I was excited when Crossway books sent me The Church History ABC's to review. Having 5 children, I've read my share of children's books. I don't consider myself an expert, but I've had plenty of experience ;)
From Augustine to Zwingli (do you know who Zwingli is?) Stephen J. Nichols tells of 26 men and women from Church History. He uses teaching tools to aid in remembering each one. For instance: L is for lollipop, lute, and Martin Luther, larger-than-life Reformer. Or this one: C is for catfish, castle, and John Calvin, champion Reformer. Notice all the letters that go together? The person's description also begins with the same letter. Brilliant memory tool!
There were 12 people I had never heard of! (shameful, I know) That just shows the lack of instruction in the history of the church. Or maybe it just shows my own ignorance. :) The history of the Church is loaded with lessons to learn. People who made a difference for God. These are better heroes for our children than the Saturday morning cartoons characters or movie stars!
There's plenty in here for adults too! Little tidbits throughout to give you a chuckle. Like, Charles Spurgeon standing on a cigar box. Or Patrick's page is green and has a leprechaun sitting on a pot of gold. Do you want to learn more about one of the people? Just flip to the back few pages for more info on each person.
Ned Bustard's illustrations are a collage of cartoon drawings and photos which can lead to questions and more discussion.
I tend to disagree with the age recommendations of ages 3 - 6. The average 3 year old would get bored, in my opinion. I would say this book is better suited to 6 - 10 year olds. Very easy reading for a 10 year old, but full of wonderful information they could easily understand on their own.
I highly recommend this book for your library. Or you could buy one for your church library! That is where this copy is going. I plan on having this be required reading this year in our church's Kid's club....yes, it's that good!
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