Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The lure of a glittery Bible...

Sometimes, I look up books with Juli on Amazon.  We find some that catch her eye, and talk about ordering them for a special treat sometimes.  The other day, she came in while I was looking for the next book to review from BookSneeze.  When she spotted the Shiny Sequin Bible, she thought it was gorgeous and just had to have it.  "Okay," I thought.  "We can order a sparkly Bible."  It was very pretty -- glitter on the front, hearts and flowers... everything designed to draw the eye of a young girl who can't even read yet. 

When it arrived, we looked at it together.  She thought it was the prettiest Bible EVER.  I agreed with her -- it's very pretty, and definitely girly.  I suppose it would be perfect for a young girl to carry to church in a little purse.  Juli and I decided that she would get it for a special occasion... after I'd reviewed it and read some excerpts. 

I selected two different books out of the Bible to read -- Haggai from the Old Testament, and James from the New Testament.  I chose these because I had recent familiarity with both of them, and would do a little less flipping about, looking for differences in the translations.  The ICB translation, while simplified to give understanding to children, seemed very choppy.  Short sentences don't necessarily make for easier reading, sometimes it just sounds like you're dumbing it down.  There were a few cases of words that I really didn't think needed to be simplified (patience instead of perseverance, for example) that  seemed to alter the meaning of the passage (James 1) just enough to give me pause.  In places during James, it read like a first grade reader, but in other passages, it was pretty obvious that the translation was meant for at least a little bit older reader. 
Then I flipped over to Psalm 23 just for fun.  It was okay, but the translation "very dark valley" just doesn't even come close to "the valley of the shadow of death."  And seriously, "walking stick" instead of "staff"?  You lose a lot in this translation, in my opinion. 

As far as being a kids' Bible, I was also disappointed to see that there were no in depth explanations for kids, or "special features," if you will.  The maps are few and there just isn't much inside that would appeal to kids.  Just the simplified translation that I could really have done without.  I'll just keep reading mine to her and explaining what big words like "staff" mean. 
So, as far as a beautiful outside, yes, it's pretty.  But the substance inside left much to be desired.  But, on the other hand, I now have a great object lesson in my hand. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://booksneeze®.com/> 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."