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Monday, February 29, 2016

Zonderkidz : Faith Builder's Bible (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)


Let's admit it:  one of the most intimidating books ever written is the Bible.  Asking a 9 year old to pick up the typical Holy Bible and start reading, much less understand what they are reading, is asking for a lot.  So when we were given the opportunity to review the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz, a Bible geared for younger readers, I knew it was something I wanted to check out for myself.  Of course, when my son saw that the cover had LEGOs on it, he BEGGED me to get it.

There have been very few books that my son has been excited about receiving.  This Bible is, without a doubt, on the top of that extremely short list.  He knew ahead of time that it was on it's way and he staked our UPS guy almost daily in the hopes of delivery.  When it did arrive, he ripped open the package and the excitement on his face was apparent.  Mom was happy too - as said, he doesn't get excited over books and here he was excited over God's Word.  What more could a Mom ask for?  I should mention that Garrett loves LEGOs so this Bible was right up his alley.

All smiles
At first glance, this is a beautiful hardcover Bible.  It is the perfect weight and size for smaller hands. Compared to our current children's Bible (we were using The Beginner's Bible, also from Zonderkidz), the Faith Builders Bible is considerably less bulky and weighs much less.  There's more than a pound difference between the two Bibles. This might not seem significant but I found that the kids quickly preferred the lighter weight and smaller size of the Faith Builders Bible over that of the larger Bible. However, it is still a full length Bible containing both the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation.
A Side By Side Comparison of Size
This Bible uses the New International Readers Version (NIrV), which we were already familiar and comfortable with as our Beginner's Bible uses the same translation.  For those who are strictly KJV readers and want the purity of that version, this might be a setback for you. However, I find the NIrV translation to be perfect for my struggling reader in not only putting the scriptures into a way that he can understand but also being easy enough that he can read it himself and help build confidence in his reading in the process.  The NIrV is written on a 3rd grade reading level, making it perfect for younger elementary kids as well as ESL students to read.

Since it's arrival in our household, the Faith Builders Bible has seen much use and hasn't had time at all to collect dust on the bookshelf (which is saying a lot as we live in the Mojave and something can collect dust in less than a day).  We quickly began using it for both our weekly scripture memorization as well as our daily Bible/Biblical History studies.  The simplified wording is wonderful while explaining the story of Abraham, the Creation and the Birth of Christ. 


What makes this Bible different, however, is the twenty-four full colored pages of LEGO build ideas involving important principles or stories from the Bible.  Each of these pages contains a short description of the story or idea as well as a "Building Block Verse" to go along with it.  These pages do a really great job providing a visual of what is going on in the discussion.  The mini-figures used in the pictures are absolutely adorable and I know my son would love it if I could find some of them for him so that he can duplicate many of these pages. 

Some of the topics included in these colored pages are the following topics:

The Books of the Bible
Building the Tower of Babel
The Ten Commandments
Building the Tabernacle
Bringing Down Jericho
Sampson
Jesus is Born
The Last Supper

The pictures of these dioramas are amazing and indeed give a great platform for children to launch from in order to create their own scenes from the stories they are reading.  For example, while not included in the colored pages, we used the Faith Builders Bible to read about Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus traveling to Egypt while Garrett used his LEGOs to build the pyramids.  Any of the wonderful stories of the Bible can easily be interpreted using mini-figurines and building blocks. 


To say this Bible was a hit in our house would be an understatement.  Garrett has almost constantly been trying to build something out of this Bible and is constantly bringing me his projects, all with a huge smile on his face.  We even found some outside resources dedicated to using the Faith Builders Bible as part of a study, including additional build projects not shown in the book.  Garrett has been very proud of his builds from this Bible and one of his crosses sits almost constantly in front of the TV while he's playing Minecraft.




My one and only complaint is the 9 point font:  while this is perfect for Garrett, it's a bit hard on my old peepers.  This is excusable however, as this Bible's target audience is the smaller set with much better eyes.

While I know eventually down the road, Garrett will outgrow the NIrV translation, for now, this is the PERFECT Bible for him to learn God's Word.  Any bible that can get an autistic 9 year old to actually pick it up and read it, even if it's just in order to get more build ideas, is #1 in my book.  



Find out more about Zonderkidz and the Faith Builders Bible at 

To read other Crew Member Reviews for the Zonderkidz Faith Builders Bible
click the banner below. 

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

2 comments:

  1. Great review! My ten year old and I love this Bible, too. We had never read the NIrV before (we prefer the NLT), and I enjoyed the simplicity of the words. Your son is such a cutie!

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    Replies
    1. Megan, I prefer the NLT myself for my study Bible but the NIrV is perfect for Garrett (and Ashleigh), especially for scripture memorization. And thank you, we think he's a cutie too, but I'm kinda partial ;)

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