Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hide and Seek Devotional

Hide (the Word) and Seek (the Lord) Devotional
Stephen Elkins, "creator"
Amanda Gulliver, illustrator
Thomas Nelson

Can you have too many kids' devotional guides? While I certainly like some story Bibles and devotionals better than others, I'm also inclined to think that just about anything that gets kids reading their Bibles and hiding God's Word in their hearts is on the right track. Enter: The Hide (the Word) and Seek (the Lord) Devotional!

What I like: This devotional gives a (very) short summary of a Bible story but suggests kids read it for themselves and gives the Scripture references. Each "chapter" is centered on a Bible verse that works thematically with the Bible story presented. Verses are organized in ABC format AND include full A-Z lists for BOTH Old and New Testaments!! The verses are not the "usual" contenders for their given letters, either. Rather, a key word that starts with that letter is used instead of merely the first letter of each verse. (The "Old Testament" and "New Testament" categories refer to the memory verse location, not necessarily that the coordinating story is from the same testament.) This means that some of my all-time favorite verses make an appearance (such as Zephaniah 3:17). Another bonus: there is a Scripture memory song for each verse. Lyrics are given at the bottom of the page. AND there are free downloads on Thomas Nelson for the songs as well as an audio version of the short story given on the page (narrator? Kirk Cameron). In my experience, nothing helps cement something in your memory like music. I also like the layout of each page. At least in my digital review copy, there aren't many illustrations to distract the reader/listener.

What I don't like: the short paragraph versions of the Bible stories are a little "chatty" and "cute" but I think kids will like them. I'm willing to overlook some of that in favor of the encouragement to the kid readers to get in the Word! The Scripture translation used is NIV; we tend to use ESV in our house, but again, I'd be willing to "give" on this one in favor of kids actually learning the Scripture. In addition, the entire verse isn't given (i.e. "A gentle answer turns away wrath" without also including "but a harsh word stirs up anger.") You can still encourage your children to memorize the entire verse and in whatever version you choose; the songs, however, will not correspond.

I should point out that I haven't read every page yet. I won't answer to the theological accuracy of each verse/story. What I have seen, though, makes me tempted to look into this for a gift for one of my kids.

Recommended age group: older preschool-mid elementary

Even in the advance review copy I have, the website given is up and running. So, check out the Hide and Seek Bible site to listen to the songs for yourself (you'll also get to hear the devotional parts, too). Cover image above from same website. ARC from .

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