Here’s 1 Tip for Choosing a Children’s Bible – Jeremiah 15:16

Every child I have cared for loves a good story, but when considering a Bible for my grandson I didn’t search for a collection of Bible stories. This time I wanted an actual Bible. The New International Reader’s Version Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids meets my criteria.

I have to admit I have it easy when it comes to finding gifts for this particular kid. He lugs his favorite books everywhere, often finding them more desirable than eating (a trait he did not get from me).

Cover image of The New International Reader's Version of The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids with a link to its website

Who ordered this book?

His Grandma Kathy likes books, too. In fact, when one arrives in my mailbox I usually scratch my head wondering what in the world I ordered now. This happened again last week as I carried a brown package as heavy as a college textbook into the house, scrutinizing the label to be sure it was for me.

Tearing the package open brought a splash of color to my delighted eyes, but I still thought there might be some mistake.

Oh yes, now I remember

Since I’m a member of the Bible Gateway blogger grid, and a #BibleGatewayPartner , they offered to send a free copy of The New International Reader’s Version Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids in exchange for a review. I jumped at the chance to see what Zondervan had come up with for our youngest readers.

Though my first impression was that the book was too beefy for children, my opinion changed when I remembered lifting my grandson’s backpack. And when thumbing through the pages I found nothing that should be cut. All its components would contribute to a great reading experience.

I was happy to see that difficult subjects lined up with truth and were handled beautifully for a child’s sensibilities. I checked the account about Adam and Eve’s sin, because really, that subject has to be clear for the whole thing to make sense. I wasn’t disappointed.

Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart . . .

Jeremiah 15:16a ESV

The font, maps, pictures–everything is geared to please my favorite 8-year-old. I’ve even used it myself for night time reading.

For kids who to read on their own or with an adult nearby, this is a wonderful resource. I received my first Bible at the age of nine, and I cherished it early on. This illustrated Bible is also one a kid couldn’t help but love.

Sample pages of the Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids depicting passages from 2 Samuel 9-10 and an image titled "David is Kind to Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth" and another titled "David Sees Bathsheba Bathing."

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

From the publisher’s back copy:

The NIrV, The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids is a brand-new kind of Bible. It allows kids ages 4-8 to read the full Bible without chapter and verse numbers or footnotes that are helpful for adults but can be very distracting for kids.

This Bible presents the story of God’s people in a single column format with an extremely legible font. With nearly every turn of the page, children encounter full-color illustrations and kid-friendly maps that illuminate the Bible stories within.

Features of the NIrV, The Illustrated Holy Bible for Kids include

  • Bonus full-color double-sided poster
  • Over 750 full-color illustrations
  • Full-color, child-friendly maps
  • Single-column text
  • Easy-to-read exclusive Zondervan NIrV Comfort Print(c) typeface
  • The complete text of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible, created at a third-grade reading level just for developing readers

Night of the Living Dead Christian – a Book Review

I don’t like vampires and werewolves, and I usually have no interest in such stories, but author Matt Mikalatos tells a remarkable outside-the-box monster tale that was well worth my time in “Night of the Living Dead Christian.”

Are you in for a challenge?


I appreciated Mikalatos’ previous book, “Imaginary Jesus,” and still refer to it in day to day discussions. The story invites me to examine my understanding of who Jesus is and consider how I may have re-made him into something entirely different. The author’s creativity runs amok in his story telling, but he keeps delivering truth. Amazing.

A Relevant Magazine review of “Imaginary Jesus” states, “Think Monty Python meets C. S. Lewis. . . . Rarely does a book slide so easily from the laugh-out-loud moments to the tender-yet-challenging moments.”

Uncomfortable is OK, for now

Maybe one reason I don’t like monster stories mixed with faith, like “Night of the Living Dead Christian,” is because I don’t want there to be dark things lurking about. I’m forgiven and cleansed, yes. But it’s still a struggle every day to keep my thoughts focused on what’s good and my tongue from misbehaving.

This book confronts the things that “go bump in the night,” the very things we’d like to keep hidden but had better not.

