Order now and we can get these out right away. Even using the inexpensive USPS (cheaper than UPS) we can get these to almost anywhere in the continental US in a few days. Thanks. By the way, we show the regular retail price, but will deduct the discount when you order at our secure website (the order page link is shown below.) While supplies last.
Reformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation — from A to Z Stephen Nichols, illustrated by Ned Bustard (Crossway) $16.99 We cannot tell you how thrilled we are to tell you about this, although a fuller description will wait for some future list about the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. Steve Nichols is one of our best popularizers of great insights from church history (seen especially in a good series of biographies he’s done, showing great insights from people in church history.) His book appropriating Bonhoeffer for daily Christian living is remarkably helpful. So I like Steve a lo. He serves currently as the President of Reformation Bible College and is the chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. Ned Bustard should be a name you recognize as he comes up from time to time here at BookNotes since he is the man guy managing Square Halo Books, known not only for doing my own book, Serious Dreams, but the widely acclaimed recent volume Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C.S. Lewis by Donald T. Williams (Square Halo; $16.99.) Ned’s last Square Halo Book release was co-edited with Greg Thornbury, Bigger on the Inside which pop culture aficionados will immediately recognize as a study of the long-running British TV show, Doctor Who. The subtitle is simply “Christianity and Doctor Who.” That’s Ned’s work on the cover of that one, too.
Nichols and Bustard teamed up before in a truly wonderful The Church History ABCs (Crossway Books; $16.99) which came out a few years ago as a slightly oversized hardback, counting down all kinds of good stuff from church history as an ABC book. Like some ABC books, it works on two levels — yes, for young ones learning to play with letters and learn various words across the alphabet. But these sorts of books can be deceiving — there is a lot of content, and will be sure to inform and even delight anyone with a bit of interest in history. I bet you will learn something!
This new one, of course, is about the themes of the Protestant Reformation Nichols gives us tons of good info, really interesting, usually important (although there is some goofy trivia included, too. Did you know that there were 5 guys named John who drafted the famous Presbyterian Scot’s Confession? Did you know that Lady Jane Grey sat on England’s throne for only nine days before she was martyred for her faith when she was just 16 years ago? Did you know that the father of the famous Irish leader, Archbishop James Ussher, was actually an usher? And I bet you’ve never heard of the Walloon Confession of Faith which as signed by 48 men, 18 women and 1 infant. I did’t think so.)
But it is the artwork that makes this interesting book so incredibly wonderful. I anticipate it will get some award at the end of the year by Christian Publishing associations for being such a fabulously designed book. Bustard’s playful, colorful, and very well informed illustrations (sometimes cleverly overlaid with photographs) have so much going on in them that not only invites but demands repeated readings.
This book is smaller in shape than their previous The Church History ABC book, and it works marvelously. This is just perfect for a medium sized gift, fitting nicely in any Easter basket. It is explicitly Protestant and it is clear that the author and artists are themselves more than fans of the Reformation tenants. They would stake their lives on this stuff, and their passion for teaching kids the background of these tumultuous times is inspiring.
Saints: Lives and Illuminations Ruth Sanderson (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) $16.00 This was once a large sized picture book and I really like how Eerdmans re-designed it as a 5 x 8 trim sized hardback. It’s really nice, and it could be appreciated by a sharp 7 or 8 year old, I think it is best for older elementary children, or any older age if they like nicely illustrated compendiums like this. This beautiful book tells the stories of over 70 men and women saints from various centuries. There’s a lovely watercolor picture (lavishly illuminated with a border giving it a look something like an icon or piece of medieval liturgical art) while the facing page tells the story of who that person was and what he or she was known to have done. It includes stories about first century leaders like Saint Stephen or Saint Christopher through the saints from early centuries such as Benedict and Scholastica and Paula and Jerome, St. Theresa of Lisieux, St. John of the Cross, up to famous ones like Brendan, Aquinas, Joan of Arc, Francis, Clare, (and some lesser known canonized ones like Rita and Maud.) The most recent ones included are the compassionate Maximilian Kolbe (who died under Hitler), the Pennsylvania saint Katherine Drexel, the mystical healer who cared for sinners and the suffering, Padre Pio and, of course, the Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta.)
By the way, the very talented Ruth Sanderson has, in hardback and paperback, a sequel called More Saints: Lives and Illuminations (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers; $14.00/$20.00.)
