UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: In The Beginning and Baby Moses
In The Beginning

In the Beginning
Claire Henley (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781844222520 (1844222527)

Ladybird, 2004

Category: Books for Children and Parents

In The Beginning

Baby Moses
Melanie Joyce and Gabriella Buckingham (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781844222513 (1844222519)

Ladybird, 2004

Category: Books for Children and Parents

These are two bright and beautiful board books for the under fours, very attractively presented, with helpful picture tabs and made of resilient board. I enlisted the help of Mums, toddlers and babies to read them, and they all enjoyed both books.

In the Beginning tells the story of creation of the world, and has inviting illustrations of a friendly earth, using warm, bold colours. There are lots of animals, birds and flowers to point to and talk about. The story is told with good use of lipsmacking language and rhyme, which gives it pace and allows the children to fill in the last word of a phrase. Our favourite was

Then God made the blue, blue, seas,
with waves that splashed, and lashed and crashed.

This allows for great fun and a very interactive telling of the story with young children.

Baby Moses was also much enjoyed, but the requirements of the narrative meant that it was a simpler book all around and there was less going on, especially in the illustrations. Having said that, the pictures were again bold and beautiful and the emphasis was strongly on Baby Moses being safe and cared for, which is an important assurance for young children. The parents commented that the narrative seemed to end a bit abruptly, but they and the children still enjoyed the book.

The children who read them (a boy and a girl aged 3 and 3 1/2) kept going back to them both, but to 'In the Beginning' most of all. Their baby sister and brother respectively enjoyed picking the books up, holding on to them and looking at them, turning the pages, and having a good chew. The books stood up very well to the treatment, and this shows how attractive they are to very little ones.

I'd thoroughly recommend both of them to parents, godparents, relatives or friends looking for good books to introduce little children to bible stories.

Ruth Lampard, June 2004

The Revd Ruth Lampard is Bishop's Chaplain for the Kensington Episcopal Area. She has a particular interest in exploring the way that stories help children, young people and adults to grow in the Christian faith.


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