Bible Trivia, Jokes, And Fun Facts For Kids, by Troy Schmidt
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As someone who is familiar with the writings of the author  and someone who has read perhaps too many books for children without having any of them , this book comes with a clear intentionality about it. A question worth asking with any book is: why does this book exist? What is its purpose or motive for being? In this case, we have a book with two obvious purposes for being, both of which may be obvious to some of the more clever children who are the audience of this book. The open motive for this book is to provide trivia, jokes, and fun facts for children. The slightly less open but not particularly hidden agenda for this book is to evangelize children in the religious mindset of the author, which has some flaws in it. There are some things this book gets wrong, and the book itself may not be approved by all parents, particularly those who disagree with the author’s intent to tell children lies about salvation, and even make some missteps concerning some of what is presented as biblical fact. For the most part, this is an enjoyable book despite its occasional flaws, but there were some aspects about it that rubbed me the wrong way that are also worthy of comment.
The book itself is a short one. I read the ePub version of the book on my computer and managed somehow to fall asleep while I was reading it despite its brevity. The paper version of the book is intended to be under 200 pages and it should be short enough to be of interest to parents and children. It will likely not be of interest to parents on its own terms. There are plenty of children’s books that are of interest to parents, that contain a deeper layer of material that adults can appreciate or at least enough interesting details that an adult can infer a deeper layer that may not exist. This is not one of those books. IT begins with several pages of knock knock jokes and does not rise far above this level. Perhaps the most interesting material this book has is its Bible facts and trivia, its fill in the blanks, and especially the questions it asks readers to ponder over about their knowledge and beliefs concerning the scriptures. To be sure, this material comes with some fairly overt hidden agendas, but all the same, that is the real depth this book has and the sort of material that would be most of value, especially as the questions are graciously left open-ended, for the most part.
Parents who share the precise religious worldview of this book will likely find this book to be a suitable way to engage or distract children during road trips, and some of the questions in the book are likely to be of interest in sparking longer and more serious conversations about what is in the Bible and what is thought and believed about the Bible. There is obviously plenty to appreciate about this book. That said, some of the jokes in this book were tiresome to read one time, and would be incredibly irritating if repeated over and over again by a child who actually thought they were funny or who liked to intentionally bother others with jokes known not to be funny. Ultimately, this is a book written to children that panders to them, that flatters them where they are with the same sort of material provided by Hollywood culture. This ought not to come as a surprise since that is precisely the background of the author, but it is disappointing when there are a lot of books written to children that see the potential of children to be serious and reflective human beings that this book comes with the goal of making Christianity acceptable to young readers by flattery and dumbing things down. This book is, unfortunately, a bit of a let down for the most part.
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