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50 Zappiest Bible Stories by Andy Robb (Book Review)

50 Zappiest Bible Stories by Andy Robb (Book Review)

Overview

‘50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ is the tenth of the ‘50 Bible Stories’ range published by CWR.  

This series of books helps children to discover more about the Bible. It is a good series, and this particular title looks mainly at the work of the Holy Spirit in a number of Bible stories. The author, Andy Robb, describes it as a book that ‘he really wanted to write’. I think it’s great, as there are not so many books, and particularly not so many children’s books, on the Holy Spirit.

I know Andy reasonably well (we work for the same Book trade charity), and I am clear that the book is helpful to children in understanding more about the Trinity. It’s a very difficult concept, but one that Andy has handled well in getting this book together. I hope that all children, regardless of their church background, will be absorbed by all that the book says to them. 

The Author

Writer, illustrator, cartoonist and now Church Leader, Andy Robb, does present Bible stories to children in a remarkable way. He is actually very gifted in communicating with children, and in opening up the Scriptures to them. Andy always ends each story with a cliff-hanger and a question, encouraging his readers to look up and discover the endings for themselves in the Bible. 

Andy Robb said (on his website) www.andyrobb.co.uk: 

‘I had my first children's book published in 1998, ‘What Shall We Pray About?’ (Angus Hudson)  If my memory serves me correctly, the book was produced in eight language editions, including one which had a rather nice padded cover! Since then I've authored and illustrated fifty products. My motivation has always been to bring alive the Bible and the things of God to children in a way that they can understand, and for them to have some fun in the process’. 

The Book

50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ explores the person of the Holy Spirit. It’s a book that encourages children to learn about the work of the Holy Spirit and of the Trinity. The book looks at stories from Scripture emphasising how the Holy Spirit worked in the lives of Bible characters, and can work in our lives today. 

There is no order here, and Andy jumps about all over the pages of Scripture to prove his point! That’s good, because although he explains that the Bible is a series of books actually, by approaching it this way, he makes children understand that really the Bible is one whole story. 

Andy Robb says: 

‘Here's the backstory to ‘50 Zappiest Bible Stories’. Over the past 20 years I’ve had the privilege of writing and illustrating almost 50 Christian children’s books and products. Whilst I don’t have a favourite, my latest title, ‘50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ has a special significance. Inevitably, my own journey with God has shaped the content of my books and I’ve been keen to not only impart information, but to encourage children into the same dynamic experience of God which I’ve had. …. My prayer is that ‘50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ opens children up to the same powerful Holy Spirit-filled life which I discovered back in 1988 and catalyses them into being dynamic agents of God’. 

Chapter 1 is good, and starts by looking at how God created the earth. Andy then moves on through the rest of the book - looking at how the Israelites worked out the plan of God in the desert, then ‘Fabulously Fast Phil’ from Acts 8, Jesus in the Temple (No 5), Gideon Gulps (No 6), Simeon’s Surprise (No 34), Miracle Man (No 35), That’s my Boy (No 37), Here comes the Bride (No 43) and, In a Nutshell (No 50). Phew! There is a lot of very good content in this rather small book!

CWR, the publishers, says of the book,

Read about prophets, a pillar of cloud and the story of Pentecost, and explore how God reveals Himself through His Holy Spirit. Dip into 50 stories of God ‘zapping’ all kinds of people in amazing ways – from a baby in the womb, to an old man in the temple, to Jesus at His baptism! Above all, notice that from Creation to Revelation, the Holy Spirit is at work throughout the whole Bible’.

Andy Robb is very good working with cartoons, and with the words of the text, which is just right for the 7-to-11’s age group. I really like this series of books, and Andy manages to get his point home to children very well. 

I do like the idea that at the end of each of the ‘50 stories’, the author makes sure that the children look at the Bible themselves in order to fully understand what he is referring to. This is important, and I am not sure where else this happens in children’s books.

So if you have that age group at home or involved in children's ministry, then this is an ideal book for your book collection at only £6.00 (at the time of writing). Add it to your cart now so you don’t forget.

Eddie Olliffe

Bookseller and Distributor for the past 35 years. Now Consulting Editor of Together Magazine. I blog on Christian Spirituality, UK Publishing and Bookselling matters.

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Products mentioned in or related to this blog post
50 Zappiest Bible Stories (Paper Back)
Robb, Andy
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