Kaleidoscope is on a mission to get kids excited about reading the Bible through their engaging, elementary-age chapter books! Check out our book review of their latest title: “Far From Home: The Story of Daniel” which retells the story of Daniel for kids. It will be sure to capture your child’s attention—and their heart!
Stories have a shaping effect, especially on little minds. Often passed down through the generations, they are an integral part of every culture and people group, helping us to better connect, grow in empathy, and understand the world we live in and our unique place within it.
Perhaps you have shared a favorite childhood fairytale or fable with your children to teach them some valuable life lessons? There’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to encourage truth telling or the “Three Little Pigs” as a reminder to work hard and not take shortcuts. And don’t forget about “The Tortoise and the Hare” which stresses the importance of hard work, the danger of pride, and how “slow and steady wins the race.”
These stories are most parents’ go-tos for teaching their kids good morals. And often they work well to incentivise good behavior, at least for a little while. But as Christian parents, we have a greater goal in mind than teaching our children to simply behave well; we want to ”train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6)—to point them in the direction of Jesus as the Source of their salvation, and help them understand their uniquely created role in the world He created.
So then, if the stories we tell our kids are so important and memorable, and are truly shaping their world view; let’s make sure they’re reading, hearing, and really understanding The Greatest Story Ever Told—the infallible, life-changing, Spirit-breathed Word of God.
Kaleidoscope: Reaching Elementary Age Readers
If you’re a parent to an elementary-age reader, you may have experienced this tension when it comes to encouraging them to read the Bible: They have outgrown their well-loved Children’s Storybook Bibles but are not yet quite ready for an adult translation. While the next-level Children’s Bibles have bright and colorful illustrations to capture their interest, they are often written at a reading level that is still too complex for them to understand and stay engaged with the Word.
The danger—which you can likely guess, or may even be familiar with—is that this disconnect leads them to lose interest in picking up their Bible, or causes them to reject it completely. This is where Kaleidoscope Kids Bibles comes in to fill a much-needed gap!
Kaleidoscope is on a mission to get kids excited about reading the Bible. Founded by youth pastor and father of four, Chris Ammen—who had a front-row seat to the deteriorating interest and engagement his early elementary students were experiencing in response to God’s Word—they aim to rewrite every book of the Bible at an elementary age reading level in the form of a chapter book. With engaging storytelling and colorful illustrations throughout, these books will hold the attention of your young reader as they experience rich Scriptural truths in a new way.
We know that kids at this age are so impressionable. They’re beginning to ask questions about the Bible stories they’ve grown up with and want to understand the deeper meaning these stories point to. Kaleidoscope makes the most of a child’s curiosity, capturing the attention and imagination of elementary age kids while reinforcing the truths of the Bible stories they’ve grown up hearing. They creatively point every book and story of the Bible (both Old and New Testament) to Jesus’ coming redemption. Their retellings maintain theological accuracy and each volume maintains a gospel-centered narrative thrust.
The Importance of Good Bible Stories
You might remember from your own Sunday School days the felt board stories about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego or Daniel in the lion’s den. Or maybe you watched the Veggie tales classic about the three stubborn vegetables who wouldn’t bow down in allegiance to the chocolate bunny.
These Old Testament stories from Daniel are memorable, they pack a punch, and they have great endings. As a kid I loved thinking about tiny Daniel being brave and defeating the giant Goliath. And at 30 years old, I can still remember the catchy Veggie Tales song about that chocolate bunny. But at the end of the day, it’s essential that these stories are pointing our kids to the right thing, right?
Because the truth is, if the Bible stories we tell our kids are simply fun anecdotes meant to entertain our kids—or worse, to prompt them toward good behavior—then we are desperately missing the mark.
As Kaleidoscope points out in their newest volume, “Far From Home: The Story of Daniel,” the book Daniel is more than just a bunch of cool stories; each one is a vital thread in the gospel tapestry of Christ’s redemptive work.
Kaleidoscope’s “Far From Home: The Story of Daniel”
One of the most exciting parts for me—even as an adult!—reading through this book was seeing how these gospel threads connected throughout Daniel. “Far From Home: The Story of Daniel,” was written by Kaleidoscope founder Chris Ammen, and he is careful throughout to remind readers just how clearly each of these Old Testament stories points to Jesus.
In retelling the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, for example, Chris points out how the three men were accompanied in the fiery furnace by one who appeared like a “son of the gods.” (I wonder who that could be!) He reminds readers too that these men were saved from a torturous death by the One who promised to never leave them alone. The descriptions of Daniel’s visions toward the end of the book also clearly highlight the glory of God and invite the reader to see Christ’s nearness at all times. And in the retelling of Daniel in the Lion’s den, readers are prompted to see how Daniel’s miraculous rescue from the tomb-like lion’s den provides us with a foreshadow of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Your young readers will love learning about Jesus’ faithfulness through these exciting, engaging Old Testament stories, and you too might find yourself coming away with a deeper knowledge of God as you read this book aloud to them.
Kaleidoscope: The New Kid in Kids Bibles
Our team is so excited about the work Kaleidoscope is doing to fill a much needed gap in order to serve young elementary readers and faithfully point them to Jesus in Scripture. We’d encourage you to take a look at their latest volume, “Far From Home: The Story of Daniel,” and their other twelve (and counting!) volumes at readkaleidoscope.com!
Chris Ammen is the founder of Kaleidoscope, www.readkaleidoscope.com, and a Children’s Pastor in Chattanooga. He has a BA and M.Ed. in Elementary Education as well as an M.Div. from Covenant Seminary. When not writing, Chris loves spending time with his wife, Sarah, and their four awesome kiddos!
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