Finding Cross-centered books for children

Philip Ryken has issued a warning about new children’s books. This highlights the difficult challenge parents face in selecting books centered on the Cross (rather than terminating on ethics or the feats of David, Daniel, Joshua, Ruth, Peter, Paul, etc.). My wife and I have come to love two specific volumes that are both Cross-centered AND child approved. We highly recommend The Big Picture Story Bible (Crossway: 2004) as an easy-to-follow and well illustrated guide through the biblical storyline. And of course another family favorite is Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos (Reformation Heritage Books: 2005). Read our review from last year for more information.

Know of a good Cross-centered children’s book to recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Blessings, and have a great weekend worshiping our gracious Savior! Tony

15 thoughts on “Finding Cross-centered books for children

  1. You do quite a few book reviews and many systematic theologies, one I haven’t seen yet is a review of James P. Boyce’s Abstract of systematic theology. As a Baptist this would be one a review I would be interested in seeing. What do you think?

  2. Thanks for the heads up. It is important to filter these things out for the truth.


  3. I highly recommend Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schooland. It’s excellent for family devotions as well. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name is great as well for little ones. The Millers series is another great one that may only be found at now adays. The one we like the most so far is Wisdom And The Millers. They are old Amish stories.

  4. You are absolutely right, Tony. I can tell you that we at Banner of Truth have had some discussions about this. We publish some children’s things (let me know if you’d be interested in checking them out for the rest of your readers), but you can look for more children’s books in the future from Banner.
    On a related note, I got an email from a pastor recently, now 36 years old, who started reading Jonathan Edwards at age 15, and began devouring other writings of the Puritans throughout the rest of his high school and college years. Any ideas what we can do, or who we can partner with, to really get guys like Bunyan and Flavel and even Owen and the rest in front of some our nation’s Senior High teens? A Puritan readers’ group for teens, or … I’m seriously thinking about the need that exists, and what we can do to make a difference for our church’s youth. All ideas welcomed. Thanks, much.
    Steve B.

  5. Tony – I highly recommend the Big Picture Story Bible as well. We read this with our three year old son. We have been through it five or six times now, reading it nightly before bedtime.

    Just recently my wife and I on a date night went to a Christian bookstore to look for some books for our son, and I have to agree there is not much out there. I would really like to see Banner of Truth and Crossway work at developing a series or books for children that are cross-centered. And hopefully something where the illustrations are not so strange looking too!

  6. A children’s book I love is Dangerous Journey. It is an illustrated retelling of Piilgrim’s Progress. The message is great and I always enjoyed it when I was younger.

  7. This looks wonderful! I also like leading Little Ones to God and Children’s Every day Bible…but I may have to add this one to our library!

    Thanks for the recommendation.


  8. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and the Dangerous Journey (Pilgrim’s Progress) are both excellent recommendations. Thank you everyone for your thoughts. There is a clear need for more books on the Cross and I’m thankful for publishers who are pursuing this as we speak.

  9. G’day. How about a few more book reviews for children’s books? Just purchased Caleb’s Lamb from a previous review but interested in what else you have found.

  10. I am a mommy to two little boys and I wanted to recommend some books that my boys love. They are by Johannah Bluedorn (The Lord Builds the House and Bless the Lord). The author/illustrator has illustrated Psalm 127 and 103 and they are so wonderful. My boys love finding all of the animals in Bless the Lord and love reading it. We are giving them The Lord Builds the House for Christmas and it is as beautiful and wonderful as the first one.

    Also, we really enjoy the Little Boy books from Jim and Elizabeth George. (They have little girl ones too but we do not have those!) We gave “God’s Wisdom for Little Boys” to our older son and he loves reading it. We have purchased “A Little Boy After God’s Own Heart” for our littlest for Christmas this year.

    We also have really enjoyed reading “My ABC Bible Verses” by Susan Hunt. It is for a little older children but my two year old still likes listening to the stories.

    One of the best books that we have been using for our daily Bible time is “Tell Me About God” by Susan Harding (Banner of Truth 1993). I have really been loving this book as it is simple enough for my two year old to understand but full of rich theological truth that blesses me when I read it with him. This has been a real blessing for our little family.

    Two books that have been so helpful in parenting Scripturally are the “Handbook of Scriptures to Grow On” by Lois Schmitt and “For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training” by Pam Forster (Doorposts). These will bless you and provide a quick reference for nurturing your children in the instruction of the Lord. (As a side note, Pam Forster’s book for wives “As Unto the Lord” is so excellent. If you are committed to following Scripture this book is a must for wives. And convicting too!)

    Well, these books have really helped our family. I love reading and would love to see more reccomendations.

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