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[ctt template=”4″ link=”f0m_1″ via=”yes” ]Barbour Publishing sent us two new chapter books to review: Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? from their Kingdom Files biography series.[/ctt]
Kingdom Files Biography Series For Kids Review
Kingdom files is a biography series of chapter books. These are biographies for kids ages 8 to 12.
The Bible stories, written by Matt Koceich, are non-fiction, paperback Christian books, each written about a person from the Bible. Nothing is made up here, everything comes from the Bible, written in a way that children can put themselves in each character's shoes. Here are some sample sentences, “Imagine if you were on that boat. Would you want to be far away from Jonah?”
The pictures are black and white ink drawings, which are related to the scenes. They are drawin in comic style and are sprinkled here and there throughout the book. The illustrator is Jon Davis and he did a great job capturing the scene and emotions.
At the beginning of each book is a Fact File that contains basic information about the character, like the name, occupation, where he/she is from, the years he/she was active and what their Kingdom Work was. It also gives Key Stats, which are some important points to remember about this character.
My favorite part about this section is the mini-timeline. It shows the year on a point on the timeline and under it states what happened, for example, “Jonah preaches to Ninevah.”
As you are reading the chapter in the book, you will sometimes come across highlighted boxes that have a picture of a magnifying glass and say, “clues”. It is a paragraph to describe something to relate it to this time, to explain something further or to remind us of how to live as a Christian.
At the end of the book, there is a section of Power-Ups. For example: “Power-Up #1 Obey God.” This section teaches the reader an important lesson. Then, it is followed by a memory verse that we can apply to our lives related to this. The numbers of the Power-Ups do not coincide with the chapters of the book in any way, shape or form. They are just additional lessons at the end of the book.
Who Was Jonah?
This chapter book has 87 pages of reading material and is a handy 7.5″ x 5.25″ small book to hold. The story goes right along as it goes in the Bible from Jonah learning what God wanted to Jonah to do and then running away, sleeping through the storm on the boat, finding himself inside the belly of a monster fish, etc.
As I read this in the chapter book, I noticed that Bible references were given throughout the story and there were sometimes that I went to my Bible to read that part for myself to be sure everything matched up. It does! Joseph prays and God rescues him and he does obey God and goes to Ninevah and does as God asks him to do.
The King's response, as well as the people of Ninevah, was very good. They repented and began living a life for God. Jonah, however, was angry. The author says, “It doesn't make sense, does it?” and tries to help the reader understand what Jonah may have been thinking here. “He couldn't believe the city that once did its own thing was now praising and praying to Jonah's God. It just didn't feel right to the prophet.” I like that the author says it in that way to let you know that this is a man's opinion. Man's opinion often does not make sense.
The chapter book tells of God's reply to Jonah with a question, “Is it right for you to be angry?” There is a beautiful illustration on page 59 that shows Jonah in his little handmade shelter shaded under a vine of leaves that had grown up. You can see that he is very much loved by God, even while Jonah is angry. On page 61 the illustration shows a worm eating the vine and the story tells how Jonah was very distressed by this and what God taught Jonah, referring to Jonah 4:11.
Then we go on to the Power-Ups and I really enjoyed reading #8: God is grace. The author stated, “Live your life full of thankfulness for everything God has done and is doing, because He is grace.”
Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?
This book about Mary, Mother of Jesus was the same handy to hold size and had 81 pages of reading material. The story starts with a long time before Mary, when the prophet Isaiah told what would happen. Then is goes on to the angel, Gabriel, visiting her. The author explains, “This was a very stressful time for Mary, because in the culture of Mary's day, people wouldn't have understood what really happened. They would have judged her.” I think it's good to explain it that way as our modern culture may not understand what it was like for her.
The story follows the Bible and gives reference to verses and the author explains some parts. This book has the Holy night that Jesus was born, then the dedication at the temple, then the wise men visit. It then covers Jesus being left behind and found at the temple at age 12 in Jerusalem. The next chapter covers the wedding at Cana in Galilee. The last chapter is called, “A Misunderstanding, the Cross, and Everything After” and briefly describes Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
How We Used It
Maris read the Who Was Jonah? book to himself. I read some of Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? and skimmed through other parts and read all of Who Was Jonah?
The story of Jonah is described very well in the Bible itself. There is not much else you can say about the actual story of Jonah. It's basically the story told in a slower way to make you think about it. I don't think the “Power Ups” are necessary, but it's a nice touch. I love the story about Jonah in the Bible because it taught me to be honest so I like having this chapter book too.
These books are great for my child to read because they follow the Bible and give reference to Bible verses and have memory verses as well. I like how the author helps the reader to consider what the character may have been thinking. The illustrations are amazing, they are each perfect for the part of the story that is being told.
How To Find Them:
- Website: http://www.barbourbooks.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbourPublishing/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbourbuzz
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BarbourPublishing1
The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has a great team of homeschool parents that also reviewed this series from Barbour Publishing, so click the banner below to see all the reviews:
Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to sharing more great curriculum reviews throughout the coming year.
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