Found: Psalm 23 Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Jago (Zonderkidz) $9.99 How glad we were to hear that the creative, stylized, modern art done by Jago would once again be teamed up with the wise and beautiful Bible storytelling of Sally Lloyd-Jones. Almost universally appreciated, and considered by many to be the best young children’s Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Chapter Whispers His Name remains a staple of our children’s Bible department. The sequel, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, while less intentionally showing the unfolding Biblical story with that Christ-centered, historical-redemptive approach of Jesus Storybook Bible it, too, is just brilliant. So both are great. This new one is a padded hardcover, almost like a bigger-than-usual board book, that nicely tells the famous 23rd Psalm. The lyrical text is drawn from the Jesus Story Book Bible but the engaging artwork and book design are completely new.
As it says on the back cover, “Snuggle up with your little one as you both discover God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreakable, Always and Forever Love.”
The Story of God’s Love for You Sally Lloyd-Jones (ZonderKidz) $14.99 Don’t you still like to give some special Easter gift to your older children or grandchildren? Do kids ever outgrow the joy of this little holiday tradition? I wanted to tell you again about this hand-sized hardback as it would fit perfectly in an Easter basket, gift-wrapped nicely or not. Here is what I wrote about this in our BookNotes newsletter blog when it first came out December of 2015:
I have raved about Ms. Lloyd-Jones’ popular The Jesus Storybook Bible before, celebrating the colorful, artful illustrations, the moving cadence, the whimsy and humor and yet deadly-serious conviction that Christ is the heart of the unfolding drama of Scripture, the coherent plot that makes up the 66 Bible books. Indeed, the subtitle on the cover says, “Every Chapter Whispers His Name” and the inter-textual reading offered for preschoolers is at times nothing short of remarkable. We do hope you know it.
Yep, the The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago (Zonderkidz; $17.99) is one of our very favorite children’s Bibles, not because it covers as much as some do, or is “the” best children’s Bible, but because of the way it tells the story, the themes it whispers, the lovely language it uses to convey a Christ-exalting, creation-healing, all-of-life-redeemed vision of where the plot of the Bible is going. Its compact shape and bright colors make it ideal for little ones. The most popular edition is a smallish hardback, although there is a fantastic larger sized gift edition that we recommend.
Because so many people have grown to appreciate the lively storytelling and delightful blend of sweet and serious language used to tell this singular story of the unfolding drama of God’s redemptive plan, and value the class and charm and robust theological vision of the text, they’ve sometimes given this Bible designed for young children to older kids. I know youth pastors who have used it in high school ministry and – okay, I’ll admit it, happily – I’ve read it out loud on occasion in my own adult Sunday school classes.
And so, the publishers acted on the wishes of so many and created a Jesus Storybook Bible for older kids and middle-schoolers. The text is unchanged but the title has changed to The Story of God’s Love For You and the children’s art has been removed. It is now a very handsome hardback, with blue ink, and cool info-graphic type symbols in front of each book of the Bible.
It looks great for all ages, just a touch of cool graphic appeal, and a small, handy size with heavy-stock paper. It is a fabulous looking little book. There is a regular hardback (the price shown above is $14.99 before the discount) and there is also a very nice leather-like gift edition that comes in a paper slipcase ($19.99 before discount.)
We’ve already sold it to pastors using it with elementary aged children who have outgrown the picture-book style and for use in a middle-school Sunday school class; a teacher of a small confirmation class thought it would work with young teens who would appreciate its tender, personal cadence and its big picture vision.
The Good Book for Kids: How the Bible’s Big Ideas Relate to You Lisa Bergren (Cook) $12.99 You will hear more, I hope, about this set of related products built around the abridged and adapted Bible called The Good Book that attempts to offer in a handful of chapters the key points of the unfolding Biblical drama. The adult version (which we also carry, of course) is hardback, has introductory comments, discussion questions, some key verses to study and more, although it’s main feature is that it really captures the key moments of the entire Bible, showing how they all build together into a coherent, easy-to-understand narrative with key, thematic, worldview-shaping, life-transforming concepts. This youth version (designed, they say, for ages 7 – 13) has five readings categorized in 8 units, so it can be used, daily, for 8 weeks, starting with Older Testament portions with units entitled “In the Beginning” and “God is Good When Life Gets Messy”, on to “God Is Big” and concluding “Tough Love, Troubled Times.” Four more weeks have daily Bible readings introducing the life of Jesus and the New Testament.
Their promo copy puts it this way, saying they present the Bible’s biggest ideas:
in kid-friendly ways–through engaging storytelling, historical insight, and an “Imagine This” section. Each chapter includes a Scripture verse and discussion starters to help kids and families apply scriptural truths to their lives. The Good Book for Kids is great for individual reading or to be used over 8 weeks as part of a church-wide program, for Sunday school classes, or for family devotions. From Genesis to Revelation, The Good Book for Kids is inspiring for any family who wants to understand the Bible better and, more importantly, grow together in faith.
