Children's Book Recommendations
The Beginner's Bible, by Zondervan
“Full of faith and fun, The Beginner’s Bible is a wonderful gift for any child. The easy-to-read text and bright, full-color illustrations on every page make it a perfect way to introduce young children to the stories and characters of the Bible. With new vibrant three-dimensional art and compelling text, more than 90 Bible stories come to life. Kids ages 6 and under will enjoy the fun illustrations of Noah helping the elephant onto the ark, Jonah praying inside the fish, and more, as they discover The Beginner's Bible just like millions of children before.” Toddler/Preschool
The Adventure Bible, by Zondervan
This NIV version of the Bible has colorful illustrations and other features, including articles about the people, life, and culture in Bible times, maps, and other Bible skills resources. The Adventure Bible also comes with different style covers. It is written with the elementary age student mind.
God Loves You Very Much, by Cindy Kenney & Bryan Ballinger
“On each page of this fun, rhyming, board book shaped like Bob and Larry, kids meet their favorite VeggieTales characters who encourage them to remember that God loves them very much. Bob the Tomato says: ‘God made you special, but here is the rest… He loves you so much—he thinks you’re the best!’ Kids will giggle their way through each page as Bob, Larry, and their Veggie friends share a special message that will last a lifetime!” Toddler/Preschool
If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart, by Jill Roman Lord
“This book explores the presence of Jesus in our lives. If Jesus lived inside our hearts, would it show in our daily actions? This delightful little story explores just that as the toddlers in the story learn to be kind and generous in a variety of situations. The book may be used by parents as an introduction to Jesus and a way to discuss the many ways He lives within us. Bright and engaging illustrations from Amy Wummer enhance the appeal of the book to young children.” Toddler-Early Elementary (The illustrations skew young, but the poem overall has a great message through early elementary)
God's Very Good Idea: A True Story about God's Delightfully Different Family, by Trillia Newbell and Catalina Echeverri
“God’s very good idea is to have lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. This stunningly illustrated journey from the garden of Eden to God’s heavenly throne room shows how despite our sinfulness, everyone can be a part of God’s very good idea through the saving work of Christ.
This book celebrates diversity and will help children see how people from all ethnic and social backgrounds are valuable to God and how Jesus came to rescue all kinds of people. It will also excite them about being part of church - God's delightfully different family.” Elementary age
The Friend Who Forgives: A True Story About how Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave, by Dan DeWitt and Catalina Echeverri
“Do you ever talk before you think? Mess up? Let others down? That’s what Peter did, again and again and again, and it led him to abandoning his best friend, Jesus. Peter loved Jesus. He felt terrible when he pretended not to know him. He thought all was lost when Jesus died. But after Jesus rose from the dead, he went and found Peter and forgave him. He explained that his death took the punishment for all of Peter’s mistakes and that his resurrection showed that the penalty was lifted. Peter spent the rest of his life telling people that if they put their trust in Jesus, they could be forgiven too―again and again and again. This book points children to Jesus, the friend who will forgive them again and again and again. Makes a great book for Lent and Easter.” All ages
Josie Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit, by Esau McCaulley and LaTonya Jackson
“When Josey wonders why people are so different, Dad helps her understand that our differences aren't a mistake. In fact, we have many differences because God is creative!
