HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Wondrous Works of God: A Family Bible Story Book
Author: Starr Meade
Illustrator: Tim O’Connor
Publisher: Crossway, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3158-3 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3159-0 (PDF)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3160-6 (Mobipocket)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3161-3 (ePub)
Related website: www.crossway.org (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-10
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Meade, Starr. Wondrous Works of God: A Family Bible Story Book (published in 2012 by Crossway, 1300 Crescent St., Wheaton, IL 60187, a ministry of Good News Publishers). What can a parent who wants to bring his children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord do to help impress Biblical principles on their minds? One way is to read Bible stories to them. When our boys were little, we made it a practice every day after lunch to read a Bible story, using several different resources such as Aunt Charlotte’s Child’s Bible Reader, Hurlbut’s Bedtime Bible Story Book, The Golden Children’s Bible, The Illustrated Children’s Bible, and my favorite Mrs. Lee’s Stories, among others. Of course, as they grew older, we progressed from reading Bible story books to reading from the Bible itself, and then from dad’s reading aloud to everyone’s reading around, which we still do. Even though we no longer use Bible story books, I’m always on the lookout for such products that I can recommend to young parents.
Author Starr Meade’s first Bible story book, Mighty Acts of God (2010) consisted of ninety stories to help children see what God reveals about Himself in the stories of the Bible, but there are so many more Bible stories to tell. Hence, this second volume is presented to retell a different ninety stories from the beginning of the Bible, through redemptive history, to its consummation, including some about Abram, Moses, Ruth, David, Naboth, Hosea, Josiah, Jesus (of course), Peter, and John’s vision in Revelation. As I like to point out in my preaching, the historical information in the Bible has at least a two-fold purpose. First, it’s given as a true record of events that took place in the carrying out of God’s scheme of redemption. But, second, the stories are told in such a way as to be didactic in nature–that is, they reveal lessons regarding important principles that God wants us to learn.
In her “Note for Parents” the author says, “The Bible is, first of all, a story. That’s a wonderful thing for two reasons.” The first reason is that while other religions are based on myths or legends that supposedly happened in a time and place that were hidden away from ordinary view, the Bible records events that occurred at specific moments in history and in real places. The second reason is that it makes it easy to communicate it to children because they think concretely. Meade’s goal is to look for what God is revealing about Himself through what He was doing in these events. Each chapter includes an “As for Me and My House…” application section with ideas to start additional conversation or provide activities to reinforce the story’s truth. Also, summary statements of important truths regarding the Christian faith appear in the text as colored type. Some people may want to know that the Library of Congress data categorizes the book as “Reformed Church—Doctrines.” Those who come from a different theological background may find some things in the application sections and summary statements with which they would disagree. However, perusing through the book, it appears that these would be few and minor. I believe that any godly family can profitably use the stories in Wondrous Works of God to see God in Scripture through the accounts of what He has done for His people.