[Must-Have] Children’s Bibles for Every Age and Learning Style

A Bible opens up a whole new world for a child

What is the Best Children’s Bible you can get for your children? And how do you find one they will want to read?

Here’s how to quickly look at your options and make an intelligent choice.

Many great children’s Bibles are available now. But how do you decide which one to get for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew?

Since there are so many good ones to choose from, the search can be a little confusing. But don’t worry; it gets easier when you consider a few factors.

These are the three major factors to consider. So it’s not hard to do.

Three major factors to consider: (1) the child’s age (2) learning style and (3) time you have to supervise their learning.

And there are also some great video learning options, too!

The value of a biblical education is immense.

Many people in American and world history became great leaders as the result of a solid education -including Bible reading.

There are some great examples of children in scripture who benefitted from a great upbringing that included early study of God’s Word.

Samuel’s mother Hannah dedicated him to the Lord and he grew up in the temple from a very tender age. Then he learned to hear the voice of God. (1 Samuel, Chapters 1-3)

The Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ in her early teens. She was visited by the angel Gabriel at the early age of 12-16 years old.

Mary’s Magnificat from Luke 1:46-55.

Scholars who studied Mary’s Magnificat (see Luke 1:46-55) marvel at the all the Old Testament scripture she quoted as she said those sweet words.

She even echoes Hanna’s praise from 1Samuel 2.

It’s evidence of Mary’s great upbringing with exposure to the Word of God at an early age.

Where else could she have gotten those amazing words of praise and adoration to the Living God?

The Lord Jesus himself spent three days at the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) at the age of twelve, astounding the religious leaders with confounding questions that were too deep for them.

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”


Is that any surprise with the mother he had?

There are some great examples in the Bible of children who displayed wisdom and knowledge at a very young age, and your child can too!

Later quotes of Jesus Christ from his adult years show he had an intimate and thorough understanding of the Word of God.

Little 4-year-old Samuel learned to hear and listen when God called him by name. Later he became one of the most profound prophets of the Old Testament.

12-year-old Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem for 3 days as his family returned home and asked questions that confounded the scribes and the Pharisees.

A teenage Mary of Nazareth said some of the most profound things ever recorded after the angelic visit to her home.

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible”

[not] George Washington

How did these children of the Bible leave such a legacy of excellence?

They had parents who trained up their child in the way of the Lord and these particular children really took to it.

With today’s resources, it’s never been easier to pass along the great values and truths of the Bible to the next generation.

And it’s never been more important.

Let’s look at the major age groups of children and the best recommendations for them.

While there are quite a few Bible-based resources for children, I believe it’s best to focus on resources that include the actual Bible for children who are old enough to read it.

There are some great and beloved Bible story books, but –except for the youngest students who are at the pre-reading ages, we are talking about real children’s Bibles.

Ages 0-3

The Bedtime Bible

The perfect first Bible for a tot is a bedtime story book like The Bedtime Bible. (Amazon link opens in new tab)

It has 46 Bible stories –half from the Old Testament and half from the New Testament. It’s written in a simple and pleasing way for a child to listen as an adult reads the stories.

It’s a beautifully illustrated book that brings the stories to life and fuels the imagination of the tiny listener.

The stories are just the right length for a tot to hear at bedtime –and with 46 stories- it’s enough to keep your little one happy for a good long time!

The next thing a tot needs is their very own Bible where they can turn the pages themselves!

Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories for Young Children

And what could be better than this highly acclaimed Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories for Young Children Board book?

This book is very exciting for these little ones! Imagine the anticipation in their eyes as they think about what’s behind the flap.

Then the look of discovery when they flip it open!

They can view it unsupervised, because there’s no worrying about torn or wrinkled pages.

And they feel great about having their own book they can handle themselves.

Ages 4-6

The Beginner’s Bible- Timeless Children’s Stories

The highly-rated “The Beginner’s Bible-Timeless Children’s Stories” by Zondervan is a collection of Bible stories appropriate for young readers who aren’t ready for a complete Bible yet.

Cover of The Beginner's Bible
The Beginner’s Bible -Timeless Children’s Stories

It’s written in large print and contains many of the most beloved Bible stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

This Bible story book has beautiful, vibrant, colorful illustrations on every page. About half of each page is illustrated, and the other half is printed words.

It’s the perfect page layout for a young reader to enjoy!

The Jesus Storybook Bible

This award-winning “Jesus Storybook Bible, Read Aloud Edition: Every Story Whispers His Name” by Sally Lloyd-Jones comes in a multimedia bundle with the book, DVD and CDROM for easy watching and listening by young learners.

The illustrations are marvelous. The phrasing and cadence make it read almost like poetry, so it can easily find a place in the heart of readers of all ages! (even though it’s written specifically for the preschool-aged reader)

Sally Lloyd-Jones definitely has a gift and a calling for producing Bible stories that are great for young children and their families. And her illustrator Jago has become very well-known.

She’s developed quite a following because she correctly makes Jesus the ultimate hero of every Bible story.  

Even though Lloyd-Jones has a tremendous gift for writing and has received many accolades, some have questioned her theology here and here.

Ages 7-12

NIrV VeggieTales Bible, Hardcover

By this age, children are ready for their first complete Bible.

This is a real illustrated Bible from Zondervan’s Zonderkids group (Hard Cover edition is 1344 pages).

The NIrV version is a very good beginner Bible that is easy for children and adults to understand.

The NIrV is not a paraphrase or a storybook, but an accurate translation of the Bible that is written at the 3rd grade level (about 7-8 years old and older) to make it easier for younger learners to read and understand.

