Tiny Bear’s Bible (Furry Bible Stories) was written by Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Igor Oleynikov and published by Zonderkidz (2007).

Jones begins her book with: “Before time began God had a great plan … He painted the sky. He lit up the sun … Yes, Tiny Bear, God made us too.” What a great way to introduce a toddler to the Bible! Jones’ rhyme flows with God’s love as she retells eleven stories from the Bible. Some of her story titles from the Old Testament are: “God Keeps Moses Safe,” ” David Fights a Horrible Giant” and “God Protects Daniel in the Lion’s Den.” From the New Testament she has: “Jesus Is Born,” “The Lord’s Prayer” and “God Makes Jesus Alive Again.”

I give Tiny Bear’s Bible (Furry Bible Stories) high marks for its freshness and family friendliness. It’s unique how Jones is able to capture many difficult bible truths with her poetry and economy of words. Throughout she emphasizes how God keeps His promises and is always with us.

The illustrations by Oleynikov are colorful and child-friendly with a touch of whimsy. Each story includes some actions of Tiny Bear, yet still holds true to the basic Bible story. Including illustrations of Tiny Bear allows the toddler to feel apart of the story and to better understand the focus of the lesson. The adult reader will feel like a child again, gaining new insight into the fact that Bible is God’s love letter to us.

This book could be read at any season but what a perfect way to start out the new year.

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.” She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.