Biographies for Kids ~ A Barbour Publishing Review
While there seem to be endless resources for Bible stories and Bible studies for young children, do you ever find that it’s harder to nourish the older elementary ages? As a result, these tender ages are caught between stories that are too simple and they’ve heard quite often, to strictly reading text from the Bible. This can be somewhat hard for them to understand. Barbour Publishing has released the Kingdom Files – biographies for kids – series and you (and your child) won’t be disappointed.
But first… A little about them!
Barbour Publishing was started in 1981, and their mission has remained the same all throughout the years; “To inspire the world with the life-changing message of the Bible.” Barbour Publishing was created by Hugh Barbour.
After receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in 1999, Mr. Barbour retired and sold his successful business to then president & CEO, Tim Martins. The current 100% employee-owned company releases roughly 120 titles per year. Their current 70,000-square foot facility is based out of Ohio.
Even more, the company’s unit sales reached fourteen million in a fiscal year. Here’s a beautiful and inspiring quote from the company “I’m really excited about that figure. That’s fourteen million Christian books – not fourteen million hamburgers, or fourteen million cars, or fourteen million computers. It’s fourteen million books sharing the message of Christ!“
You can read more about their amazing History and Mission here.
What we received.
This particular series of books by Barbour Publishing is called the ‘Kingdom Files’. These short biographies for kids teach about specific people in the Bible. The story is presented as if your child is *investigating* the person of interest from the Bible, such as Jonah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Jesus, Daniel, David, and Esther.
Each biography has between 80-100 pages and is suggested for readers ages 8-12. Certainly, these books can be read to younger children.
At the beginning of the book, there is a ‘Fact File’ which tells you the name, occupation, where the character is from, years active, Kingdom work, a mini timeline, and key stats. Next comes the ‘Action Files’. ‘Action Files’ tell the story from the Bible about the character. Sprinkled into the ‘Action Files’ are ‘Clues’ which are short applications about how God works in some of the same ways in your life, as He did in the character’s life. At the end are ‘Power Up’ pages. They tell us how God has remained faithful and loving and how He has stayed that way throughout the ages. The ‘Power Up’ pages provide memory verses to learn if your child chooses.
The Who Was Jonah? book was, of course, all about Jonah the prophet. Many know the story by heart, still, this book opens up a new way to look at the story of Jonah. The book itself is 87 pages long, with a notes section in the back. The mini-map on the first page provides the location where Jonah was from.
The Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? book dives deep into Mary’s life. From the time she was just a 14 or 15-year-old girl giving birth to God’s only Son, to the celebratory resurrection of Jesus. This wonderful biography for kids is about Mary’s life and her journey of raising the Son of God.
How to used them.
These biographies for kids are fantastic for individual reading or a family read-aloud. Most noteworthy, they are presented in a manner that is sure to be wonderful conversation starters. The author makes the stories easy to read and easy to comprehend.
Above all, this series nourishes your child’s higher thinking skills by asking them leading questions based on the situation the person in the story is facing. Also, it helps your child imagine what they would do and how they would react to God’s teachings and message. As you are reading, the reference verse is listed in parentheses so you or your child can cross reference the message in the Bible.
Our Final Thoughts.
My personal thought:
The original intent was for each of our children to read these books individually, but upon glancing through the pages when they arrived, I was intrigued by what I was seeing. As a result, I decided that we would read these as a family read-aloud. I have to say, I am so glad we did. The message was very clear and it led us to have conversations that lasted far longer than it took us to read the short chapters. Anytime we can just sit, talk, and have some revelational moments is a total win in this mom’s book! There are all sorts of biographies for kids, but I am quite impressed that Barbour Publishing created Biblical biographies for kids!
My daughter’s thoughts:
“I really appreciated the fact that these books let you ‘dive deeper’ into the stories we are all so familiar with. You know, it really opened my eyes to a lot of things. The author broke it down and made each story somewhat relatable. I love how he speaks of all the emotions they must’ve felt, while Jonah was in the fish, or when an angel appeared to Mary and told her she was pregnant with the Son of God.”
My middle son’s thoughts:
“They were cool. I liked how they put Bible stories into a book and made it to where kids could understand.”
My youngest son’s thoughts:
“I think the books are amazing and are a fun way to learn the Bible. My favorite was Jonah.”
What makes these books a thrifty fit for your homeschool?
Above all, each book in the Kingdom Files series is less than $5. As a result, a total wise use of your homeschool budget, right? These books can be read over and over again, by the individual child, or even as a family read-aloud. Certainly, a great way to add in some deep Bible enrichment.
What are your thoughts? Will you give them a try?
Another frugal thought…. during the time of this review, each Kingdom Files book is currently on sale!