Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: The Church History ABCs


About The Church History ABCs

Dramatically converted on the stormy seas, a slave-trader-turned-abolitionist penned the best-loved hymn of the Christian faith. A church father was arrested and martyred for teaching the truth about Christ’s incarnation. Captured by pirates and shipped off to Ireland, a priest baptized thousands of pagans, from paupers to princes. Now who ever said church history was boring?

The Church History ABCs is a fun way for kids to learn about great figures in Christian history. Twenty-six heroes of the faith march through the alphabet, boldly telling their stories in language children can understand. This wide range of characters—men and women from across the centuries, from all over the globe—reflects the breadth of church history and reminds children that these great figures of the past were living, breathing people who lived and died for the glory of God.

About the Author and the Illustrator
Stephen J. Nichols is a professor at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School. He earned a Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has written several books, including Pages from Church History. He lives with his wife and two sons in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Ned Bustard, a graphic artist, has written and illustrated many children’s books, including Ella Sings Jazz, The Story of Sir Galahad, and The Sailing Saint.

MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:
This colorful, delightful book introduces 26 heroes of the faith from the Church history to children in alphabetical order, starting from Saint Augustine, Anne Bradstreet, John Calvin....to Francis Xavier, Florence Young, and Ulrich Zwingli. Each hero gets one page filled with his/her interesting facts along with his/her caricature plus pictures that are relevant to his/her life. It's written in first person. I really enjoyed reading the book to my boys (12 and 9). They recognized some of the names such as Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, John Newton, St. Patrick, Vivaldi, and The Wesleys (John and Charles Wesley) while they had no clue about the others. This picture book is not just for little kids (ages 3-6 as indicated on the back cover). Older kids and even adults will learn something. I had never heard of Hippolytus or Zacharias Ursinus. Do you know who the mother of Augustine was? She even got her own page in this book :). This book is not only informative but also funny; it made my boys and me laugh quite a bit. "My last name means 'bear,' but I don't growl." Who am I? Read this cool book to find out. I was so pleased to find the added information about each hero of the faith in the back of the book. It also shows a list of these people in chronological order from Ignatius (d. 110s) to Florence Young (1856-1940). Readers will learn that these Christ's followers lived their lives radically and fearlessly for God in spite of persecution. I highly recommend it.

- To download activities inspired by The Church History ABCs, visit here.

~ I received this book free from Crossway in an exchange of my honest review.

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