Sunday, June 07, 2009

Your Favorite Children's Bible!

Children's BiblesI received a very nice email a few weeks ago from Grant and Tara in New Zealand. Tara asked if I was familiar with the work of Herbert Rudeen who illustrated the 10 volume set of the Bible story by Arthur S. Maxwell. I have tried to get hold of this set in the past but most of them are on sale in the U.S. and so the postage, on 10 volumes, makes them expensive! From what I've seen though the illustrations are very nice. I will comment more if I can get hold of a set.

Tara also asked the question "what would be your top children's Bible for authentic pictures?"
This is a very good question, and one which I thought I would throw open to readers of the blog. It's not so easy to pick one children's Bible as 'The Most Authentic' so I would probably select a top five! I'm not sure if the Bible pictures by Elsie Anna Wood have appeared in a children's Bible as yet, although I have it on good authority that one is in the pipeline. That would certainly appear in my top five, as would the 'Copping Bible' illustrated by Harold Copping. I would also include 'The Testimony', which is the 3 volume children's Bible in Hebrew illustrated by Diana Shimon. Diana spent over fifteen years researching this one! I would also include the 24 volume 'Great Bible Discovery Series' in my top five although technically you wouldn't really class it as a children's Bible, being 24 volumes in size. That leaves me with one more choice for my top five, but I would like more time to think about this, also I want to look at some of your suggestions too!

Grant and Tara's choice was the 'The Children's Bible Story Book' (pictured bottom left) illustrated by José Pérez Montero. José Pérez Montero is also one of my favorite Bible illustrators too, and I have intended adding him to my Favorite Bible artist list for some time only, up until very recently, there has been very little information about him on the net, and even now there's still not enough for a decent article. Montero also has a nice cartoon style too, but I wouldn't say that his Bible pictures were the most researched or historically accurate.

I'm pretty sure that there are many other children's Bibles out there that I've never seen, and so I would like to ask the readers of the blog the same question:
Which children's bible do you consider contains the most historically accurate pictures? Or, if you prefer, Which is your favorite children's Bible?"
Looking forward to reading your comments!

16 comments:

Paul Green said...

"My Lord and My God" illustrated by Elsie Walker (MacMillan & Co. 1957) is my favourite children's Christian book. Not a Bible but containing many illustrations of gospel stories. A mixture of colour paintings and b/w illustrations. I still own this book today from my childhood.
I have to be honest and say historical accuracy isn't always paramount in a children's book illustration. As a child I preferred illustrations that I responded to on an emotional level. Not an intellectual level. That didn't concern me. I wasn't interested in clever art but art that I liked.

Bible artist said...

I was waiting for you to say something like that Paul, and yes I agree! historical accuracy isn't paramount in a children's book illustration, which is why I decided to add the alternative question also.

I'll look out for Elsie Walker's pictures Paul. I do like the Bible illustrations from the 50's.

Deboraw said...

Nothing to add to your list, I'm afraid, but just a comment. If I were a wagering person I would say you can probably guess, but I'm excited to hear about the possibility of a Elsie Anna Wood picture Bible. Maybe by then my second million will be available, and I'll be able to purchase (at least) one! (Yes, I know, the joke of course is that I'm waiting on my second million dollars, because I gave up on the first million) Smile, Deboraw

Paul Green said...

You have a unique sense of humor Deboraw. :))

Deboraw said...

Paul, A number of people have made similar observations, sometimes even kindly. Smile, Deboraw

Bible artist said...

I have a soft spot for 'The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes' by Kenneth N. Taylor, as this was the one we read every night to our children when they were small. The copy we had was published around the late seventies/early eighties and the pictures were quite traditional in style but our kids loved them. This was just before all children's Bibles went down the cartoon road!!

Tara said...

I think I could spend far too much money on childrens bibles (because I so enjoy looking at all the different pictures). I want them all. Unless maybe I think of it "collecting"?? Actually the bible I remember from my childhood that made the most impact on me was the Good News Bible and it's little black line drawings. Funny ha? I would search through looking for all the drawings and would get excited when I found one. They were really special.

Tara

Bible artist said...

Thanks for that Tara! You might be interested in reading the interview with Annie Vallotton, the lovely lady who illustrated the Good News Bible. I will pass your comments on to her.

Justine said...

I really like the ESV children's Bible. The illustrations are more concerned with authenticity than cutesy-ness (though I'm not a huge fan of the style of illustrations). But ombine that with a solid translation and some good resources in the Bible... it's tops for me! (I also appreciate that it is a full-text Bible, not a Bible story book.)

Bible artist said...

Thanks Justine.
I hadn't come across an ESV Children's Bible so I did a quick search. I recognized the illustrations in an earlier version as being the work of UK illustrator Alan Parry. I think that his Bible illustrations were originally done for 'Ladybird books'. Alan Parry's pictures have been used a lot in different children's Bibles and more recently in illustrated Bible Encyclopedias.

I came across a more recent ESV children's Bible but I didn't recognize the illustrations. Does it mention who the illustrator is?

Justine said...

The one I hae is the hardcover edition with illustrations by Alan Parry.

Bible artist said...

Thanks Justine. Parry's style is not to everyones liking but I've seen some of his more recent work and it's a lot more detailed. His style works particularly well on Bible times buildings.

Avi Katz said...

I understand my new "JPS Illustrated Children's Bible" isn't in every store (the publisher prefers Amazon) but for you folks I can post a link to all the artwork
www.avikatz.net/jps/bible.pdf

Bible artist said...

Many thanks Avi. Great pictures!
I love the angle chosen for the Tower of Babel.

Allison said...

Some of the best and favourite illustrations are found in those Jehovah Witness Books: My Book of Bible Stories, Learn from the Great Teacher and the Greatest Man who ever lived. The pictures look authentic.

Bible artist said...

I find that there's something slightly strange about these pictures but it's hard to pin point what it is. Those that show Jesus surrounded by smiling people from all nations sat in a garden of flowers are kind of creepy!