attention to familiar stories as well as basic biblical concepts (such as an illustrated “10 Commandments” page). The illustrations are simple and appealing to young kids, and not too cartoony. One feature I especially like are the illustrated maps, such as the “Easter Story Map” showing a layout of Jerusalem where the major events of Passion Week occurred. Another nice feature is the pull-out Bible Family Tree, showing major characters in chronological sequence with their relationships to each other.

As for in-text features, there aren’t any, unless we count the full-color charts and maps. You will also notice that there are no chapter or verse numbers. Sections of scripture are indicated by a heading, such as “Abram and Lot Separate, Genesis 13:1-18” or “Jesus Calms the Storm, Mark 4:35-41.” The stated reason is that chapter and verse numbers can be “distracting” to young children. Parents can make up their own minds about this, but it does make the NIrV Illustrated more like a Bible storybook, and can thus be truly transitional as the child learns to read and understand scripture for himself. The font size seems a bit small, but since the whole package weighs almost 2½ pounds, that’s probably a trade-off between more pictures and bigger text.

Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

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Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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