Veggie Tales has done a wonderful job of making the Bible interesting and entertaining to children for decades.

It’s great for children who can read.

The NIrV VeggieTales Bible (click the link to see it on Amazon in a new tab) is not a picture book, but a real Bible with illustrations that help make the stories real to children.

This top-rated children’s Bible has 100 memory verses, which are very valuable to a child’s spiritual development.

It also has stories inserted as you would see in an adult study Bible,(see my article on choosing the best study Bible for adults) such as the eight full-color Bible stories for which Veggie Tales has become famous.

The authors thoughtfully included stories to build the faith of both girls and boys, so there’s something for every young reader.

There are introductions to each book of the Bible, plus “Veggie Values” that teach important and valuable lessons from the Bible.

The authors also inserted questions to stimulate the child’s thinking and spiritual growth throughout this Bible. This makes it almost more of a study Bible for children.

It’s a very attractive book. It’s well-illustrated and the layout is beautiful.

I can hardly imagine any child in this age range not getting a lot out of this Bible.

It’s hard to go wrong with the NIrV Veggie Tales Children’s Bible!

NIrV, The Beginner’s Bible Holy Bible, Hardcover

This is a real Bible for children in the 7-12 year-old age group. It’s a large print version (with 12-pt font) for easy readability.

The Beginner’s Bible –like Veggie Tales above- is also by Zondervan. It has a dictionary and reading plan covering 150 Bible stories. You can click here to see it on Amazon. (Affiliate link opens in new tab)

Here are some of the major things people like about it:

-Large print

-Introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible explain interesting details for students and teachers of the Bible

-20 pages of full-color illustrations

-Dictionary of key Bible words

-Reading plan of 150 famous Bible stories gives a great overview

-Wonderfully illustrated with 3D graphics

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers

Also by Zondervan, this is a real, complete NIrV Bible for the 7-12 year-old age group.

It’s got illustrations on every page, but there’s so much more!

It’s also got:

-Articles and illustrations describing life in Bible times

-Memory verses

-Interesting facts about the people, places and times of Bible times

-Live It! Hands-on activities

-Focus topics on 20 special pages

-Useful facts about each Book of the Bible in Book introductions

-Dictionary and Concordance

-Color maps

Click here to see the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers on Amazon (opens in new tab)

The Bible Made Easy – for Kids

This is a top-rated book in the age 8-12 age group, and it’s a top seller.

Depending on your child’s interest, attitude and learning style, Dave Strehler’s The Bible Made Easy (Amazon Affiliate link –opens in new tab) is generally better for parent and child to study together.

It’s a little more mature experience that will challenge the student, so this kind of children’s resource favors parent/child interaction.

If your child loves to take notes, or doodle or color with crayons, this could be the perfect learning resource to draw him or her into God’s word.

With this book, boredom with the Bible is a thing of the past!

It has many line drawings that are perfect for filling in with your own color choices while you discuss the great stories that come straight from the Bible!

This book is very interactive and asks the reader many thought-provoking questions that are sure to create lively discussions.

It’s important to know that The Bible Made Easy is meant to be read along with a Bible. It is not actually a Bible.

Age 13-18

The Action Bible

The Action Bible (Amazon link. Opens in new tab) is an exciting Illustrated Bible that has appeal to all ages.

It’s done in graphic novel style. In other words, it’s like a really high-quality comic book.

Front Cover of The Action Bible
The Action Bible is done in a Graphic Novel Style

So it is a collection of Bible stories rather than a full Bible.

Many people ask what age it’s for.

The Action Bible is good for ages from early teen to adult.

It was edited by Doug Mauss and illustrated by a artist Sergio Cariello who drew for Marvel Comics for years!

The writing is first-rate.

The editors include distinguished authors with a heart for delivering God’s true word in a distinctive way.

It’s perfect for a child or adult whose imagination is fired by these great comic book illustrations.

If you have a pre-teen or teenager who is bored with regular books and Bibles, this could really pique their interest!

It’s written in a heart-thumping, action-packed, can’t-put-it-down way that is sure to hold the interest of the reader!

It has 215 Bible stories in chronological order, and these spirit-filled authors took great care to deliver the stories accurately and with bold and exciting phrasing.

Come to think of it, many Bible stories are very kinetic, but we don’t always think about the actions taking place. This really helps the reader “see” the action.

This book is highly acclaimed, with many outstanding reviews. 

ESV Student Study Bible

The ESV Student Study Bible is a great first study Bible for an older child who is ready to take their studies to a new level.

It’s a value-priced study Bible with nearly everything you’d get from the full adult version of the ESV Study Bible.

The full adult version has sold a whopping 1 million copies since it was first published in 2001 and by sheer size is known as “the King of Study Bibles.”

The editorial oversight committee included some of the most prominent theologians and Bible scholars available -like Wayne Grudem and J.I. Packer.

You can read more about it at this helpful guide I wrote on the best study Bibles for many different readers.

The ESV Student Study Bible (Amazon affiliate link opens in new tab) is slimmed down quite a bit to fit the needs of the younger reader.

Even so, it has 12,000 notes, 120 Bible character profiles, over 80 maps and charts and other features that make it a great value!

It’s a perfect first-time Bible. It comes with a hard cover, so it’s not built for decades of constant use like the adult version.

6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, ESV

It’s great for a teen or pre-teen on your gift list!

It’s got the same great format and readability the ESV Study Bible is famous for.

And it’s great reading for believers of any age!

This completes the list of children’s Bibles and Bible stories from some of the best authors on the planet.

Now you’ve got some shopping to do!

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