The ESV Seek and Find Bible, published by Crossway, is a first “real” Bible for young readers, ages 5 to 9. This Bible is intended for children to grow up with. Because it contains the full text of the ESV Bible, it won’t be quickly outgrown, but it has features that would also appeal to very young children. The more than 130 full-color paintings draw children’s interest in, but don’t seem as childish as cartoonish pictures would. Each painting is accompanied by a 2 page retelling of that Bible story and discussion questions. I found that the stories are actually very true to the Bible text, not a “dumbed-down” version, and are similar to some of the simplest Bible translations. The text size is large for easier reading.
Character profiles are scattered throughout the Bible, and famous places and objects are illustrated and explained. I loved the drawings and information about the tabernacle, ark of the covenant, Herod’s temple, etc. I think even adults would find the information fascinating.
For young children, I can envision reading only the “stories,” then, as the children grow older, moving toward reading the actual Bible text instead of, or in addition to, the stories. I think the color and extra features would encourage a child to pick the Bible up to read on his own.
Emily (10) says, “I really like this Bible. I love the mini stories because they make me want to read more. I also love the questions because it makes me concentrate harder knowing that there are questions. I think kids younger than me would enjoy it, too.”
I think the ESV Seek and Find Bible would be a good choice for a Bible for an elementary school-aged child. I found the extra features appealing. Personally, my only misgiving would be that I think there are other translations that are easier for children to read and understand than the ESV.
You can find more information and a book excerpt at Crossway.
I received a free review copy of the ESV Seek and Find Bible from the Crossway Book Review Program.