Wednesday, May 23, 2018

T Is for Tree

Our family spends much time each day reading between what is required for schoolwork and what is chosen solely for pleasure. Most of the time, the books we review tend to be for the older kids--chapter books, biographies, historical non-fiction, etc.. I love reading those together as a family and appreciate many aspects of studying that kind of literature with my kids. However, there is something so special about cuddling close with a little one and enjoying a picture book. Our newest snuggle-inducing read is T is for Tree: A Bible ABC from Reformed Free Publishing Association.

Reformed Free Publishing Association was established in 1924 as an independent, non-profit organization. Their literature includes commentaries, devotionals, Bible study guides, church history, Christian living, children's materials, educational curriculum, and more. They have a wide selection as their book catalog contains over 70 titles and options of print, audio, and downloadable products.

T is for Tree, written by Connie L. Meyer, is more than a simple alphabet book for little ones. This book focuses on God while teaching the ABCs. Bible verses, truths, and promises in God's Word are woven throughout the pages.

Each letter of the alphabet has its own page. The capital letter is prominent and followed by its chosen word. F is for faith. J is for jewel. R is for ravens. Z is for Zion. A short 3-line poem and Bible passage accompany each letter and are complemented by beautiful illustrations.
I've been reading this book with my two youngest children. We don't read the verses every time, as the 3-year-old doesn't always have the longest attention span. Twenty-six pages of letters and short rhymes makes the length perfect for him for special book time in the afternoon, a bedtime story at night, or just some extra snuggle time whenever. I love that not only do my boys like to shout out the letters before I read them, but that the truths of God and His love for us are being cemented in their hearts. 

The poems themselves make this a good book for older children, too. Most typical ABC books are cute and sing-songy, but even though this one rhymes as well, the vocabulary is more advanced. Words like fearsomewithersuffereddwelling, and others are used. The syntax is a bit more advanced than preschool age at times, too. As I love to incorporate read-alouds that are above my kids' levels, I appreciate that aspect of this book. It also makes it more enjoyable for an older child to read to a younger sibling.

Some of my personal favorite pages are C, P, and J.

J is for JEWEL

There's rubies, and there's gold;
But far more precious are the lips
That speak with knowledge told.

"There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the 
lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." --Proverbs 20:15 

This one has a second group of verses wrapped around the border of the page, too.

"Receive my instruction, and not silver;and knowledge rather than choice gold. 
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared 
to it." --Proverbs 8:10-11 

So often, our flesh is drawn to want gold and silver and jewels. We want wealth and nice things. But so much more, we should desire knowledge and instruction from God. Wisdom is far more valuable than earthly treasures. To instill that truth in the hearts of my children while they are young is my goal. Weaving those principles in a simple children's book is a bonus.

T is for Tree: A Bible ABC is a beautiful hardcover book that is full of teaching opportunities. Whether you use it to introduce the alphabet, to reinforce biblical truths, as a basis for Bible memorization, or simply as a picture book to enjoy with your child, this one is sure to please.

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You can read more reviews of this book on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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