While the children’s book market offers a number of beautiful, theologically rich, and gospel-centered volumes, Mark’s Marvellous Book by Alan Mann offers something I haven’t seen before: A children’s story Bible driven not by topic but by the text. Mann presents Bible stories from Mark’s Gospel with clarity, precision, and a simplicity worth imitating. If you want to learn how to teach Bible stories to your children, read this book to them and learn to do what Mann does.
- a one-word title stating the main point
- 5 storybook pages, applying the story’s main point to a 4-6-year-old child
- a single-page explanation of the Bible story and its main point
- a memory verse from the story, again highlighting the main point
Perhaps you see where I’m going: Alan Mann gets the main points of these stories! And he centres his storytelling around those main points. (Dear fellow North Americans: Please don’t be put off by the anglicized spellings of words like centre and marvellous. This book will serve all English-speaking families.)
Since Mann doesn’t cover every episode from Mark, I felt a little misled by the advertisement labelling this book “A commentary on Mark for kids.” Yet the book still won over both me and my two young daughters. I could barely get the book away from them so I could finish reading it for this review.
The physical volume meets all my standard expectations for a children’s book: strong cover, good binding, shiny paper, sturdiness to take a beating. I’m grateful to Christian Focus Publications for providing a review copy.
I hope we see more books like this in the future. Mann has a great thing going here, and I would love to see similar storybook Bibles that expound texts with such skill.
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