Monday, February 29, 2016

Review of Zonderkidz

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}
I normally shy away from themed Bibles of all kinds for two reasons. First, because they are almost invariably Protestant, and second because they have always seemed to me to detract from Scripture. I broke with longstanding tradition when I saw the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz. I mean - look at it:

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

It's adorable. When I initially asked Nicholas (12) and Michael (11) what they thought of the idea (prior to receiving the Bible or even expressing interest in it), Michael told me that he was already aware of this Bible and really wanted to see it in person, so I took the plunge and got a look at this super cute Bible for myself.

Really quickly, N.B. for my Catholic readers. This is, as I said, a Protestant Bible. Hence, there are seven books missing from the Old Testament. This review is not the place to go into why there is that discrepancy between Catholic and Protestant Bibles, but these books are typically known as the Apocrypha. Just be aware that if you go looking for these books, you won't find them.

So what exactly is the Faith Builders Bible? This Bible is, obviously, designed to draw children into the Bible. It uses the NIrV, which is a simplified version of the NIV. It has 24 pages of full-color illustrations that are (you guessed it) composed of building bricks (I don't know if I can call them by the brand name, so I'm erring on the side of caution, but you know what I'm talking about!). It even has "Building Block Verses" for memory work. The Bible is 1,152 pages long, is hardback, has a very readable font size for even younger children, and is of super high quality (it is, after all, published by Zondervan).

How We Used It

When we first got the Bible, both boys just ran away with it to enjoy it for a few days. They read it during the day, they used a flashlight to read it in bed at night, they marveled over the brick-building pages (and wished for more - I bet that's a common theme with this Bible!), and they generally enjoyed it. Michael is my more, well, vocally insightful son, so I'll share his insights, formed after spending a month or so with the Bible. He didn't care for the translation, but he's used to the New Revised Standard Version, so the NIrV just seems too simplistic to him. What Michael doesn't know (and what I will teach him when he is older) is that the NIV is not a Catholic-approved translation because of the inconsistency inherent in the dynamic translation. Again, that's beyond the scope of this review, but something of which Catholics should be aware. Probably largely because of the translation, Michael concluded that he was too old for the Bible, but he said that it did inspire him to build Biblical scenes from Legos (new scope for the Lego-inclined imagination!). Michael does think that the Bible will make a great gift for several of our Protestant friends with younger children. I have to agree with him on that point.

Final Thoughts

Let me emphatically remind my readers that I am not this Bible's target audience, hence, take my observations cum grano salis (with a grain of salt). This is a Protestant Bible published by a Protestant publishing company. It does not pretend to be anything else. Having said that, this Bible is really cute. If you have younger children or "building-brick" obsessed children, this Bible would probably be a huge hit. If your children are already familiar with the NIV, this Bible is likely a no-brainer. I am guessing that if you are KJV family, you would be dissatisfied with this Bible. This is one of those products that speaks for itself. You'll know whether or not it's for you! At $24.99 it's a great deal.

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}
Crew Disclaimer


  1. Thanks for this! I am struggling writing this review as this is our preffered version of the bible. I think you did a very good job presenting it from that point of view.

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