Tomie DePaola's Book of Bible Stories - Tomie dePaola
I'm currently exploring The Old Testament with my seven year old daughter and we're comparing this version with The Bible Story.

About this version:

This version is based on the NIV (New International Version) Bible - of which I will admit to being completely unfamiliar. Although (at the time of this review) we've just started I find the prose to be choppy and bit unwieldy, but my daughter says she prefers this version to the other.

The Illustrations:

Simple and appealing - particularly for those already familiar with Tomie DePaola's artwork in books like Strega Nona, etc.

The stories:

Creation - fairly standard although this version states that man *and* woman were created in the image of God - with the implication that it was simultaneous. The Bible Story portrays the more traditional version in which Eve isn't created until Adam becomes lonely. The timeline of six days with rest on the seventh is emphasize - good discussion point about what this means for Christians. I really enjoyed Jane Ray's picture book The Story of the Creation (which uses text from the KJV) more than both versions.

Adam & Eve - again, fairly standard, with the implication that Eve was tricked vs. making a conscious choice. The other version presented in The Bible Story seems to imply more choice - which I think I prefer. Now, I'm eager to read Jane Ray's Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden after having enjoyed her Creation story so much.

Cain & Abel - Izzy found this to be an exceptionally dreary and distasteful story - almost turned her off the Bible completely. Not sure what else to say...

Noah - Perhaps one of the most child friendly stories in the Old Testament and so there are a plethora of picture book versions available - most of which I would recommend over the version presented here. Our personal favorite was A Stowaway on Noah's Ark. A few others to consider: Jan Brett's On Noah's Ark, Jerry Pinkney's Noah's Ark, Peter Spier's wordlessNoah's Ark, and Jane Ray's Noah's Ark. I found it quite funny that in the The Bible Story version Noah tests God's covenant by getting drunk!

Abraham & Isaac - Even dePaola's adorable illustrations can't make this story any more palatable. In fact it was almost doubly creepy to see little Isaac all tied up in such a 'cutesy' way. Plus, poor little Ram! Just minding his own dang business, getting caught up in brambles and *bam*. I recommend following up with The White Ram: A Story of Abraham And Isaac which tells the story from a different point of view and expands more upon the relevance of this story for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

*Note: This collection does not include the stories of Jacob & Esau or Joseph. Please see The Bible Story.

Moses - This book tells the story of Moses in four chapters - Pharaoh's Daughter Finds Moses, Moses and the Burning Bush, The Israelites Cross the Red Sea, and Moses Receives the Ten Commandments. The other book we're reading is even more thorough and tells the story in seven installments! If you want a more abbreviated, but still thorough version I recommend Exodus by Brian Wildsmith.

Joshua and the Fall of Jericho - Ugh, I'm so angry at this book! This story was so bizarre and incomprehensible that I did something I swore I'd never do - watch Veggie Tales! I did it just so I could figure out what the heck was going on here, but (big surprise) the veggies only added to my confusion. Why do the peas have French accents??? It was so upsetting I turned it off after only 5 minutes. UGH! The version in The Bible Story is slightly better, but not much. Maybe it's just an awful story?

Samson and his Great Strength - I have a soft spot for this story which I owe almost entirely to the Cecil B. DeMille epic film Samson and Delilah. Hedy Lamar! Victor Mature! Does it get any better?? It's a good thing because I was about to give on this dang book after the Joshua debacle.

Next up....

Naomi and Ruth
David and Goliath
Esther Saves Her People

And then we're taking a break from the OT for a little while!