The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden Kevin DeYoung, illustrated by Don Clark (Crossway) $17.99 Oh my, this is the most creatively designed children’s religious book in recent history, and I so appreciate DeYoung’s overview of the Bible with this historical-redemptive vision — that Christ’s defeat of death at Easter is the outworking of the promises of Genesis 3. What a story, what a colorful book. Here is what I said in BookNotes when I reviewed it as a Christmas gift suggestion last year:
Last but not least — so “not least”, I am sure it will be on our “Best of 2015” lists — is this spectacularly colorful and exceptionally profound children’s Bible. We announced this when it came out this fall and the response has been great among those who have seen it. The art work is hip and very modern, the flow of the story coherent and faithful to the Biblical narrative.
The allusion in the subtitle is to the promise in Genesis 3 of God’s victory over evil — the snake will be crushed by a future king from the linage of Eve.
This is the biggest story that frames our Christmas celebrations, isn’t it? The Biggest Story and DeYoung’s telling, in this sense, is similar to the Sally Lloyd-Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible that I mentioned in the last post, a storybook Bible that isn’t comprised of random, disconnect moralistic episodes, but a gritty unfolding drama of God’s faithful rescue of the cosmos. Back to the garden, and more!
Of course, as with any such Bible storybook, there will be lines you wished were written differently, or this or that small feature you may not love. But we should be glad for such a passionate, creative, visually unusual telling of the biggest, most important story of all.
Also, you should know what a great gift the DVD version of this would be. The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden — The Animated Short Film narrated by Kevin DeYoung illustrated by Don Clark (Crossway; $14.99.) What a cool project!
The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film offers in 26 beautiful minutes remarkable animations adapted from The Biggest Story book. It will, as it says in their promo, “captivate children and parents alike as they are led on an exciting journey through the Bible — connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and earth.” It is ideal for teaching children the core message of the Bible at home, so is great as a Easter gift. But you can certainly use it at church, or in any kind of a classroom. Maybe you should get it for your adult Bible study group! (I’m not kidding.)
This DVD features 10 chapters, each 2-3 minutes long, narrated by Kevin DeYoung. It has original music composed by John Poor and features the vibrant, very creative illustrations by award winning contemporary designer Don Clark.
The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross: The True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again Carl Laferton, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri (The Good Book Company) $14.99 Except maybe for the extraordinary hip art of the “snake-crusher” book by DeYoung and Don Clark, this is a fabulously cool, very colorful, very contemporary book that will delight young, hip parents as well as their design savvy kiddos. More importantly, it offers a solid, visionary, wholistic view of the unfolding drama of the Bible’s story of redemption — yep, in a few short pages it moves from the Garden of Eden to the rending of the curtain the temple on Good Friday, up to the glorious story of the resurrection. I’m struck by the gospel-centered focus of this whole series of very cool hardback children’s books from this company in the UK. Here’s a link to the whole line of “Tales That Tell the Truth” books — we stock ’em all. By the way, for some in the series you can, for a modest fee, download the images of the book; I think this is for educational purposes, to show off in presentations. You should still buy the real book from us, though. Enjoy!
The Radical Book: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Champ Thornton (New Growth Press) $24.99 We are on a roll, here, presenting non-traditional looking religious books, designed with hip, urbane parents in mind, that offer a wild visual appeal with a creative but utterly faithful approach to gospel-centered faith and whole-life discipleship for kids. This book is simply remarkable, big, heavy, glorious, very entertaining and useful.
Here is some of what I wrote about it when it first was released last year:
This is a truly extraordinary book, unlike anything we’ve seen come out this year. The hardback cloth cover has ink over it in a texture like an old-school silk screen poster, giving it a very retro/hipster feel. Edgy/cool parents will dig the graphic appeal of the cover; even the inside cover pages has artful lines giving it a very au courant design feel.
The inside itself is less edgy, but it is utterly colorful, with lots of graphics and full color pictures and drawings and fun, random fonts, presenting fun, informative stuff. It’s a visual spectacle but not so much that it becomes a distraction.
And that’s a good thing because there is more Christian — even theological — content in here then almost any kids book I know. There’s a lot of random facts and historical stuff, but the theological material is classic and solid.
Here’s what it says on the back:
The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for children 8 and up. Vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas, this engaging and interactive book communicates big truths about life while stimulating children’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure.
