Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Review :: NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls is a new journaling Bible on the block, and it is a great one! (If you haven't seen my review of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible or my flip-through of the NIV Beautiful Word Bible, be sure to check those out to get a background on this series of journaling Bibles.) 

The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls comes in a variety of cover options, but for this review I looked specifically at the teal hardcover. The teal on the Leathersoft™ cover has a subtle shimmer that does not rub off. (The white and pink/coral accents on the cover do not shimmer.) The pages are white with rounded corners and a pinkish-purple ribbon bookmark is attached.

What makes this a "for Girls" Bible? A little bit of text on the spine, on the cardstock slipcover, and on the copyright page. Besides more playful cover options, that's it. I am not a young girl and I will most likely be keeping this one for myself.  
In the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls, there are 500 verses featured in line art illustrations throughout the wide margins (and some on full pages) of the Bible. The line art is generally done in all black, but there are some illustrations that have both black and gray lines. There is also some artwork that has some very light/thin lines, which in my opinion will likely be hard to color...but the vast majority have a bold line weight. 

If you have seen the Beautiful Word Bible in a full-color version or in the original coloring version, I just want to point out that while the verses that are illustrated are the same, the art is not all the same. Also to note, while the Beautiful Word Bible in a full-color version has colored text headers, the coloring versions have all black text (including the headers). All versions are single column with wide margins. (Margins are lined where art is not present.)

Somewhere around half of the illustrations in the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls are identical to the original coloring version. I counted in the first 6 books of the Bible and out of 74 illustrations, 33 are the same and 41 are different. In general, there are more bold/modern illustrations in the "for Girls" version - and in my personal opinion most of them are an improvement. (The illustrations are all in the same location as the originals.)

You may also be curious how the Beautiful Word Coloring Bibles compare to the Inspire Bible that has been so popular as a coloring Bible. In my opinion, the Inspire Bible has more detailed illustrations (very flowery and traditionally beautiful) and the Beautiful Word Coloring Bibles have more of a trendy art style. Whichever art style you prefer is going to make a difference in which Bible you might enjoy most for your creative worship time. (If you have a strong preference for a particular Bible translation, that will obviously make a difference as well.)

If you are looking for a journaling Bible and like the idea of having art to color in, definitely check out the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Find all my posts pertaining to Bible art or journaling here.

Looking for great stamps to use for Bible journaling? Check out Ink Blot Shop, LLC!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Review :: The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney, illustrated by Alida Massari

The Marvelous Mud House is a fantastic "story of finding fullness and joy".
In The Marvelous Mud House, George and Mama George (in Kenya) live in a mud house. They have little, but are content and trust in God to provide. A family from Oklahoma flies to Kenya and meets George and his Mama in the market. They go to their house and see how they live and discover that George can't afford to attend school. After returning to their home in the US, they realize the excess they have and decide to downsize and do extra jobs to help provide school fees for George.

The Marvelous Mud House is beautifully written, incredibly illustrated, and has a wonderful message. My 8 year old said he liked this book because "it shows compassion". I agree. It really is an incredible book and a peek at a different lifestyle for those of us with easy access to education, large homes, nice cars, and an abundance of toys. I think The Marvelous Mud House is a book that is definitely worth buying...and buying several copies to share with other families.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review :: The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book

The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book is a unique coloring book. It is a coloring book, yes, but it also includes a good portion of the Biblical stories (taken from the NIrV Bible translation). It is like a 2-in-1 storybook & coloring book.
As a coloring book, The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book is a great one. The pages are smooth and white - a good (heavy) stock for coloring. The images to color are very full - not stand-alone images on a page, but rather full scenes that span each 2-page spread. 
What I don't think is clear in the description of The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book is that the text of the stories is basically the NIrV Bible, abridged. (I know it mentions that they are "taken" from the NIrV, but it is actually the NIrV text, just chopped up to make it shorter.) The exact location of the text is not given (I wish it were), but, for example, I looked up the text from "Moses and the Fiery Lawgiving" and saw that it is a compilation directly quoted from Deuteronomy 5:1b-5, 6:20-21, 6:24, 7:7a, and 7:8b (NIrV). Of course, some details of the stories are lost with this method, but the basics are included.  

