I absolutely love the Jesus Storybook Bible. I’m reading it to my kinders right now, and they love it too. The prose is gorgeous, the pictures beautiful, and the image of God spot on. I’ve found much healing even as an adult with a long history in theology.
One thing I particularly love about it, is which Bible stories Sally Lloyd-Jones selected and how she told them. Some kids’ Bible curricula want to tell the most awkward Bible stories. Teachers get no explanation on why the heck we need to know about David and Bathsheba, and little guidance on how to define circumcision or prostitution without turning the class into sex ed.
I haven’t had to deal with any of that so far, and we’re already out of the Old Testament.
Lloyd-Jones does leave out David and Bathsheba, and Tamar, and Rahab the prostitute, but interestingly, she includes a whole chapter about Leah.
Growing up, I always heard the scandal that was Jacob, Rachel, and Leah told this way: poor Jacob, he got stuck with ugly, bitter Leah and had to work another seven years for his true love!
Lloyd-Jones hardly gives a nod to “poor Jacob.” She instead focuses on Leah, “the girl no one wanted.” I love, love, love how she taps into Leah’s mindset. She presents Leah as a woman despised for her lack of beauty, a woman who keenly felt the pain of being unwanted and unloved. And she presents God as a God of compassion, who reaches out to comfort Leah and give her the great honor of being the great-great-great-etc.-grandmother of Jesus.
There are so few Bible stories that resonate with women’s concerns, particularly today’s women’s concerns, and I thought Lloyd-Jones was wise and right to retell Leah’s story in the way she did. Again, I highly recommend this children’s Bible, even for grown-ups!