I want to open by saying I wasn’t really sure what to expect before I received my copy of this book. Even as a child fighting/battles didn’t appeal to me, and so I am always a little hesitant when it comes to products portraying those things. Now, I am not doubting the Biblical inspiration or truth of many of these items, but I have seen that they can be distracting and often at times excessive in how content is presented. However, I realize that is my personal preference – the Bible itself contains many graphic explanations of fighting wasn’t designed to have certain parts skimmed over due to our lack of liking.
This book portrays six battle scenes in a non-gory manner, perhaps as tastefully as you can, whilst still being real about the truth of the Biblical content. Now, that does mean you can see people (without blood or visual injury) lying dead, about to be killed, or lying sleeping right beside a tent-stake… So, it’s pretty out there, and like I said not entirely to what my personal taste would have been as a child, but the book itself is extremely well-done.
Each double page spread contains a short recount of the story, with reference to where in the Bible it can be expanded on, and a connection to Jesus. The book is illustrated with a giant, near double-page spread of the battle. On the left side, are instructions of things to find in the image, in a similar way to you may find in “Where’s Waldo” (which is “Where’s Wally” in England btw) or other seek-and-find books. A slight criticism is that you are assuming what some of these things are, as there is no picture of what you’re looking for when it talks about “Jael”, although reading the story may give a little help there… I think because of that, I’d imagine that independent interaction wouldn’t be easy for kids younger than 1st Grade. The pages are laminated cardboard designed for dry-wipe use, meaning that this book could be used time and time again. I’m confident that this would be a book many kids would love to engage with.
As with many B&H publications the book is complete with a parent connection enabling families to use the resource as part of a devotion. Similarly, a page describing the Armor of God, which is hidden throughout the illustrations, is well worded to provoke discussion at home.
All in all, I like this resource, and think kids will LOVE it, it just wouldn’t have been to my taste as a child. Now, if it contained “trains of the Bible”…
– Jared Simpson