Bible Evaluate: NIrV Illustrated Holy Bible for Children

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NIrV Illustrated Holy Bible for Children. Zondervan, 2019, 1632 pages (8-point font)

Reading level: 3rd grade

Recommended for: Ages 4-8

This new edition of the NIrV is being marketed as a transition bible from picture books to the actual text, and that seems about right. Almost 750 colored illustrations of different sizes draw attention to familiar stories and basic biblical concepts (e.g. an illustrated page "10 Commandments"). The illustrations are simple and appealing for small children and not too colorful. A special feature that I particularly like are the illustrated maps, such as the “Easter Story Map”, which shows a layout of Jerusalem in which the most important events of the Passion Week took place. Another nice feature is the pull-out Bible Family Tree, which shows the main characters in chronological order with their relationships to each other.

In-text functions only exist if we count the colored diagrams and maps. You will also find that there are no chapter or verse numbers. Sections of the scripture are identified by a heading, such as “Abram and Lot separated, Genesis 13: 1-18” or “Jesus calms the storm, Mark 4: 35-41”. The reason given is that chapter and verse numbers can "distract" small children. Parents can see for themselves, but it makes NIrV Illustrated more of a biblical storybook and can be really temporary if the child learns to read and understand the scripture itself. The font size seems a bit small, but since the entire package weighs almost 2½ pounds, this is probably a compromise between more images and larger text.

Appreciation:: 4th (of 5)

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