JPS Illustrated Children's Bible

Jewish Publication Society  2009

There are many adaptations of the Bible written at a child’s level. The JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible is one of the best versions I’ve ever come across. Ellen Frankel, the former CEO and editor-in- chief of the Jewish Publication Society has carefully selected fifty-three Bible classics and crafted them into exciting, easy-to-understand stories for young learners. Complementing the text are the dramatic illustrations of award-winning artist, Avi Katz. His softly brushed landscapes are the perfect backdrops for his vivid portraits of the characters in each scene. Children will be captivated by the pictures as they are drawn in by the words. Most of the stories in the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible are from the Torah, with a smattering included from Prophets and three major tales from the Writings. Each retelling, while true to the ancient version, has been masterfully adapted for the twenty- first century child. Archaic language has been replaced with more familiar vocabulary, yet some ancient terms have been retained to “give children a feel for the special diction that characterizes sacred texts.” Throughout the book, care has been taken to balance these two concerns. An “Author’s Notebook” at the end of the book explains the choices Frankel made as she translated the Jewish text. Her adaptations accommodate the young American reader without diminishing either the content or the meaning of the original stories. The chapters are dramatic, the illustrations powerful, creating a dynamic children’s Bible that will be cherished by the entire family. Recommended for adults to share with children ages 4–8, reading level ages 9–12.  

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