My Very First Noah’s Ark Playtime published by Lion Children’s Books is a great activity book for young children to teach them the story of Noah. Overall the book is great – it’s got stickers, receipes for baking with your kids, and a game to play. My struggle with many children’s books of Biblical stories is that they too often water-down the story to make it “kid friendly” or, on occasion, actually tell the story incorrectly. This book suffers from the latter in two ways.
First, when God destroys the world the story as God saying, “The rain will flood this bad old world.” (emphasis mine). Yet the world itself was not bad, but it was the evil in man’s hearts that was “bad” – in fact, scriptures doesn’t say God wanted to destroy the earth, but rather that he regretted he “had made man on the earth”. The purpose of the flood was not to destroy the world, but to destroy evil man. Some may find this a minor detail, but it actually speaks to the heart of the gospel – God wars against evil man, not a bad world.
Second, on the page where the animals board the ark this story reads that “Noah fetched two of every kind of animal.” Again, scripturally this isn’t 100% accurate. Noah’s job was to build the Ark, not fetch animals. On the contrary, God tells Noah that “Two of everything…will come to you so that you can keep them alive.” (emphasis mine). The story of Noah is not about Noah’s righteousness but rather is about God’s grace and mercy – and reinforces that God is in control, not Noah. Unfortunately, in this area the text falls short.
If your kids have a solid understanding of scripture and you’ve taught them what it says (as I have), you can give them this book as a fun activity to do – in fact, I intend to allow them to use it in the car on a road trip for activities. But to use it as a tool to teach them the story would be a mistake because if this is the first (or only) exposure they have to the story they may walk away with a greater respect for man than they should and not in awe of the grace and power of the almighty God that scripture teaches us about.
Overall, I’ll give this book 2.5/5 stars – mainly for the theological concerns I have. For the record, I did receive a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest (though not necessarily favorable) review.