November 13, 2012

Bible Detective

For those kids who pour over the details in illustrations, Bible Detective was made for them.  Each page spread includes a detailed illustration, lots of facts, and a bit of history, all while encouraging the reader to examine the illustration in great detail.

The text itself is brief, providing a quick overview of who and what the illustration is about.  Surrounding the large illustration, there are small pictures and a bit of information to keep the details of the illustration relevant.
  • Farmers grow crops such as barley.  How many reapers can you see?
  • Find 2 young men going hunting with a bow and arrow.
  • Pruning knives like this were used to trim and tidy grape vines to get a good crop.  Spot 2 vine-tenders.
Though a four or five year old might enjoy searching out the objects, especially with an adult's help, I think this book best lends itself to older children.

I was a bit surprised at author Peter Martin's wording in a couple of places.  My own impression (which might be very different from others) was that he did not present the stories from the Bible as fact.  He used the term "According to the Bible..." at least twice.  There are also a few examples of the not-so-nice side of people shown.  "Find a servant girl being told off by her mistress."  (Eek!  I don't want my child to know that term!)  "On the wealthy have chariots.  Spot a charioteer being unkind to the poor."  Though this may be "real life," I suspect a better choice could have been made.  It may not bother others as it does me though.

Bible Detective leaves me with some mixed feelings.  It would be great for a reluctant reader.  I love the idea of providing an over-view of Biblical history, but think it could be a bit more child-friendly.  I would definitely like to see the Bible presented as fact instead of using loose terms that present the reader with the impression that the Bible is something that may or may not be factual.  Knowing my reservations, I still like this book and will let you decide for yourself what you think of it.

I do thank Kregel Publications for sending me this book for review purposes.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

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