In Ephesians 6:4, parents are commanded to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Thankfully, one great blessing of living in the Information Age is the availability of so many great resources for teaching children the stories and doctrines of God’s Word. Below are some of our family’s favorite kids books on the Bible and theology.
Note: to keep this list reined in, I have only listed larger books or series of books (with one exception). We also use many standalone picture books, but those could serve as their own list at another date.
After perusing my list, I would love to hear what books and resources your family uses!
The Child’s Story Bible
This is our favorite storybook Bible. At 800 pages, it is a formidable challenge of consistency and persistency to read cover-to-cover, but it is well worth the effort.
The Biggest Story Bible Storybook
While this book is certainly an expansion of The Biggest Story, it is also quite different. My daughter and I read the original book a few times, but it never spent any time as one of her favorites. She enjoyed this Bible storybook far more, almost always asking to read one more chapter before bed and has already inquired about when we will make our way through it again.
The Kingdom of God Bible Storybook
This is Lithos Kids‘ second boxset of books. It tells the story of the Bible through the lens of God’s kingdom, which Van Halteren summarizes as “God’s presence with God’s people in God’s place through God’s promises.” Like the Little Pilgrim books, these books are a joy to hold and read. Coloring books and a rhyming board book for very young ones are also available.
The Big Picture Story Bible
Another excellent story Bible. These chapters are shorter than many others, making this a great one to begin with. Although it is not explicitly said, Helm also centers his telling of the biblical narrative around the theme of the kingdom of God. In fact, he acknowledges his indebtedness to Grahme Goldsworthy’s definition of God’s kingdom as “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.”
The Gospel Story Bible
We are currently using the Spanish translation of this book as our family bedtime reading. The couple of questions that Machowski places at the end of each reading often leads to great nighttime discussions.
The Jesus Storybook Bible
Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible is incredibly popular and for good reason! Each chapter points to Jesus, making the subtitle very accurate: every story whispers his name. We recently bought the Collector’s Edition, containing the audio CDs and the animated book on DVD, which makes it my recommended edition.
Unfolding Grace for Kids
This is sort of a bridge between storybook Bibles and the actual Bible. It presents forty Scripture readings that cover the full storyline of the Bible, and each reading is prefaced with a short introduction to fill in the gaps and a beautiful illustration.
The Ology is a systematic theology book for kids. If that sounds dry, just give the book a try. Machowski does a great job presenting the great doctrines of the faith in a children’s book.
Tells That Tell the Truth Series
Most of these books explore particular stories of the Bible. For example, The Storm that Stopped is about Jesus calming the storm, which ends by pointing how this miracle displayed His divinity, or Jesus and the Lion’s Den tells us about Daniel’s famous ordeal, while concluding with how Daniel was similar to Jesus.
Other books cover biblical themes rather than individual stories. The newest in the series, The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party, is about our belief and hope in the resurrection of the body. God’s Very Good Idea discusses the imago Dei, and Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer teaches on the topic of prayer.
Little Me, Big God Series
These books by Steph Williams are my one-year-old’s favorite books, particularly the one about Bartimaeus. They tell stories from the Gospels for preschool-age children.
God’s Daring Dozen Series
With the exception of Jonah and perhaps the opening chapters of Hosea, the twelve Minor Prophets are without a doubt some of the least understood books of the Bible. And even when it comes to Jonah, many have a recollection of the story that cuts off after chapter three. Thus, whenever I stumbled upon this boxset containing children’s books on Zephaniah, Haggai, Habakkuk, and Obadiah (coauthored by John Brown and Brian Wright), I snatched it up, and after reading them several times through with my daughter, I would certainly encourage anyone to do the same.
The second boxset is now available as well.
R. C. Sproul’s Children’s Books
Each of Sproul’s children’s books are great. My daughter’s favorite is The Knight’s Map, which is a story of how the Bible leads us to Jesus and has many allusions to The Pilgrim’s Progress.
With the exception of The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, we read the Spanish translations.
Wolfbane Books is a new publisher with three books so far. The Story of God with Us and The Story of God Our King both have illustrations by Aedan Peterson and feel very similar to one another. The Forgotten King is a rhyming parable of the gospel. All three are excellently written and produced.
Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat
This is a great story that teaches kids the lessons of the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Christian Biographies for Young Readers Series
These books are intended for a higher age group than many of the other books that I have recommended. While online previews make these books look like ordinary picture books, the reality is that they are more like coffee table books and would very pleasantly serve that function. Indeed, these are chapter books with most pages containing more text than would be found in read-aloud picture books.
Do Great Things for God Series
These short biographies spotlight women who have done great things for God.
Banner Board Books
These board books are a great way to introduce very young children to four brothers and sisters from church history: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, George Whitefield, Susannah Spurgeon, and Katharina Luther.
Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey
For my daughter’s birthday, she wanted a Pilgrim’s Progress party, and when we gave out invitations to her classmates, they were all excited to pretend to be pilgrims. This book has helped make Bunyan’s classic a part of children’s imaginations again.
My First Books and More
This is a collected edition of the My 1st Books series, as well as containing a new section on the Psalms. It is a great first devotional to go through with children, and the weekly catechisms and memory verses make it a great resource.
Truth & Grace Memory Books
Like My 1st Books and More, these books provide content for children to memorize. Each of the three volumes focuses upon a particular age range. The first is for ages 2-9, and since my eldest is almost six, we still have a few more years before moving onto the second volume. Each contains a catechism, Scripture memorization, Bible basics, and suggested hymns.