Monday, February 29, 2016

FAITH BUILDERS BIBLE from Zonderkidz: a Review

Faith Builders Bible: For Kids Ages 6-10, From Zonderkidz
A Review For You!

     Doesn't this book just look cool?  I was stoked that I was chosen to review the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz.
    Since my 6 boys are HUGE FANS of lego, I thought this would grab their attention and be a fun way to incorporate bible time/learning.  Who wouldn't love a bible that incorporates Lego building?!

Let Me Introduce It =)

    Faith Builders Bible is an NIrV (New International Readers Version).  It's  8 1/2 inches tall by 5 1/2 wide.  It's not too big for little hands, which is nice (but the font is really small.)
     The table of contents page is presented in a fun and different way with building blocks which is visually perfect for little eyes and minds trying to grasp different parts/books of the bible.

     There are also a few pictures right at the beginning to build with your own blocks with matching bible verses.

There are 21 building pages spread throughout the entire Bible.  They are very colorful pages that depict a Biblical scenes recreated with blocks. Each scene includes a building block verse and a short synopsis of the bible story, such as: Samson's Demolition, David defeats Goliath, and the Fruit of the Spirit.

The dictionary in the back is a great resource to help young readers with vocabulary and there is a "quick list" of great bible stories in the back that you can reference to.

How We Used It:

     I would call upon any of my kids that wanted to listen and build (some just wanted to listen).  At first I chose the stories the correlated to a building project but quickly realized we were going to run out fast so I tried to do every other.  
     When doing a story that had no building prompt, I was hoping they would build something inspired by the story.  If they already knew the story that was easy but most the time they just built whatever.

     They "easy readers" version was nice and made for a good flowing story.  The wording was easy to articulate for me and easy on listening ears and inquisitive minds.  It was also not to hard for a young reader to read when they wanted to take a turn at it.  

     When our reading correlated with a building project, it was fun to read and memorize the "building block verse"  and to read the story synopsis before reading the story from the bible. 
      Also, my boys liked using this bible for other assignments they had for school which included reading, writing, and word finding.

     Building with the legos while listening gave the kids something to do in the absence of having pictures to look at and they enjoyed it.  
     I liked seeing them pull bible stories from the pages and bring them to life in front of them with the lego's.  I think I probably liked seeing that more than they enjoyed building it.  They were pretty ambivalent about the projects.

     We enjoyed using the book and often I found my kids sitting with it and reading it and/or using it for others school work.  As soon as they had built everything though, their interest in it for building ideas stopped.

     *Note:  to make reading and building easier.  I let my kids take a picture of the building project with their tablet so they could look at it while I read the story.  If not, there was no way to actually do the reading and the building at the same time.

What We Thought About It:

     Our first impressions of the FaithBuilders Bible was "this is awesome" and then it kind of fell from there with the end thought being "this was alright".   
     Initially my boys were all super excited and spent some time looking it over, reading it and building some things. 

 When they exhausted the building, they were not as captivated by it.  I still saw them picking it up and my 10 year old boy likes reading it to his younger brothers.  However, the younger readers all gravitate more toward the bibles with some pictures and the older kids/better readers gravitate toward the study bibles we have.

     All of them wished that there were more building prompts and some of the projects would have been better with directions.  They enjoyed the bible story's that had building prompts but there were so few of them in relation to the bible as a whole.  I realize that it would be somewhat un-realistic to have a building prompt for every story but a few more would have been nice.... or even several pages at the end with building ideas with references to story's with page numbers.
     The projects were "OK".  They thought the building projects were fun enough but there was nothing really in there that they were super excited to build.  They all built things with a happy heart and even my 12 and 14 year old sons got into the building!  However, their approach was more like "nothing to do on a rainy day" and not "Boy oh boy!!  Can we go build?!". 

     There are no "building kits" that come with it.  Not a huge issue if you have a lot of legos and creative kids but some kids could become frustrated to not have what they need.  My boy's did a lot of improvising and were not phased by the differences between their creations and the pictures.

 The overall size of this Bible is great.  It is not nearly as thick as some out there which is nice for young kids, however the size of the font is really small. I would have preferred a larger bible with bigger font.   I do like the "easy reading" in this version though.

Building Prompt page: showing the
story synopsis and building block verse
     There are no study sections or explanations on the pages like study Bibles.  Plus there are no additional pictures.  
     My kids all like it when there are study guides, hints, pop outs and a few pictures.  I think the easy reading was great but larger print and a few more "things" would have really added to the Bible.

     Another thing, the building prompts did not correlate to the location of the story it went with in the Bible.  It was confusing for some of the kids as the pictures would inspire a desire to read more but the pages it was near had nothing to do with the picture.  It frustrated them and they gave up.
     The short story synopsis' were great though and the Building Block Verse were fun and often used for other schoolwork.

Do I Recommend It And To Whom?

     Despite some of the things that I would prefer to have different, I still liked it and would recommend it to others.  A strong reader through about 12,  who is into Lego/building blocks would like this Bible, especially if they do not like lot's of extra's and just want a "clean" look and feel to their bible.  In fact, if you told me you had a child he was very into "right/wrong... black/white.... no extra fluff, who also likes Lego" then I would HIGHLY recommend this bible for them

Overall Opinion...

     I'd rather use a different children's bible/study bible for my own kids.  We did enjoy the building prompts, but again, there weren't very many.  And while the easy readers version was nice, I think there are other bibles on the market that read just as nice... but with pictures too.

    That concludes my review of  the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz..  I hope you enjoyed my honest review and hope you go on over, check it out and see if it will work for you!

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

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