Book: Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids NIV
Publisher: Zondervan (2016)
Age range: 8-12 years
Description: “…includes the complete New International Version (NIV) of the Bible along with devotions, prayers, and highlighted verses to help kids pray and listen for God’s answers to their prayers.”
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
- Features a dedication page, reinforcing the importance of “owning” your bible
- Colorful, contemporary lettering and designs
- Popular verses are highlighted to stand out and increase memory of text
- Overview of historical background found before each book of the Bible
- Devotions included to delve deeper into specific verses
- Topical index to search verses by person or subject
- Reading plans offer suggested passages to increase understanding
- Accessible writing style and content
- Double column format difficult to focus on for reading
- No red text identifying Jesus’ actual words
- Prayer journal pages lack room for depth of prayer
- No sections discussing HOW to actually become more devout (aside from reading plans)
- Hardcover–can’t open to page and leave it open without losing spot
- Aside from PRO features listed above, it doesn’t have any special textual features. Can traditional compete in today’s tech saturated society?
Overall feelings: This book has a superficial visual appeal that would get buyers in the door but struggle to keep the reader engaged. Unless a kid is motivated to read the bible and follow one of the reading plans or is using this resource for a Sunday school class, I’m not sure it meets the needs of the market. The textual difficulty level has not been adjusted at all, and although the format is NIV (which, for me personally, was a con) and should be easier to read, the truth is most 8-12 year olds will struggle with the text. I would have liked to see a single column bible that was engaging to a younger audience throughout, not just in random devotional inserts. That said, I can appreciate the features that have been added in to help younger readers see the context of the Word and help them find a starting place to dive in. The reading plans are accessible, providing a guide for younger readers that isn’t unrealistic or overly challenging.
I received a copy of this bible to review. Would I purchase it? Absolutely, if I had a tween interested in owning his own bible. It may not have the features I desire, but I’m not sure there is one out there that does yet. A girl can dream. Compared to the other options available, this one takes the cake.