Zonderkidz’ Read & Play Baby Bible is a great way to share the Bible with babies and toddlers. Each set of two pages includes a paraphrased Bible passage (many of which are about 30 words long) along with interactive text that relates to that passage. For example, in the story entitled “Jesus Stops the Storm,” the authors include the reference verse Mark 4:35-41, describing how Jesus quieted the storm, and then write these interactive instructions: (Hold finger to lips.) Shhhh, Baby. Shhhh, be quiet! Be still! Be quiet and still as Jesus told the wind to be…quiet and still as the storm.
For the other stories, the interactive instructions include sensory activities such as tickling, wiggling fingers, hugging, whispering, and playing peek-a-boo. The book is a good way for parents to simultaneously read to and engage with their children – and it is also a wonderful way to start Bible lessons early on.
The illustrations by Gustavo Mazali are cute and drawn in a unique manner. The edges of the characters and objects in the pictures are outlined in what almost looks like a decorative cubism trim. Mazali captures many different Biblical scenes, from Moses floating in a basket down the river, to the Wise Men bringing Baby Jesus gifts. The drawing of Adam and Eve, naked but partially covered by grass, comes across as slightly awkward – but having reviewed several children’s Bibles, there really is no easy answer on how to portray Adam and Eve without any awkwardness – unless the author wants to (innacurately) fully clothe them.
Read & Play Baby Bible contains 46 pages and is 6 x 1.3 x 7 inches in size.