Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Review: Seasons of Faith by Children's Bible Hour

Many may be familiar with CBH Ministries, the producer of Our Daily Bread and Keys for Kids devotionals. With its beginnings in 1942, under the name of Children's Bible Hour, CBH Ministries is an international Christian ministry that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ through radio programs, print materials, and online media. See CBH's Statement of Faith here.

CBH provided me with their new book series, Seasons of Faith, designed to encourage children to grow in their faith. Each title addresses a different "season" of faith development and teaches core truths of the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven," is the inspiration for the title of this series.

There are four books in the series:

Race with Midnight (spring) -Will Becky share her faith with her cousin Sarah when she visits? Will Sarah listen?

You Can't Come In (summer) - While building a fort, Adam shares his faith with his new friend Zack and invites him to church. Zack begins to understand why we need the gift of Jesus to cleanse us of our sins.

Seventy Time Seven (fall) - After breaking the local ice cream shop's sign, Brad learns a hard lesson about forgiveness. Find out how Brad learns to extend forgiveness to his friends.

Braving the Storm (winter) - Thomas doesn't understand why bad things are happening to him and his family. Follow along with Thomas as he learns that growing your faith deep in Jesus will help you weather the storms of life.

All of these stories are adaptations of radio scripts from the classic Children's Bible Hour program. Included with each paperback is a read-along CD narrated by Uncle Charlie. Keeping with the focus of the ministry, every book has the ABCs of salvation (Admit, Believe, Choose) on the last page. There are also discussion questions available for each title. While CBH Ministries targets ages 6-12, these titles are picture books with full-page watercolor pictures on every other page. My guess is that the appeal will be for a more narrow age range, perhaps ages 6-8 or 9.

I don't have any little ones to test drive these stories; my kids are long past the picture book stage. Instead, I read them myself with the target age group in mind. These are wholesome stories and remind me of something that would be in a Sunday school classroom environment. There is a very strong gospel message in each title, which is indeed the purpose of the story. However, the story lines are a bit unrealistic, which I struggled with some. The plot takes second to the message and overall is quite old-fashioned. Of course, these are adapted from dated scripts and the tone of the books very much reminds me of an old radio show. If you enjoy the Children's Bible Hour programs, this print version will likely appeal to you. My favorite title was Braving the Storm, simply because it deals with topics relevant to families today, e.g. financial issues and forced moves from homes. I also love that each title comes with a read-along CD, making it a perfect item to pull out for little ones when you need a bit of free time.

Each title retails $10 each. Considering that these picture books also come with a CD, I found this a very reasonable price. Four more titles adapted from scripts are expected out by the end of the year. Visit CBH Ministries to learn more about the Seasons of Faith series as well as other products offered for sale and by donation.

Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew's blog to read more reviews on this product and others.

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. I was provided the product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.

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