Sunday Reflection: Even children need the story of Job

When I was 5 years old, I had my first major argument with a friend, she was the youngest of a big clan and used to standing up for herself and I was the eldest and not used at all to being challenged. It must have been dramatic as I still remember it clearly, word for word, emotion for emotion. Were we going to be friends again? (we still are), what would our joint friends do? So many unknowns. 

When we are young, life is not carefree, we are learning, experiencing good and bad for the first time. There are so many questions, so many things to learn. Where do we fit, where does God fit?

So, I would have thought that the story of Job would be a great one to share with children as well as adults, but no children’s story book bible that I am aware of contains the story of Job. My favourite Children’s book along Job’s lines is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Voist, but this is a secular storybook and it is up the child to wonder, how God might fit into this story. I often use storybooks because sometimes, storybooks can help explain concepts or ideas that our conventional story book Bibles leave out, overlook or feel are inappropriate for our young. Which is why I am often referring to them in the weekly RCL blog.

So why are our Story book Bibles without stories of hardship and tragedy, or difficult situations?

Not so long ago our storybook Bibles had great tales of boys and nothing of biblical females except as supporting elements in the story. With the rise of Feminist Theology, we have more great stories of women in the Bible, coming to the fore, women who were previously hidden in full sight. Two of my favourite story books about Biblical women are, Celebrating Great Women of the Bible, Brave Girls Bible Stories, by Jennifer Gerelds,

and Love Letters from God, Bible Stories for a Girls’ Heart by Glenys Nellist.

 Fashion, or the rising opinion of the day colours the type of stories we have in recently published story books. Few would have known two years ago that these stories of challenge and questioning would be needed?  That is just my point, we do not know what our children will need, tales of ill health, tales of the unexpected and the fraught, triumph over tragedy are as important for our children to read and discover as any other.

Unwieldy children’s books become an issue and the long delay in publishing are two issues that can limit the types of stories we see in Children’s story Bibles. It is important that our children have a variety of books containing a variety of stories, often a costly outlay that many small churches and parents cannot afford. But the payoff is huge. Thankfully many books are available on line as ebooks or youtube or vimeo clips or game apps (the Bible App for KidsGuardians of Ancora or The Big Little Bible), which helps reduce the cost. Though a channel of Christian story books would be wonderful if anyone has the capacity. And though the computer or ipad are tactile, there is a difference to the feel and smell of a traditional paper book that enlivens the senses and imagination differently.

Where the story is not available then act it out, or retell it, but don’t sanitise it, apart from making it age appropriate, because little lives have big problems too.


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


Make the books appealing

How many dusty, damaged, faded books do you have on display or in the book tub? How hard is it to get the current generation to pick up a book not a phone or iPad? And that is not helped when the alternative is faded, dusty well thumbed books. Do you want to touch them? let alone read them. Our youngest children are enticed by books that are visually exciting, and we are so lucky to have such wonderful books to stir their imagination and explain difficult concepts. So while the holidays’ are still keeping many families away from our suburban churches take the time to check the books, maybe decide on more exciting ways to display them, sprinkle them around the pews rather than in a box tucked under a pew, have a few children’s story bibles in each pew ( a sincere apology to the person who first suggested this as I can not find who first posted this suggestion) display some in the foyer, especially if you have outside groups sharing your premises (ie ballet, drama, singing or craft groups etc)

There are some great blogs to check out or for inspiration.

Or you can look at the list I’ve used to create basic book collections in 3 congregations and see if they suit your needs Or better still add to them and make some great suggestions for others to use.

Bibles and Storybooks

I Recommend the Beginners Bible NiVR as it is restricted to 500 common words, easy to read and good pictures, the study Bible version works well for older primary.

The Beginners Bible timeless Children’s Stories

The Rhyme Bible StoryBook by L.J. Stattgast illustrations by Laurence Cleyet-Merle

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones illustrations by Jago

My First read a loud Bible by Batchelor and Boshoff

The Lion Picture Bible

Frolic first Bible (available by special order through Mediacom)


The Day the Church was made 

Any of the Max Laconda, Wemmick series, in fact any of his picture books

Any of the Lost Sheep books by

Any of the Stories Jesus Told by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen

Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris

Any of Susie Pooles board books

Any of the Frolic board books (available by special order through Mediacom)

Why do We Have to best Quiet in Church by Clare Simpson

The Lord’s Prayer  by Rick Warren

Found by Sally Lloyd Jones and Jago

The storm that stopped by Alison Mitchell and Catalina Echeverri

When God Made you by Matthew Paul Turner illustrator David Catrow

any of the LOVE Letter from God books

For Parents

Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman

5 love languages by Gary Chapman

The psychology of Babies by lynne Murray


Try (an American site with great books that will ship to Australia, some of their books are available at Mediacom)