These children's Bible stories, written in Hebrew and English, are a wonderful way to introduce children to the fantastic stories in Genesis. Adapted from the Hebrew Bible, each book includes a word-for-word translation, a complete glossary, and transliteration. Each book is 32 glossy pages with both English and Hebrew on each page. In order, the series titles are In
The Beginning, The Tower of Babel, Rebecca, Noah's Ark, Lech Lecha (The Journey of Abraham and Sarah), Jacob's
Travels, and Joseph the Dreamer. Because Hebrew is read from the right to the left, rather than left to right as we are accustomed to with English, these books have a right-to-left orientation. The books offer a wonderful introduction to Hebrew for children. The stories omit words or sentences in order to keep the language simpler. The literal translations are included at the end of each book.
Although a Glossary of words is included, there is no pronunciation guide to
help the reader verbalize the story in Hebrew as they are reading. The Glossary
includes a pronunciation guide for individual words and phrases, but without
knowing the Hebrew language it would be incredibly difficult to flip back and
forth from the story pages to the Glossary in order to "read" the story
in Hebrew so that your child can enjoy listening to it. The Hebrew writing is
fascinating, and children may want to attempt to write a few words in Hebrew
after being introduced to the series. Although there are no homeschooling lessons
to accompany the books, the wonderful illustrations may encourage art projects.
For instance, the beautifully rendered animals in Noah's
Ark may inspire children to make their own artwork of animals after reading the book. Lech
Lecha includes a beautiful family portrait of an elderly Abraham and Sarah holding Isaac as an infant. And vivid colors and dramatic activity are creatively used to picture the excitement of creation in In
The Beginning. An illustration of the words "I can't understand you!" in various languages in the Tower
of Babel book could prompt children to research and decipher the various languages.
This series of Hebrew Bible stories offers the opportunity to view another language
alongside English. Although it will not teach your child Hebrew, and is not intended
to do so, it may spark an interest in an additional language, whether Hebrew
or something else. The unique style of a book read from right to left is an immediate
attention-grabber. We were fascinated by the interesting form of the Hebrew alphabet
letters, and older children will appreciate the various words and phrases represented
in the Glossary at the back of each book. Children could be encouraged to write
various Hebrew words and phrases, as this could be the start of an interest in
Biblical Hebrew. As a non-Hebrew-speaking individual, I wish pronunciations had
been included within the story, perhaps beneath each series of Hebrew words for
every line so that we could have read the Hebrew words aloud as a story. Our
family enjoyed these books. If your family enjoys English/Spanish books, then
you should equally enjoy an opportunity to read English/Hebrew books. This is
a wonderful way to honor the Savior and enjoy a Biblical language in children's
books. Sharing them with your family is an additional blessing.