As Christians, it is very important to my husband and myself that we bring the children up in the Lord. In light of this, our core curriculum is focused on the Bible and on God, plus we've been memorizing Bible verses during school time for years, and just recently the older girls started a daily Bible reading schedule with me, though we have to work on being a bit more diligent. All of the girls have a Bible of their own, and Harold will be getting one when he gets a bit older. Until then, I thought it would be neat for him to have this really cool interactive Story Bible which we recently received.
Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we had the opportunity to check out the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App from Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals.
The colorful, hardcover Story Bible in and of itself is a wonderful addition to our home. This 303-page book contains over 100 stories from the Bible. I was pleased to see that there was a nice variety of stories, unlike other children's Bible storybooks that I have seen. Yes, there are the well-known tales such as Creation, Noah, Moses, David & Goliath, Jonah, and Daniel from the Old Testament. And in the New Testament you will find the familiar retellings of the different aspects of the Christmas story, Jesus as a boy in the temple, The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, Jesus's death and His resurrection. But there are other, not so-well known stories included as well. Stories such as Jacob wrestling with God, Moses and the Egyptian, Israel disobeying God after the Battle of Jericho, Saul's disobedience, Jesus miracle of turning water into wine, Jesus and Nicodemus, Philip and the Ethiopian, and stories of Paul.
This book begins with a letter to parents and grandparents, and then gives instructions on how to download and use the app.
There is a Table of Contents in the beginning of the book and an index of "People, Places, and Things in the Bible" at the end. Both the Old and the New Testament begin with a lovely double page spread which includes a collage of images found in the stories (some of which even "come to life" but more about that later).
Each story is between 2 and 6 pages in length, perfect for children with shorter attention spans. There are some full page illustrations, and the occasional full page of text, but the majority of the time text is printed above or below the main picture.
With 55 Old Testament stories and 49 New Testament stories, this Story Bible does a wonderful job of sharing the story of God's love with the reader.
Now that I shared a bit about the book, let's look at the app that goes along with it, the app that makes it come alive.
First of all, the app is FREE! Yes, free. However, without the Planet 316 Story Bible it won't do you much good, so you do need to have the book.
Now, before I decided I would like to request to be on this review, I had downloaded the app and checked out the sample pages, which you find by clicking on the purple "Pages" button on the screen shown above. I was then able to confirm that I would be able to use the app with my phone. I was so glad that the app is available in both the App Store and Google Play.
Once the Story Bible was in hand, and the app was on my phone, we were able to begin bringing these stories to life. I just click on the green "Start" button in the bottom right corner of the screen, and it brings up a screen which says "scanning." You have to have the phone pointed at the page of the book so it can scan the image and utilize the augmented reality (which funnily enough I had never heard of until receiving this product, even though my hubby now tells me he has used apps that use augmented reality).
If there are no pictures on the part of the page we have it pointed it, it will just sit there scanning, until we move the phone to show the image.
You do have to hold the page and the phone still, plus we have noticed this app works best in a room with decent lighting, or the image becomes a bit shaky. Once it has an image scanned, that image will pop up on the screen, becoming three dimensional, music and/or sound effects will play, and you will be prompted to tap the characters.
The children love being able to take turns tapping the characters to hear them talk.
What we found quite impressive was that if we were holding the book and phone just right, it appears as if the images are popping right off the page, like a pop-up book.
Not only that, some of the characters and objects become animated. For example, we've noticed people walking around and fire from a sacrifice exploding off the page.
We've even noticed additional characters showing up.
If you couldn't tell, we are quite impressed by this new technology which makes stories jump to life. Our nighttime Bible time has definitely gained an extra dimension. What's been really cool is that there have been stories to go along with most of the passages we have been reading out of the Bible during our school time. We have been making our way through the time of the Judges and Kings with our core curriculum. Then at night we cuddle on the bed or the couch and find the coordinating story in the Planet 316 Story Bible and bring the story to life. Plus I think it helps the younger children that we get to reread the story in a way that is easier for them to understand.
We've read about Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, Hannah and her son Samuel, King Saul, David (both as a boy and as king), King Solomon, and the prophet Elijah. During Holy Week before Easter, we put our curriculum on hold, so at night we flipped to the New Testament to read some stories about Jesus.
If you would like to bring these Bible stories alive for your children, I would highly recommend the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App. And if you don't have a tablet or phone to utilize the app, I would still recommend this Bible for young children. The stories are perfect for a short Bible time for younger children, and older children could even help read the stories. I love that the Bible references are given under the title of the story. You could even have older children find these passages and read them during their own Bible time.
Don't forget to click the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about this wonderful, interactive Story Bible.