Children’s Bible

I am looking for suggestions on a Bible for my children. My children are five and two and seem a bit bored by their current Bible story book. The one we have was given to us but features awful, cartoonish pictures and the text is very simple. So we would like to bump them up to something with less of a cartoon feel, but also something with more meaningful text.

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We went to the local Christian bookstore last week, and while they have a very good selection, there did not seem to be one that was quite right. We did find one that both my wife and I thought looked excellent, but when I flipped to the story of Jesus’ birth, it had Ave Maria printed in the margin and seemed to be as much an exulation of Mary as a story about Jesus. Looking at the back I saw that one of the three authors was a nun and another taught at a Catholic seminary. What appealed to us about the book was that it had lots of wonderful illustrations and focused on the historical aspects of the stories. For example, in the margins there were pictures of artifacts from the time, little “snippets” of information, and so on. My son loves looking through history books, so I think this would have appealed to him.

Ed, who owns the local bookstore, recommended John MacArthur’s series, and they did look good, but while they had plenty of pictures, the book did not have a historical feel and probably would not have appealed so much to my son. My priorities are a) well-written stories targetted at young children. b) good illustrations that are not too cartoony and c) solid theology. A Reformed perspective would be nice, but, but at a children’s level I do not think there will be a vast difference.

I told Ed that I would ask people here what they find are the best books and would report back to him. So, if you have any suggestions on Bible story books or children’s Bibles, I would love to hear from you.