A Good Bible-Story Book with Thousands of Pictures

I recently finished reading all 215 stories in this book to my three-year-old daughter:

Doug Mauss, ed. The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story Illustrated by Sergio Cariello. Colorado Springs, CO: Cook, 2010. 748 pp. Audiobook, 10.2-hours.


  1. I was skeptical at first how a comic-book approach like this would work, but the book responsibly presents the Bible’s storyline chronologically. It’s divided into 215 short stories spanning Genesis to Revelation.
  2. It’s attention-grabbing and attention-keeping. My daughter loves it! She daily asked me, “Daddy, would you please read God’s Redemptive Story to me tonight?!” And after each story ended, she would immediately ask, “Would you read another one?!” She was riveted to the pages as we worked our way through the Bible’s storyline. I’d estimate that it took us about 15–20 hours to read together, and she enjoyed every minute of it.
  3. We refer to it as God’s Redemptive Story rather than The Action Bible so that our children don’t confuse Bible-story books with the Bible itself.
  4. Sergio Cariello‘s thousands of illustrations are similar to a comic book. They are very well done, and I don’t think they’re irreverent. See, for example, how he illustrates “The Plagues” and “The Prodigal Son.” Cariello has done comic book work for Marvel, DC, Disney, Zondervan/Harper Collins, and others.
  5. I discovered that it serves my daughter better if I cover up parts of the page as I read so that she looks at the right pictures as I read. So I use a full-page and a half-page of black construction paper. When I turn a page to reveal two new pages, I cover up the right page page with the full-page of black paper, and I cover up as much of the left page as I can with the smaller paper. Then I move the smaller paper around as I move from frame to frame. By the time I finish the two-page spread, I’m not covering up any of the pictures.
  6. The corresponding 10.2-hour audiobook is well done. It’s dramatized and filled with sound-effects. (E.g., see the videos below.) My daughter has listened to the entire audiobook several times, and when she learns to read a little better, I think she’ll enjoy listening to the audiobook while following along in the book.

God’s Wager (based on Job):

Walking on Water (based on Matt 14:22–33; Mark 6:45–52; John 6:15–21):

Mountain Vision (based on Matt 17:1–21; Mark 9:2–29):


  1. Theology for Kids
  2. Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition
  3. Bible Memory for Young Children
  4. Must a Wife Always Follow Her Husband’s Leadership?


  1. says

    Thanks for reviewing this. I have been skeptical as well, even though my 10 year old drools whenever he sees the cover at the bookstore! You hit on my biggest concern with any storybook: trying to distinguish it from the Bible itself. I like your approach. Blessings!

  2. says

    We have been using this as a family for the past couple of years. Can’t agree with your recommendation more! We didn’t know there was an audio version. That’s gonna make our youngest, who doesn’t read yet, very stoked!

  3. Bruce Hoffmire says

    Thanks for the review and for your helpful suggestions. I got this last Christmas for our boys, who are 10 and 8, as a way to get them excited about reading the Bible on their own. They absolutely love it! The illustrations capture their attention in way that’s helpful, at least for my young boys. On more than one occasion, they have come to me with questions and I’ll take them to their ESV Children’s Bible for answers. So while I wouldn’t recommend it as their only Bible intake, it’s been a great supplement. It’s given them broad exposure to the OT and NT narratives and increased their desire for the real thing.

  4. says

    I’ve been reading it to my son and the artwork is great, but I worry about the theology. My complaint with most children’s curriculum is that it doesn’t point to Christ, so that it risks becoming moralistic.


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