Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Children's Bible Hour Ministries

Children's Bible Hour Ministries is apparently a familiar organization to many people.  I had heard of their Keys for Kids devotionals, as we had used them for a couple months.  But I was not familiar with anything else this ministry produced.

As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received a package of four picture books in their new Seasons of Faith series.  Each book includes a CD where Uncle Charlie reads the story -- complete with little noises signaling when to turn the page.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful illustrations, as you can see from the cover of Race with Midnight.  The inside illustrations are wonderful also, with a full-page illustration on each (most?) two-page spread.

I skimmed a couple stories as I looked at the pictures, and was pretty sure my kids would enjoy these.

I was right.  I let them choose which to start with, and I think they picked the best story of the bunch -- Seventy Times Seven.  We put in the CD, the kids gathered on the floor around the book, and we all listened.

I loved that the kids were completely capable of keeping on the right page.  They enjoyed the story and loved the pictures.  The basic plot comes straight from Matthew 18:23-35.  A shop owner forgives Brad for breaking a sign.  The child turns around and refuses to forgive his best friend, Doug, for ruining his baseball cap.  The shop owner finds out, and calls on Brad to pay for a new sign by working in the shop.  The greatest part of this story was that when the shop owner calls Brad's father, Dad backs up the shop owner and makes Brad work off his debt.  Everything ends happily ever after, as Brad forgives Doug and they both learn a thing or two about forgiveness.  And Brad goes into his obligation to work off his debt with a good attitude.  Each book ends with an invitation to ask Jesus into your life.

There are also discussion questions available for each book.  We liked these on our second time through the books.

The other three books deal with different seasons of life.  Braving the Storm is about a boy whose family has been hit by a string of traumatic events -- health issues, job loss, a move -- and he learns to thank God for watching over him during all kinds of storms.

Race with Midnight and You Can't Come In both related to telling nonbelievers about God.  Like most children's picture books, the stories were simplified quite a bit.  My kids enjoyed hearing the stories, but they made me a little uncomfortable.  It seemed like the kids in both stories had a lot of responsibility placed on their shoulders to go save the neighbors.  Of course, they did a great job and handled the responsibility well.  And while I know that kids can have a huge impact on the adults in their lives, I don't like the idea of making kids feel that it is their responsibility to be 'the one' to bring the gospel to the unbelieving adults in their lives.

I wanted to have the child in both stories talking naturally about his/her faith with the other child.  But I wanted them all to see the parents reaching out to the other family as well, in more than a 'hey, why don't you come to church with us' kind of way.

Anyway, we did really enjoy the books, we were able to talk quite a bit about the kids and their friends.  I'm glad to own these books.

You can see more about the books, including a video preview and a radio promo, by visiting the website.  The books can be purchased there for $10 apiece, or right now, the set is available for $20.  And if you use the code FREESHIPAPR15 by April 15, 2010, you will get free shipping on the set.

And you can check out what my fellow crewmates have to say about Children's Bible Hour at:

Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive these books for free from the publisher.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.
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1 comment:

Michelle Smith said...

Debra, you've won Start Here on my blog giveaway. Congratulations! I've sent you a private email requesting a mailing address. :)