Book Review: Walking The Bible (For Kids)

Walking The Bible:  An Illustrated Journey For Kids Through The Greatest Stories Ever Told, by Bruce Feiler

As someone who has read a fair amount of the prosography of Bruce Feiler, I must admit I am somewhat mystified as to who this book is aimed at.  A book without an obvious target audience is something I find more than a little troubling.  I mean, the book’s subtitle means that it appears to be aimed at children, but I find it difficult to imagine many children finding this book to be of interest.  The photographs of the book are in black and white, the illustrations are not particularly impressive, and the text is neither respectful enough of the Bible and it’s veracity [1] to appeal to believers nor to ferocious unbelievers.  Are there enough liberal Jews who have a sense of pride in the biblical record without a belief in its claims to historical or moral authority to make this book appealing to any large group of people, especially given that the book is far less appealing in its visuals than the version of the book that is aimed at adults?  Why not buy that book instead?

Anyway, as might be expected, this book follows its companion volume for adults rather closely for the most part.  This book is divided into ten chapters, dealing with such matters as:  creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham’s background, Abraham in the promised land, Abraham and Isaac, Joseph in Egypt, Moses parting the read sea, the burning bush, and climbing Mount Sinai.  The text is generally fairly simple, as befits a book that is at least ostensibly aimed at the young.  Few children should have any trouble reading this book, but those children that are interested in reading a book that has illustrations will likely be a bit disappointed at why the photos shown in this book are so bland and the illustrations so devoid of either artistic skill or information content.  This book is likely to mystify children, and is the sort of book that may run afoul of those parents who read this book before approving it for their children and who may demand a higher degree of regard for the Bible than the author demonstrates even when he is on his best behavior.  As a result, this book is one that seems likely to mystify many readers as much as it is mystified me.

This book is certainly the most disappointing and inessential of any of the books I have read by the author thus far.  The book demonstrates the author expressing both a disbelief in the claims of scripture on its own merit but a pride in believing himself to understand the Bible better as a result of his own travels, which has the air of self-deception.  Likewise, the book’s photographs and illustrations are, to put it the most charitably, rather underwhelming.  As a result, this is a book that feels more like an attempt as a cash grab to reach a market of children and parents that will likely only be disappointed by both the text and visuals of this 100 or so page book.  Judging from the cheap production of the book, the efforts at marketing were not largely successful.  If you have a child and they are interested in exploring some of the visuals of the land discussed in the first five books of the Bible, just get the adult version of the book and explain the text to them.  It will be time and money far better spent than trying to get something out of this book.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/06/17/book-review-7-reasons-why-you-can-trust-the-bible/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/10/05/book-review-is-the-bible-true/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/03/05/book-review-the-bible-is-history/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011/06/09/book-review-on-the-reliability-of-the-old-testament/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/11/24/book-review-ancient-israels-history/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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