I’ve had the opportunity to read and review the new Kid’s Visual Study Bible by Zondervan Kidz. This is a typical NIV Bible, but has tons of photo’s, maps, and notes added to the margins throughout the Bible.
Overall, I liked it. Study Bibles are a huge help for so many people in our church, and I loan / give them to people often. To have a kids version is pretty cool, and offers inquisitive kids a chance to learn how to study the Bible early. I appreciate the thought that editor’s are trying to open the Bible, history, and context to students at an earlier age. Every page has something added to it, whether it’s simply a note about a verse, a chart collecting information, or a graphic. They are well done, and it looks sharp.
The intended audience is the challenge. I feel like the notes are too much for anyone below a smart fourth grade level to understand on their own. If you have a sharp fourth or fifth grader, they would find it interesting, in a way they find the Guiness Book of World Records interesting. That’s not a bad thing. But this isn’t a Bible that is going to grab a kid’s attention over the long haul, without some adult intervention. Where this books seems like it would shine is for a parent/grandparent/guardian who want to sit down and read the Bible with their elementary school kid. Using this together with your child, you can help them navigate it and make sense of it. Since it’s not laid out like a textbook from school, they won’t necessarily understand how to leverage all the information in it, without your guidance. Parents can do this with their own study Bible just as easily. The only real advantage I see is that this is “their” Bible, and that increase in felt ownership might prove to be worth it.
I gave it to our Children’s Pastor to look at as well. She felt the same I did about it, and noted that the pages are very thin, which translated to less kid friendly.
Overall, it’s a solid study Bible. You’ll just have to decide if it’s something your child / grandchild actually wants, and has someone to help them learn how to use it.