The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book contains 4 sections with 8 stories per section (for a total of 32 stories). The 4 sections are: Covenant History, Prophets, Writings, and New Testament. Each story includes 4+ pages of a mixture of text and line art to color. (Most stories have one full page without text - just for coloring.) There is a good amount of text given in each story. What I especially appreciated was the variety of stories and topics that are included - many that aren't generally found in Bible storybooks. 

I found The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Coloring Book to be a really great book - it's a unique 2-in-1 that can span a variety of ages. I definitely recommend it! 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review :: Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women is a new devotional for young women. 
Since this devotional is for young women, I handed it over to my teen daughter to check out. She said the devotionals are interesting and because they are short they keep her wanting to read more, but she also said that the "message seems the same, said in different ways". (The message being: "You are adored.") She said the devotionals seem easy to relate to, but my be aimed at girls a little older than her since it mentions college several times. She said Adored is good, but not necessarily her favorite devotional. She rates it 4 out of 5 stars. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review :: The Beginner's Bible - I Can Read!: Daniel and the Lions' Den

The Beginner's Bible - I Can Read!: Daniel and the Lions' Den is a new book in the  I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible series. The books in the I Can Read! / The Beginner's Bible series are worded with simpler phrasing and shorter sentences than you will find in other Beginner's Bible books like The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories.
The Beginner's Bible - I Can Read!: Daniel and the Lions' Den is a story of Daniel and his interactions with God, the king, and the lions. (You can find the full story in the Bible in Daniel chapter 6.) The Beginner's Bible - I Can Read!: Daniel and the Lions' Den is marked as being written at Guided Reading Level F. There are an average of 10-15 words per page written in large, easy-to-read text. There are big, colorful illustrations in the typical style found in other Beginner's Bible books. The main ideas in the story of Daniel come across in simple sentences, great for young ones. 

The Beginner's Bible - I Can Read!: Daniel and the Lions' Den is a great choice for reading with young ones. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Review :: God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV)

The God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV) has a printed hard cover with foiled accents and an attached ribbon bookmark. (There are other cover options available, but for this review I looked at the hardcover version.)
The God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV) is the New International Reader's Version (NIrV) version of the Bible. The NIrV is a simplified version of the NIV, written at approximately a 3rd grade reading level. The NIrV is composed of smaller, easy-to-understand words in shorter sentences than the traditional NIV.

The God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV) has all black text (including the words of Christ) and brown headings and chapter numbers. The text is laid out in two columns. The text is standard size - not large, but not extra small. There are basic footnotes in the God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV) as well as introductions for each book of the Bible. The introductions include a quick overview of who/what will be encountered in the book, important stories, and a list of "Treasure Verses" (which are highlighted with a light brown background in the Bible text). At the back are a "Treasure Verse Index", three lined pages for notes, and 7 full-color maps like you might find at the back of many Bibles.

There are some full-color page inserts that are placed throughout the God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV). (The full-color pages are a bit thicker than the text pages.) There are a total of 6 full-color inserts, with a front and back side to each. Each of the inserts are illustrated and have a summarized story version of popular Bible events.

Here are the titles of each of the inserts:
- This Bible Is Given To: (presentation page)
- How To Use This Bible
- God Creates The World
- The Ten Commandments
- Mapping The Bible (two-sided)
- The Riches of God's Word
- Learn To Pray
- Meet Jesus
- Love
- Fruit Of The Spirit
- ABCs Of Becoming A Christian

The God's Treasure Holy Bible (NIrV) has the basics you need, with some nice extras. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review :: She Reads Truth Bible (Christian Standard Bible) by Holman Bible Publishers

Looking for more reviews of journaling Bibles? Find them here

Are you looking for the best Bible for Bible art & journaling, or just wanting to get something to help with your Bible study time? 
The She Reads Truth Bible may be your answer! 
It's a great option for Bible journaling, note taking, and more. 
(For the cover style pictured, click here.)

