Tommy Nelson has recently released The Gospel of Matthew from the Illustrated International Children's Bible series. They have set the gospel to a graphic format with well-drawn, respectful cartoon pictures. The top of each page shows the verses covered on that page, making it easy to find passages. Each section begins with a phrase summarizing the text. Verse numbers identify the verses. Narrative parts of the passage appear in boxes with dialogue in bubbles drawn to the characters. Old Testament passages referred to are set in separate boxes. Some pages include notes at the bottom of the pages.
The table of contents lists the chapter and the subject headings, allowing the reader to find specific accounts. The book ends with several pages for children to record the people and situations they want to pray for, answered prayers, and notes.
When I asked to review the book, I had serious reservations about the idea of a "comic-book" Bible, though I knew that some missions groups and those ministering to the persecuted church have used the style. I still prefer a traditional style of Bible for my children, but I was impressed with this Tommy Nelson version.
The pictures were reverent, colorful, and clarified the text in some passages, such as in the parable of the woman hiding a little yeast in her flour. I liked that you could find specific verses though occasionally what to read next was a little confusing. I found only one mistake, and that was a speech bubble going to Jesus instead of Pilate in Matthew 27:13 on page 89.
The translation was easy to read. I occasionally checked it against my King James when I wasn't clear on something. It remained true to more established versions as far as I could tell, but I'm neither a translator nor a theologian. Certainly nothing jumped out as inaccurate.
This version of The Gospel of Matthew would be especially good for reluctant readers from 7 to 11 years old. It would also make a good witnessing tool to hand out at Bible clubs, Sunday school, VBS, or evangelistic campaigns, as well as a Christmas stocking stuffer or gift for unsaved children in the family. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Unique storyboard frame-by-frame illustrations of the entire Gospel of Matthew, using the full ICB text. Not a paraphrase, but actual ICB verses presented in an inviting, illustrative style for children that encourages reading and learning.