The ICB version has fascinated me since I used the ICB Devotional Bible with my oldest son.   At that time he was only two and I needed something with pictures and on his level.  His understanding (like most 2 year olds, I would guess)was far beyond “This is Adam and Eve.  This is the garden.  Uh oh!  Oh no!” that is usually geared to that age level.  That Devotional Bible gave excerpts of the majority of the Bible stories, not just the well-known ones, but stories about King Hezekiah and others that just don’t seem to make it into toddler picture books.  The pictures in their devotional Bible were superb and there was just enough text for me to read through quickly to review the facts and then retell it to my young son.  So it was with that well-loved book in mind that I excitedly agreed to review the 3D International Children’s Bible.

First, I like the fact that it will be readable for my son shortly, as the cover states it is written on a 3rd grade level.  I have not yet taken issue with any of the verbiage used or with any of the slight discrepancies between this ICB and previous ICB texts that have bothered others.  Mainly because children are more interested in the big ideas and stories and grab hold of those larger meanings before it matters to them which word was used to express that idea and how that might affect the nuances of meaning.  So for my children, from age 6-8… before they get into serious Bible Study and while they are reading it to gain basic Biblical knowledge/background?  It’s just fine.

But the pictures!! OOOOOOOHHHHH the pictures!!! Now, this is my review and not my son’s, so I am allowed to say that I HATE the pictures.  They remind me of computer graphics or video game screen prints!!! Oh how I miss the beautiful illustrations in our devotional Bible!  And since they have several versions of this text out, this review, sadly, must be mostly about the pictures.

However, with that lament aside, I should add that my would-be video-game addict six year old thinks that the pictures are cool.  Whether that is from his experience with video games… his ‘masculine’ appreciation of all things 3D or what, I cannot tell.  Interestingly, I do NOT find that my daughter has as much appreciation for them, so my guess is that this particular Big Red Bible is geared more to the younger male crowd.  Which may be why I hate the pictures so, not being that young or at all male.

A few other misgivings:
Yes, it’s an easier read, but if they can sound out these words then they are probably only 6 months or so away from being able to read a more common translation even if the sentence structure or wording is more complex (if they can understand YOU when YOU read it, and can sound out the words then don’t let the suggested grade level stop you), and wouldn’t it be more practical for my child to read from the text that he’s memorized verses from or have the same version that we read from on Sunday morning?

So, even while I am glad my son is happy to carry this Bible with him as his very own, the bottom line is: it isn’t MY first choice for him.

I’m trying very hard to give this a fair rating, because it definitely meets its target audience in my son, but in my heart of hearts, I’m only giving it 2 stars.  {sniffle… ‘the pictures’… sniffle… sigh}

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”