Our children were very excited when T is for Tree: A Bible ABC by Connie L. Meyer from Reformed Free Publishing Association arrived in the mail. They love reading books and we love reading books grounded in faith to them. With our very first glance, we could tell this was a beautiful and unique ABC storybook.
From the back of T is for Tree: A Bible ABC:
"This alphabet book is a collection of Bible passages, short rhymes, and detailed illustrations designed to teach young children of their heavenly Father's almighty power and his faithfulness to fulfill the promises he makes to them as children of his covenant. Use this book to instruct your children in the truths of salvation for all of God's people and especially his littlest lambs."
Each letter of the alphabet features a short rhyme and a quote from the Bible along with a main illustration and a border that enhances the illustration. Personally, I really like the border illustrations as they can lead to so many wonderful conversations with children. For example, on the "B is for Bow" page, you and your child can point out all the different types of animals that might have traveled on Noah's Ark. From a badger to a newt, there is quite a variety of animals depicted.
Another page that contains a border illustration that I really like is that of "Q is for Quails." The repeating scrollwork reminds me of the wind mentioned in both the rhyme and the Bible quote from Numbers 11:31.
How We Use T is for Tree: A Bible ABC
You might think this is obvious – we read it to our children – but in fact I used it to help create some crafts for our children. So in addition to reading it before nap-time and bedtime, we made several crafts based upon the images and ideas presented by the author, Connie L. Meyer.
K is for King
This page shares a quote from Proverbs 21:1. Our children created their own letter K's with a crown fit for a king.
C is for Clouds
This page provides an excellent opportunity to talk about God's mercy with a quote from Psalms. I copied out the rhyme from the book onto separate clouds and required our children to use their memory to put them in the correct order. After their pictures dried, I hung them up in our kitchen. I have overheard our son reading the clouds many times and this makes me very happy. He is learning about God every time he reads the rhyme!
A is for Ants
The very first page of the book provides families with the opportunity to discuss how God has given us the ability to be great even if we are small (like ants). I drew three oval-like shapes for the head, abdomen, and thorax of the ant. Then, I wrote the three lines of the rhyme on those pieces. Our children then glued the pieces in the proper order.
P is for Paths
What a wonderful reminder for our children – to "pray for God to lead us." So important to walk on His path. For this page, I wrote down the rhyme on one set of stepping stones and the Bible quote on a second set. Our son and daughter had to follow along with the book and put them in the correct order.
What We Love
One of my favorite parts of T is for Tree: A Bible ABC is the inclusion of the direct quotes from the Bible. It provides a perfect opportunity to introduce scripture and memorization of scripture to smaller children.
The quality of the book is wonderful. Unfortunately, our mail sometimes takes a beating en route and T is for Tree: A Bible ABC arrived in a package a bit beat up but the book was fine in its wrappings. The book has a very sturdy feel to it and the pages are quite thick (which should prevent any tears from our eager three-year-old). And when I first opened the book, it had that new book smell! All these details make me very happy to have T is for Tree: A Bible ABC from Reformed Free Publishing Association sitting on our bookshelf.
Our four-year-old son said his favorite page is "N is for Nest" while our daughter is in love with "S is for Stars." When we were reading the book last night, our daughter kept asking if we could do more crafts with each letter of the alphabet. For me that is a huge win in my book. It means she really likes T is for Tree: A Bible ABC.
We also found out the hard way that a little bit of water will not harm the book. I am not recommending spilling your drink on it but it survived sitting on a damp spot on our dining room table for about 15 minutes.
I find the only problem I have with T is for Tree: A Bible ABC is that due to its length it is difficult to read the entire book in one sitting. Our family read a few pages each time we picked up the book. One could read just the part that lists "P is for Paths" or "Q is for Quails" or even add the rhyme into a full reading of the book in one sitting. Our son though wasn't letting me skip any part of the book. He wanted to hear the rhyme and the Bible quote on each page which made it a lengthy read.
I would recommend T is for Tree: A Bible ABC by Connie L. Meyer to Christian families with children as young as two. While younger children would need parents to read the book to them, older children would be able to read it themselves. I think older children would also enjoy the illustrations. Personally, I know I have also found inspiration for Bible Journaling from some of the illustrations and quotation choices.
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