Monday, September 14, 2015

'The Biggest Story' is a Treaure to be Shared

BOOK REVIEW

Review of the children's book, "The Biggest Story."
Sample illustration of Don Clark's artwork featured in Kevin DeYoung's The Biggest Story. (Crossway Books)
The word "beautiful" seems to be overused a lot, and yet, I can't quite think of a better word to describe The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden, a children's chapter book that attempts to retell the entire Bible in just 129 pages. Obviously, author Kevin DeYoung can't do it, but he is able to condense some of the most important key elements in bite-size pieces that little ones can comprehend. DeYoung, who is a pastor, also has a keen sense of humor that children will enjoy. 

The running theme throughout the book is how often man has failed God and yet He still loves us. Bible "heroes" like Noah and David are portrayed a little more realistically than we adults are used to. They are treated like everyday people who have flaws, which they were. The need for a Savior is spelled out clearly.



Review of the children's book, "The Biggest Story."
Crossway Books couldn't have picked a better artist than Don Clark to accompany DeYoung's text. Every page is full of color and whimsy with a style that is reminiscent to Disney artist, Mary Blair. (Her work is featured throughout the "It's a Small World" attractions at the Disney theme parks.) DeYoung went over and beyond was was required of him for this book. There isn't a patch of white on any of the pages. 

This book is also great in that it can be used as a starting point for parents to further explain individual Bible stories to their children. For instance, some illustrations feature story elements that are not discussed in DeYoung's text and some children are bound to ask their moms and dad what they mean. The more insight parents can share with their children, the more they will get out of this book and in the Bible in general.

I truly wish this book was around when my children were younger. I also hope that DeYoung will consider telling longer versions of the short Bible stories mentioned in the book. I think children would get a kick on how he would describe life on the art and how awful sibling rivalry was was Joseph.

Overall, this is one beautiful book and you don't need to have children to appreciate it. While it might be a little small to consider a coffee table book, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be used as one.

Review of the children's book, "The Biggest Story."

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