REVIEW: NIV Kid’s Visual Study Bible; or, I reviewed a kids’ book.

by ggeurs

This is a review of the NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible from Zondervan Kids.

I am a constant reader. I am constant Bible reader too. It is not uncommon to read through one translation of the Bible in a year and then start reading from another. The Bible is one of those books that I will never get tired of reading because there is so much to unpack. Even if I were not a Christian, the Bible would still be in my “top five greatest books ever” lists because of how rich and diverse it is. While I have read the NIV translation through many times so far, I thought I had it all pretty well understood. Leave it to something for young people like the NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible to prove to me how much about the Bible I still have to learn, from context, to culture, and everything in between.

Along with the easily accessible translation, the New International Version, this book has plenty of other aides to assist the reader in navigating the Bible. Each book in the Bible begins with an overview of the author’s identity, purpose, the book’s significance, location of origin, and then it moves right into the text. These introductions are helpful for younger readers, because the introductions don’t go on forever. Instead, much of the material some editors would put in the beginning, they instead choose to include as marginal notes. Throughout the book, obscure cultural references are explained in a way that make it clear for someone with a lower Lexile level.

The maps, photos, and illustrated images throughout this edition of the Bible help give needed clarity where a visual aide is more useful than an explanatory text. I found those to be especially helpful during some of the harder to approach books like the Minor Prophets.

In a way, this book is misnamed. While younger readers would find this an easy way to approach the Bible, I would consider changing “Kids'” in the title to the word “New Readers of the Bible.” Looking at this as an adult, the margin notes, illustrations, etc. would be very useful to a person reading through the Bible for the first time. In that light, if I did not know this was intended for kids, I would find all the materials helpful. I give the NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible the nod of approval, not just for kids, and not just for people new to the Bible, but also to anyone reading the Bible who wants to learn something new.

I received my copy of this book for free through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for reviewing it. The opinions expressed are mine; I was not obligated to write a positive review.