Blurbs on the back are from respected conservative theologians like Michael Horton, Timothy Paul Jones, and the brilliant John Frame.
For the Beauty of the Earth Folliot S. Pierpoint, illustrated by Lucy Fleming (Spark House Family) $16.99 I hope you know the hymn, written in 1864, For the Beauty of the Earth (and, while I’m out it, the top-of-the-line, best book on eco-theology, the very wonderful For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care by Steven Bouma-Prediger; Baker Academic; $26.00.) Both the brilliant creation care text and the beautiful hymn have been important to me, formative, even. It was one of my mother’s favorites, too. It makes our day to get to tell you about this new picture book.
Well this fantastic children’s book, with modernistic, vivid artwork, narrates and illustrates the evocative lines of that great song. It is said to be a “timeless celebration of creation, community, family, and faith.” The book even includes simple sheet music for singing it together.
Here is what Bible teacher and author (of one of our favorite books, Eat for Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food) Rachel Marie Stone says of it:
Inviting young children to see God’s love reflected in the Creation is one of our most joyful and solemn tasks as parents and educators. Lucy Fleming’s beautiful illumination of this classic hymn is sure to become a well-worn favorite.
I Like, I Don’t Like Anna Baccelliere, illustrated by Ale + Ale (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) $16.00 Perhaps offering this in the Easter basket isn’t quite the right time and place but perhaps for some families it would be very useful to have around during Easter celebrations. I hope I can tell you more about this book (and the series of which it is a part) another time as we want to champion it. For now, just know it is beautiful, moving, although a bit disturbing. The counter-facing pages are a study in contrast between rich and less privileged children. For instance, one spread shows a fairly normal child form the middle class or privileged West that likes “cars” (showing the child playing with toy cars) but that is contrasted with another child shown working washing car windows, saying “I don’t like cars.” One spread shows a child eating a nice bowl of rice saying “I like rice” but another child, perhaps in Viet Nam, saying “I don’t like rice” as she is working in the paddies. The one about soccer balls, which shows some kids playing happily and another child working to manufacture the ball, is stunning.
All of this contrast is heartbreaking and illuminating, a resource to help us show how many of the world’s children are in less pleasant situations. We believe that Christian families should use this kind of book and pray that, with age-appropriate conversations, it can be formative in a Godly way.
On the back cover it says:
Every child has a right to play — but in some parts of the world, children spend more time working than playing. This through provoking book captures how different the world can look from the eyes of those less privileged.
The last few pages have some great details, text that helps us process the book, some explanation of poverty and child labor, the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, and some “How Can I Help” resources, too.
Maybe this, too, has something to do with the resurrection, and Christ’s victory of the principalities and powers that so deform His world. We would appreciate any orders for this sent our way as we think this book is very important.
AND A FEW FOR ADULTS…
Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Readings from C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis (HarperOne) $17.99 We’ve blogged before about good Lent books, and this obviously, at first glance, is designed to be read during this time before Easter. However — come on, people — it’s C.S. Lewis, by jove. And he didn’t write this as a Lenten resource, but it was compiled from his various readings. I’ve looked at this carefully, and I’m more than confident to say that this totally would work any time of any season. The marketing is genius to select readings that point us to the cross and resurrection, but it is Lewisy enough to be a great Easter gift.
As they put it on the very nice dusk jacket: Preparing for Easter is a collection of beautiful gems discovered amidst Lewis’s essays, poems, letters, and other works that are not as familiar to most of his readers. But all of them serve the same purpose that pervades Lewis’s work, the goal of going “further up and further in” in our relationship with God.”
Living the Resurrection: The Risen Christ in Everyday Life Eugene Peterson (NavPress) $11.99 paperback/$14.99 hardback I recommend this book every year about this time as I so appreciate it. There are three great chapters on post-Easter appearances of Jesus described in the gospels, “Resurrection Wonder”, “Resurrection Friends”, and “Resurrection Meals.” Each is linked to Christian practices, things we should do more intentionally and attentively as we live out the power of resurrection in our ordinary lives. This is a great, great book, and would make a fabulous little gift for anyone in the next few weeks.
I really appreciate how the publisher describes the intent of this book (which I have read several times, by the way, and even used in an Adult Ed class at my church. It is eloquent and thoughtful, but not too massive, making it an ideal resource this time of year.)
They write: “Christ’s friends were utterly transformed by his resurrection. Their
friendship, their work, and even their meals together took on a new
meaning and purpose. The same can happen to us today. When the
Resurrection becomes the core reality of our spiritual formation, our
dimmed eyes and dull souls are lifted to a place of continual renewal.