The She Reads Truth Bible is a single column Bible with wide margins, which are great for notes, journaling, and/or art. The unlined margins are a minimum of 1 5/8" wide (so just over 1 1/2") and the pages are 8 7/16" high. I would estimate that on about 1/3 of the pages of Bible text, there is additional margin space (particularly in places like Job and the Psalms). The pages have a mild, creamy white hue to them (they are not bright white, but are also not the yellowish cream color that many journaling Bibles contain). The She Reads Truth Bible contains the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) version of the Biblical text.
The Bible is a little on the hefty side at 2" thick and weighing a little more than 3 1/2 pounds. There are two attached ribbon bookmarks (one white/ivory and one red) that will help in marking the pages you want to find easily again.

The She Reads Truth Bible is one of the most beautifully done Bibles I have seen as far as the interior page design goes. From the clean overall page layout to the easily distinguishable devotional pages to even the maps and table of weights and measures in the back, it is very pleasing to the eye.

Each book begins with a full-page illustration/typography of a key verse - many are single-color, but some are more elaborate. In addition to the artwork, each book has: an introduction, a reading plan (laid out in weeks), and some additional form of study help (map, chart, timeline, etc.).

There are some great extras in the She Reads Truth Bible that you won't find in most journaling Bibles currently available. A total of 189 devotionals (each well placed according to the content and context) are interspersed throughout the text. The devotionals are easily distinguished from the Bible text because of the colored border surrounding them.

At the back of the She Reads Truth Bible you will find: a list of key verses, Genre Guide, the Apostles' Creed, a one-year Bible reading plan, Topical Index, maps, and Table of Weights & Measures.

You really just need to see several sample pages to get the feel for the She Reads Truth Bible, so I figured I may as well make a short flip-through/slideshow out of some additional pictures I took.
Feel free to watch below or click through to view it on YouTube.



All in all, I think the She Reads Truth Bible is a great choice if you are looking for a new Bible.  
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review :: NIV Bible for Teen Guys

The NIV Bible for Teen Guys is a Bible from Zondervan, specially designed for teen guys. (I received a hardcover Bible to review, but it also comes in a two imitation leather/softcover options: blue or charcoal.) The hardcover is printed with the image you see - there is no dust jacket.
The pages in the NIV Bible for Teen Guys are appealing and very easy on the eyes. It has all black text (including the words of Christ) with various golden brown accents (headings, chapter numbers, etc.), laid out in two columns. This is the NIV version of the Bible (© 1973, 1978, 1984, & 2011). The text is standard size - not large, but not extra small. It does contain some basic footnotes. There is a pretty presentation page (on glossy paper), printed with an image similar to what you see on the cover.

There is a brief, single-page introduction for each book of the Bible. Each introduction covers a few basic things about the book ("When Did This Happen?", "Who Is In This Book?", "Verses You Might Recognize", and "What's It About?").

There are 360+ devotions in the NIV Bible for Teen Guys - so you could easily use this for a yearly devotional. 

I do think it is important to point out that there is a reason this Bible is marked for "teen guys" and not just "guys" - the topics in a few of the devotions reference dating, sex, pornography, drinking, dark arts/occult etc. Whether or not you decide your guy (teen or otherwise) is ready to take on these topics is up to you, but I wanted to be sure to make it clear that these topics are addressed so that you can make an informed decision.

The devotions are placed throughout the Bible, and you can also find the devotions by looking at two indexes at the back of the Bible - one listed by topic ("Topical Index") and one listed in order of appearance ("Index of Devotions for Building Faith, Wisdom, and Strength"). The topical index is a helpful resource and will reference a devotion multiple times if it fits into multiple categories. Some of the devotions are excerpts from other books, but some appear to be exclusive to this Bible.

In addition to the devotions, there are pages devoted to 50+ men of the Bible. These are placed throughout the Bible, and you can also find them by looking at the index at the back of the Bible ("Men of the Bible Index").

There is also a Concordance (approx. 80 pages) at the back of the NIV Bible for Teen Guys. There are no maps like you might find in the back of some Bibles. 