Josie is spending the day with Dad―getting her hair braided at Monique's Beauty Shop, and picking out a new red dress for Sunday. Because Sunday is Pentecost! In the process, she learns to celebrate the differences she sees all around her as part of God's plan for his creation.” Pre-k - Elementary
Goodbye to Goodbyes: A True Story about Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb (A Christian Children’s Book about Grief, Loss, Suffering, Death & the Gospel), by Lauren Chandler and Catalina Echeverri
“Jesus knew how scary it is when someone gets really sick. He knew how sad it is when someone dies. Jesus cried when his friend, Lazarus, died. But he did something at his friend’s tomb that changed everything. He showed that he came to give his friend’s life in the land that lies after our dying. In this vivid, moving and exciting retelling of the story of Lazarus, Lauren Chandler helps children understand how Jesus makes all the difference to death. Children will see that because Jesus rose from death, he has power over it and all who believe in him will also rise, just as Lazarus did. The author, Lauren Chandler, used the story of Lazarus to help her own children come to terms with her husband’s (Matt Chandler) brain tumor. Whether children are coming to terms with the illness or death of a loved one, or simply fearful of when that day might come, this book reassures them with the amazing truth that Jesus came to to say goodbye to goodbyes — forever.” Pre-k - Elementary
God's Bible Story for Me, by Gospel Light
“Connect kids to God's Word through the essential stories of faith---told in a simple, engaging way that they can understand! Filled with inviting illustrations, this updated collection of 104 stories includes a presentation page for gift giving and fun stickers so children can personalize their "very own Bible." Ages 2 to 6. 528 pages, hardcover from Cook.” Toddler/Preschool
Just in Case you Ever Wonder, by Max Lucado
“This book assures children of God's love through all their experiences—including during hard times such as being afraid of the dark or being bullied—and gives assurance that their parent was there when they were first born and will be with them even in heaven.” Toddler/Preschool
9 Fruits Alive: Discover the Fruits of the Spirit, by Mindy MacDonald
“How many kinds of fruit can you think of? Where does it come from and how does it grow? Nine Fruits Alive describes the fruit that comes from God’s Spirit. Little ones will learn that just like water and sunlight help oranges grow on an orange tree, loving God and obeying His word will grow in us the fruit of God’s Spirit, like joy, goodness, peace and more! God loves to see His fruit in all of us and this book will help young ones understand how it grows!” Toddler/Preschool
You Are Special, by Max Lucado
“In the town of Wemmickville there lives a Wemmick named Punchinello. Each day the residents award stickers―gold stars for the talented, smart, and attractive Wemmicks, and gray dots for those who make mistakes or are just plain ordinary. Punchinello, covered in gray dots, begins to feel worthless. Then one day he visits Eli the woodcarver, his creator, and he learns that his worth comes from a different source.” All ages.
This I Know: Seeing God in the World He Made, by Clay Anderson & Natalie Merheb
“Have you noticed the fingerprints of God in the world around us?The creation tells us about its Creator. His beauty in the trees. His power in the thunder. His eternity in the night sky. Join a family on an unforgettable road trip, as they witness the wonder of God's world. And see how all of creation confirms what the Bible tells us: Jesus loves me, this I know.” All ages.
Zacchaeus and Jesus, by Dandi Daley MacKall and Lisa Manuzak
“There is always another side to a story! In this fresh presentation of the story of Zacchaeus meeting Jesus, bestselling children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall has written a creative two-sided flip book. Designed to tell the same story twice from two different, biblical points of view, the book allows the reader to enjoy the story of Zacchaeus and then literally flip the book to read the story from the perspective of Jesus. Utilizing humor, adorable illustrations, and an innovative format, these books provide readers with the added bonus of two books in one.” All ages.
Lift-the-Flap: Easter Stories for Young Children, by Andrew J. DeYoung, Naomi Joy Krueger and Megan Higgins
“From the Last Supper to the ascension, this collection of Easter stories contains surprises to uncover and reveal on every page. Full of colorful and bright scenes, Lift-the-Flap Easter Stories for Young Children invites the youngest children to celebrate Jesus' life after death.”
Note: While this is a lift-the-flap board book style, the text dives deeper and is appropriate into elementary school.
Listening for God: Silence Practice for Little Ones, by Katie Warner and Amy Rodriguez
”Through bright and captivating illustrations and a compelling, interactive storyline, Listening for God, by bestselling children's book author Katie Warner, shares the biblical story of the prophet Elijah to help children understand the importance of silence in listening for God’s still, small voice and uncovering His adventurous plan for their lives.” Through the example of Elijah, this book provides a good introduction to the spiritual practice of silence in prayer. Pre-k - Elementary
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief,
by Joanna Rowland and Thea Baker
“From the perspective of a young child, author Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it's like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story wonders if she will forget the person who has gone. Other days I wonder if I'll ever stop feeling sad you are gone.
The main character creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of her loved one to help with the grieving process. Throughout the narrative, the child's feelings are acknowledged, allowed, and assured that feelings are normal and healthy to express. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box helps children, parents, educators, therapists, and social workers talk about this very difficult topic together.” Pre-k - Elementary