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The Bible for Young Readers

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Amidst the countless famous stories in the bible, there are some that stand out, that never grow old no matter how many times they are told. This book gathers some of the most beloved stories and heroic, memorable characters—from David and Goliath to Daniel in the lion's den, from creation to the Good Shepherd—and tells them with a simplicity appropriate for young children. Short text and bold, accessible paintings make this a perfect book for introducing young readers to some ...
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Amidst the countless famous stories in the bible, there are some that stand out, that never grow old no matter how many times they are told. This book gathers some of the most beloved stories and heroic, memorable characters—from David and Goliath to Daniel in the lion's den, from creation to the Good Shepherd—and tells them with a simplicity appropriate for young children. Short text and bold, accessible paintings make this a perfect book for introducing young readers to some of the bible's most beloved stories.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Delval and Götting transform major stories and events from the Bible into nine child-friendly introductions to the prophets, judges, kings, and ordinary men who make up Christian history, from the Earth’s creation to Jesus’ rebirth. Some attempts at simplification are helpful, but others seem unnecessary, such as the replacement of “And it was good” with “It was beautiful!” in the creation story. Certain tales are emphasized more than others (Noah’s ark merits three pages, Jonah and the whale have four, and Jesus’ life a dozen), but Götting’s oil paintings are a vivid counterpoint to Delval’s simple, enthusiastic, and often poetic condensations. Also available: Animals of the Bible for Young Children. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Selected Bible stories are here paraphrased for the youngest children. The text follows the Biblical sequence but jumps from one story to the next. Creation, Noah and the flood, Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt and receives the commandments, Jonah, and Daniel in the lion's den are some of the Old Testament stories. Jesus' birth and life, the story of the good shepherd, death of Jesus, and resurrection are some of the New Testament stories. The book ends with: "Jesus is alive forever! Jesus is the light that is stronger than the darkness!" Paintings with large brush strokes and faces that show emotion convey the sense of the text. The baby Jesus looks like a real baby with brown skin and black fuzzy hair. Biblical references and an index are included at the end. Parents and children will enjoy sharing these stories and looking at the art work together. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—As in Psalms for Young Children (2008) and Animals of the Bible for Young Children (2010, both Eerdmans), this title has a simple layout with large-print text and a thumbnail picture opposite a full-page illustration. Memorable Old Testament heroes like Noah, Abraham, and Moses appear along with key figures from the Gospel writings. The stories are paraphrased using "language and imagery appropriate for children." Scripture references to the full text are provided in the back of the book. Striking and atmospheric paintings are done in a palette of deep desert tones and outlined in black. The dark-skinned figures are dressed in appropriate biblical garb. The composition of the artwork echoes the straightforward writing style and enhances the inspirational messages. This book provides a fine introduction to the scripture writings and complements the earlier titles in the series.—Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
Kirkus Reviews
This introduction to the Christian Bible uses a simple format that is accessible both to younger children and new readers. Forty Bible stories are retold with just a few sentences for each story or incident, sometimes giving just an introductory glimpse of a larger story and sometimes breaking one story into several spreads. The text is set in large type on the left-hand pages against an attractive corresponding illustration on the right-hand pages. The paintings used for the illustrations use a variety of perspectives and a palette of deep shades that suggests an ancient setting. The clear and simple format provides an accessible introduction to major stories and characters in the Bible, which is often difficult for parents and Sunday school teachers to find in one package. Bibliographical references and an index are included on the final page. A related volume by the same author, Animals of the Bible for Young Children, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty (ISBN: 978-0-8028-5376-9), uses an identical format to summarize stories from the Bible from a different perspective, focusing on animals as the unifying principle. (Picture book/religion. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802853837
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/28/2010
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Marie-Hélène Delval is a French author who has written several books for children, including the best-selling Psalms for Young Children (Eerdmans).

Jean-Claude Götting is a French artist and illustrator whose work has been shown in numerous exhibits throughout Europe. Visit his website at

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First Chapter


By Marie-Hélène Delval Götting

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2002 Bayard Éditions Jeunesse as La Bible pour les tout-petits
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5383-7

Chapter One


In the very beginning, the world looked like nothing. The day and the night were all mixed together. Then God said, "LIGHT!"

God made the sky with its sun and moon and stars. God made the earth with its seas. God made the trees grow, and all the plants too. It was beautiful!

God made the animals: the very big ones and the very small ones. The ones that fly, the ones that run, the ones that crawl, the ones that swim. It was beautiful!

God gave the earth to men and women and their children so they could live there and make it even more beautiful!