All in all, I think that the NIV Bible for Teen Guys is a good choice for a Bible for teen guys. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Book Review :: The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV

The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV has a (full color) printed hard cover which you see in the cover image.
The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV is the New International Reader's Version (NIrV) version of the Bible (© 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014). The NIrV is a simplified version of the NIV, written at approximately a 3rd grade reading level. The NIrV is composed of smaller, easy-to-understand words in shorter sentences than the traditional NIV.

The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV has all black text (including the words of Christ), and is laid out in two columns. The text is a little larger than standard size (but I wouldn't consider it "large print"), making this easier to read for young ones. There are no footnotes. There is a full-color presentation page insert with a place on the back of the page for the child to record the occasion in their own way.

There is a brief (1/2 page) introduction for each book of the Bible. Each introduction covers a few basic ideas about the book as well as an outline of the book's contents.

As you might expect, you will see the typical Beginner's Bible style art throughout The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV. There are 9 full-color inserts depicting the following stories:
- Creation
- Noah and the Animals
- God's Promise to Abraham
- Moses Parts the Red Sea
- Joshua and the Battle of Jericho
- Samuel Hears God Calling
- Elijah is Taken Up to Heaven
- David the Shepherd Boy
- Jonah and the Big Fish
- Baby Jesus Is Born
- Jesus as a Boy in the Temple
- Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
- Jesus and the Children
- Jesus Enters Jerusalem
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus Has Risen
- Peter Heals the Lame Beggar
- Jesus Is Coming Back 

At the back of The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV, you will find a 12 page "Dictionary" and a checklist of "150 Famous Bible Stories".

I'd say The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV is probably best for young kids - starting as early as age 5 or 6 (if they are reading) and up to age 8 or so. The only reason I might not suggest it for older children is the styling may look a bit young. 

All in all, I think The Beginner's Bible Holy Bible, NIrV is a nice choice for a Bible for a young reader in your life. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review :: NKJV Teen Study Bible

The NKJV Teen Study Bible is a Bible from Zondervan, specially designed for teens. The hardcover is printed with the image you see - there is no dust jacket.
The pages in the NKJV Teen Study Bible are appealing and very easy on the eyes. I especially appreciate the easily readable font. It has all black text (including the words of Christ) with various blue accents (headings, chapter numbers, etc.), laid out in two columns. This is the NKJV version of the Bible (© 1982). The text is standard size - not large, but not extra small. It does contain some basic footnotes. There is a nice presentation page (on glossy paper), printed with an image similar to what you see on the cover.

There is a brief, single-page introduction for each book of the Bible. Each introduction covers a few basic things about the book, some "headlines" (written newspaper-style), a short preview list, and then some information about world events that were taking place at the time the book was written.

Besides the book introductions, there are several special features that are placed throughout the NKJV Teen Study Bible. The special features really help put practical application to the ideas found in Scripture. I would consider this more of a practical application Bible than a study Bible.
Here are the feature types and a quick description of each:
- We Believe (short studies on the phrases from the Apostles' Creed)
- Panorama (main theme of the book)
- To The Point (frank, Scriptural explanations of topics that may come up in life)
- Dear Jordan (advice column style questions and answers with modern day topics)
- Instant Access (practical applications for Biblical ideas)
- Bible Promises (highlighted verses)
- Q&A (questions & answers)

I do think it is important to point out that there is a reason this Bible is marked for teens - the topics in a few of the features reference dating, sex, pornography, smoking, dark arts/occult etc. Whether or not you decide your child (teen or otherwise) is ready to take on these topics is up to you, but I wanted to be sure to make it clear that these topics are addressed so that you can make an informed decision. These features are placed throughout the Bible, and you can find the index listing all of the topics at the back of the Bible in the "Teen Life Index".

There are a few study helps at the back of the NKJV Teen Study Bible such as: a Table of Weights and Measures, "What Do I Read Today?" (reading plan ideas and Bible chart with check boxes), "Bible Truth Index", and "Teen Life Index". There are some full-color maps as well. 

All in all, I think that the NKJV Teen Study Bible is a good choice for a Bible for teens. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.