Jonah and the Very Big Fish by Tim Thornborough

Jonah and the Very Big Fish has fun with language and offers the full story of Jonah–there’s more than the whale!

Jonah and the Very Big Fish (Very Best Bible Stories) by Tim Thornborough and illustrated by Jennifer Davison. The Good Book Company, 2019. 24 pages.

  • Reading Level: Ages 4-8
  • Recommended For: Ages 0-8
cover image for jonah and the very big fish

Jonah retellings are nothing new in Bible storybook land. But this Jonah story does a little something different. First, Thornborough plays with words. A lot. Kids who are fascinated by words will enjoy the extravagant use of them in this book. For instance, when God sends the storm, “the sailors were horrified, terrified, petrified, jelly-died.” Adjectives galore!

Second, this Jonah story offers cute multicultural illustrations. We are thrilled to see so many publishers aiming for more authentic illustrations in Bible storybooks. After all, these stories took place in the Middle East with Middle Eastern (and African) individuals!

Jonah’s bad attitude, Ninevah’s repentance, and God’s forgiveness come through loud and clear in this retelling. This version would make a terrific church library resource or a Sunday school classroom resource (or, perhaps one for your own home library).

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

  • Worldview/Moral Rating: 5/5
  • Artistic/Literary Rating: 4/5

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

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