Noah and the Flood

But then people became mean, so mean that God was sorry that he had given them the world. He wanted to destroy everything he had made. So God sent a flood to wash it all away.

But there was Noah. Noah loved God, and God loved Noah. God told Noah to build an ark. Noah brought two of every creature from the earth into this huge boat — even the birds and the snakes. Finally Noah went into the ark with his wife and his children, and God closed the door behind them.

It rained for forty days and forty nights. Then the water slowly went away and the earth dried out. Noah left the ark with his family, with the lions, the bears, the elephants, the doves, and the snakes. Among the gray clouds a colorful rainbow shone. This was God's promise that he would never, ever again destroy the earth like this.

Abraham and His Children

Abraham and Sarah were old and they didn't have any children. God said to Abraham, "Can you count the stars in the night sky? I promise you that your children and grandchildren will be like those stars — so many that no one will be able to count them!"

The next spring, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy. She called him Isaac, which means "God laughs."

Jacob was the son of Isaac. One night, he had a dream. He saw God's angels walking on a ladder of light that stretched from the earth to the sky. And God said to Jacob, "From now on, your new name will be Israel, which means 'God is strong!'"

Moses and the Israelites

Life in Egypt was hard for the children of Israel. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, made them work like slaves. Because there were so many Israelites, Pharaoh ordered his soldiers to kill the newborn babies.

One mother hid her baby in a basket and placed it by the edge of a river. Pharaoh's daughter found the basket. She took the baby in her arms and said, "Little one, you will be my son. You will be a prince in Egypt!" She called him Moses, which means "saved from the water."

Moses grew up. One day, in the desert, he saw a burning bush. The voice of God called to him from the fire, "Moses, Moses! My people are miserable. Go and lead them out of Egypt!"

The Israelites finally escaped from Egypt. Pharaoh sent his horses, chariots, and riders after them. But God divided the sea in two and let the Israelites pass. Then it closed up behind them, swallowing the chariots of Pharaoh, and all his horses and riders.

The Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. Moses climbed the mountain, and God spoke to him there. God gave Moses his commandments written on two stone tablets.

For forty years, the Israelites walked in the desert. At the end of this very long trip, they came to the Promised Land, the country that God gave them — the sweet land of Canaan!

Prophets and Kings

Samuel was a young boy. One night, God called to him: "Samuel! Samuel!" The child answered: "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." Samuel would become a prophet, someone who speaks in the name of God.

God sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, a man who had seven sons. The youngest was a shepherd named David. God had chosen him to become the king of Israel. Samuel laid his hand on David and blessed him.

God's people were at war. In the enemy army was a giant named Goliath. The Israelite soldiers were afraid of him. But little David said, "I am not afraid — God is with me. I will laugh at this giant!" David threw a stone with his sling. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead, and Goliath fell to the ground!

King Solomon was the son of David. One night, God spoke to him in a dream: "Ask me for anything you want, and I will give it to you." Solomon answered: "Lord, give me a heart that is wise, so that I might be a good king!" And God was happy with the answer.

King Solomon built a magnificent temple for the Lord. He put the stone tablets that God gave to Moses in the middle of the temple, in a gold box.

Jonah and the Giant Fish

There was a huge city called Nineveh. One day, God said to the prophet Jonah, "Go tell the people of Nineveh that I am going to destroy their city because they are very wicked!" But Jonah was afraid to go to Nineveh. He boarded a ship to flee far away from God.

God sent a raging storm. The ship was going to sink! Jonah said to the sailors, "God is angry. It is all my fault! Throw me overboard!" The sailors threw Jonah into the sea, and immediately the storm stopped. God sent a giant fish to swallow Jonah.

Jonah stayed in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. He prayed and he cried out, "From the bottom of the sea, from my deep despair, bring me back, Lord!" And God heard his prayer.

God told the giant fish to spit Jonah out on the shore. Then Jonah went to Nineveh. The people listened to him and promised not to do wicked things anymore. And God promised not to destroy their city.

Daniel and the Lions

In the kingdom of Persia, King Darius made a law that anyone who prayed to God would be killed. But Daniel still prayed in secret. The king learned about it and commanded that Daniel be thrown into a pit full of hungry lions.

When the king came to look inside the pit, he saw Daniel sitting with the lions. The lions had not hurt him. The king declared, "God of Daniel, you are great! There is no God greater than you!" And the king had Daniel taken out of the pit.


Excerpted from The Bible FOR YOUNG CHILDREN by Marie-Hélène Delval Götting Copyright © 2002 by Bayard Éditions Jeunesse as La Bible pour les tout-petits. Excerpted by permission of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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