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Christian Mythology for Kids - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published January 31st 2017
A different approach to the Bible for kids

Knowledge of at least the major stories of the Christian Bible is essential to an understanding of Western literature and culture, so some secular parents want their children to be exposed to those stories without the religious instruction that usually goes with them. While there are plenty of books for teaching kids about Greek, Roman and Norse mythology, up until now the only books about Christianity for children I had found were written from a Christian perspective, which can involve a fair bit of explanation and editorialising when reading to younger children. Christian Mythology for Kids presents Christian myths as myths, retelling them for their literary and cultural value.

Yahweh is referred to as Yahweh, in the same way that most books would call Odin or Zeus by their names, so that he is not set apart from other gods. There are brief explanations of terminology such as what angels and demons are and the stories are followed by morals and notes regarding logic and historical accuracy or lack thereof. Some of these notes would undoubtedly offend certain Christian readers, so bear in mind the intended audience if you choose to buy or read this book. My favourite of the notes was in the part about the Jonah and the Whale, where it is suggested that the message is actually one of "inclusion and forgiveness"

"Sometimes, when we get angry, we feel like hurting others. Instead of hurting others like Yahweh planned, it is more peaceful to tell others how we are feeling or what we need. Yahweh learned that he could forgive, but only after threatening the people of Nineveh. Today we understand that genuine love and respect do not last unless they are given freely, without threats" (Christian Mythology for Kids pp40-42).

Each story is accompanied by a full-page colour illustrations. I didn't actually think much of the illustrations, which have a bit of an amateurish look, but they are colourful and dynamic and my children seemed to like them. There are no gory illustrations that might scare children, eg. No pictures of all the people or animals drowning in the great flood, and no blood on Jesus's white robe as he is carrying the cross.

Christian Mythology for Kids
is a useful resource for secular parents who want their kids to know about the stories of the Bible from a secular perspective. It is suitable for confident readers aged 8 and up, or for younger children if read aloud to them.
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Why? To teach children about Christianity from a secular perspective
Cost: $26.22 from the Book Depository
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