Join Eugene Peterson on this pursuit of a more profound spiritual
formation, founded on the wonder of Christ’s resurrection. You’ll
discover what life is like when every day is Resurrection Day.”
The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible (Zondervan) $39.99 Okay, there are obviously more scholarly and useful study editions available, but this is might make a perfect gift for a special person, so figured we should mention it. There are hundreds of verses illustrated in detailed, ready-to-color line art and, as they say “employs the proven stress-relieving benefits of coloring to help quiet your soul so you can reflect on the precious truths of Scripture.” (The thicker white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins provides ample space for journaling or extra artistic expressions, too.) There are hundreds of verses illustrated so even in the act of coloring them you are engaging thoughtfully and intentionally with the Word. There’s a nice ribbon marker and, as with other well made Zondervan Bibles, it has a good binding that allows it to lay flat in your hand or desk. Nice.
The NIV Jesus Bible: Sixty Six Books. One Story. All About One Name (Passion Publishing /Zondervan) $44.99 in sturdy linen hardback; $69.99 in Brown Leathersoft or a Robin’s Egg pale blue Leathersoft. All have a 8.7 font size with a nice ribbon marker.
I wrote about this in our BookNotes newsletter when it first came out, noting that it includes contributions by evangelical leaders Louie Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias & Randy Alcorn.
Here’s some of what I said:
Wow. This brand new edition is profound yet accessible and has features that help us meet Jesus throughout the whole of Scripture. The now out of print Gospel Transformation Study Bible in the ESV did this well, and, now, we have a variety of big name evangelicals weighing in in similar fashion on how to see Christ’s unfolding redemptive plan in every book of the Bible. I like their slogan — “there was no B.C.”
Included in The Jesus Bible there are 7 compelling essays on the grand narrative of Scripture – introduced by Louie Giglio, founder of the extraordinarily popular Passion Conferences. (This past year, by the way, in three days of worship and music, they also raised over 1 million dollars to fight sexual trafficking. They are all about worshipping God and making much of God’s glory, but the really appreciate the need to live that out, to respond in generous acts of love for neighbor and witness before the watching world.)
I like the almost square sized shape of this hardback, made with a good linen cover (sans dust jacket.) The text is single column with room for notes and some journaling throughout. Throughout there are helps and solid commentary pointing us to Christ in all of Scripture. There are actually 700 sidebar articles and over 300 full page articles that help us “treasure Jesus” and which will “encourage you to faithfully follow him as you participate in his story.”
By the way, here is a link to my earlier BookNotes post about books about the Bible and a discussion about study Bibles, which I like best, what to look for in a good Bible, and more.
ESV Vest Pocket New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs (Crossway) $6.99 I hope carrying little pocket Testaments hasn’t fallen out of favor — I know, I know, we need the whole Bible, and certainly our understanding of the newer testament must be informed by the older. But still, this is a very nice little gift, in these very lovely, cool hardback covers, at a great price. As always, Crossway manufactures great Bible products with excellent craftsmanship; their ESV has a certain eloquence (and a lot of accuracy, they say). Here are four new covers designs — I think we only have one of each, but why not order one in time to share with somebody this weekend? Shown from left to right the designs are called Polka Dots, Natural Light, Classic Marbeled, Spring Bloom. Tiny as these are, they are Smyth sewn, use a high quality paper, and have a Moleskine-like side band. Of course, these include the complete books of Proverbs and the Psalms and are presented in a double column page design.
Capturing God: The Surprising Image That Reveals the Truth About God Rico Tice (The Good Books Company) $4.99 The premise of this short little paperback is simple: if somebody said that actually had a picture of God, wouldn’t you want to see it? Who wouldn’t? Tice goes from there suggesting that the story of Jesus on the cross reveals the best picture of God we’ve got: why he loved us so much, why he sacrificed for us, what the cross reveals about the extraordinary love of God. It simply walks readers through the passion and death and — yes — the resurrection of Jesus. It ends with Christ offering the amazing offer of grace and peace. Becky Pippert asks, “Ever read a book so gripping you can’t put it down?” Shen then insists — “This is one of them!”
WANT A FREE ONE?
Here’s what we’ll do. If you order one of this little book, Capturing God, we’ll give you the BookNotes special 10% off. But if you buy two of that one at that discounted price, we’ll throw in a third to give away. We’re excited to get this new Rico Tice book out there this week — it truly is a wonderful image that just might change you, or someone you know, forever. Fascinating! Offer for the free one is good this week only, expiring April 15th.
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