That’s so good for me.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

What a Pre-Published Author Does

In a few months I will be a published author, a goal I’ve been working on more than four years. I want to share the steps I took to publishing, but first I’ll tell you about the book.

My story, “Jesus in My Pocket?,” is included in the anthology, Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children’s Encounters with Angels, Miracles, and God. It’s due for release by Bethany House Publishers in July.


“Jesus in My Pocket?” tells about when I tricked my little sister into trading her new doll for one of my old ones. I hid Dolly in my school desk so I could play with her when no one was watching, delighted I had found a friend who would always be with me. When a classmate spotted Dolly one day, I knew there’d be trouble. I feared Jesus saw my deception as well, so I slid her into my coat pocket one last time and took her home.

Find out how a child’s world became right again, and true stories of other children’s encounters with the supernatural. Jesus Talked to Me Today is available for preorder at

Here are the steps I took to becoming a published author

Writing. This can be the hardest part to pull off consistently, so first thing in the morning, I get my heart and mind ready by turning my focus to God, declaring my love for him, thanking him for life, and giving him my concerns. Then I get something to drink and a little breakfast, kiss my husband good-bye, and write.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:2 ESV
  1. Free-write time: Once a week I set aside a couple hours to write without an agenda. Usually, I come up with a page full of thoughts and ideas. Letting my mind wander, I take notes like crazy. The value to me is that it helps me process what otherwise flits and floats around like butterflies in my brain.
  2. Heavy-duty write time: This is when I’m serious about working toward a goal or deadline. Sometimes I use a timer to make sure I take breaks now and again.
  3. My blog. Oh my, this may be the most important point! I’ve been blogging since 2007, but I’ve only been committed to posting every week for the last last three years or so. This has been a tremendous boost to my writing as I’ve practiced creating new content every week and meeting a deadline. Now anyone interested in me can see samples of what I do and learn about who I am.

Serving. Being mindful of other people helps me fulfill God’s command to love my neighbor, and brings a lot of joy with it. It also helps me improve my communication skills, making me a better writer.

  1. Watching people at writers conferences, looking for opportunities to be helpful, is a favorite activity of mine. Sometimes I move chairs, pass out pens, fetch a drink, introduce a newcomer, or assist staff. And most everyone appreciates a kind word.
  2. Serving can lead to surprise encounters with amazing people, like at the conference where I’d waited till everyone was seated for lunch before I chose an empty table in the back. Most the other tables were staffed by at least one author, agent, or editor in order to promote conversation and potential business relationships, but I’d had a turn at previous meals and wanted others to have a chance. Moments later I was joined by a best-selling author, the keynote speaker, and a couple workshop leaders. The last seat to be taken, right next to me, was filled by one of the most successful Christian fiction authors of all time, Frank Peretti. I’d never taken part in such a lively and entertaining conversation.

Talking. I haven’t liked speaking up, but I’m growing fonder of it with practice. In public places I try to reach outside my comfort zone and start conversations with people who are not like me and may not easily understand me. I’ve never regretted trying, and I’ve made some wonderful friends in the process of learning to be a better communicator. One of my contacts kindly introduced me to my current publisher.

For the past two years I’ve been privileged to serve as Media Assistant for Oregon Christian Writers, and whenever I’m at a conference I connect with industry professionals who might become interested in working with me in the future. This can be scary, but important nonetheless.

Reading. Having a small group of writer friends to critique my writing has been invaluable. They are the other half of the conversation, letting me know how my words hit a reader’s ears. Their help increases my confidence and prepares me for talking with potentially more intimidating people.

Searching. I keep a copy of a current Christian Writers Market Guide, by Jerry B. Jenkins, on my desk so I can find more opportunities for publication. It’s better to meet representatives face-to-face, but when that’s not possible, this guide is a great resource.

With the market guide’s help and the contacts I’ve made, I have become acquainted with publishers of devotional books. Two devotionals I wrote will be in print next winter. Another editor is working with me on a writing contest entry I submitted last year.

This was a terribly long blog post, so instead of the usual writers mantra, #keepwriting, I’m going to close with #timeforabreak !

by Kathy Sheldon Davis