VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer has begun a new DVD series called “What’s in the Bible?” to present educational information about the Bible to kids in an entertaining and memorable way. Each episode will focus on a different book, and will also feature a question about a Bible concept related to the theme of the episode. Rather than pure animation, this series uses a variety of puppet characters along with some live action and some animation to provide variety. Each episode also includes new songs, in my opinion the strength of the series.
Things to Know: The series does not take a Protestant or Catholic viewpoint, but tries to remain objective in that sense. For example, when discussing how many books are in the Bible, they explain why different Bibles have different numbers of books. One Preacher character wears a collar. Teachers who are uncomfortable with the creative license used in the VeggieTales series will appreciate that this series focuses on the truth of the Bible, and aims to inform kids about the exact contents of scripture.
Impressions: The series is fun, but does lack some of the cache of the VeggieTales series. Perhaps because it is less about storytelling and more about information. It doesn’t shrink from long words but presents them clearly. School age children are the target audience simply from the complexity of some of the concepts. The format lends itself to picking out specific segments if you want rather than showing an entire episode. They are very ambitious in the amount of information they try to cover in a single episode. The Exodus episode covered material I would have spread over many weeks, myself.
My pre-schooler loves the songs, but loses focus during the exposition. That’s understandable, but you might look at the format and think a pre-schooler is the desired audience. I invited an 8 year old from my Sunday School class to give me her impressions and she said she liked the series, would watch it by choice, and learned quite a bit from it. She especially liked the songs and recommended the show to kids her age.
Pros: Lots of modern curriculum skip through scripture to teach concepts, which is perfectly valid. But it can leave students without an overall understanding of the history and scope of scripture. I was raised in a very through-the-Bible style of teaching and appreciate having that background. This series attempts to connect scripture on a grand scale and provide an understanding of the Bible in general, which is great.
Cons: Too advanced for pre-schoolers, this series applies more to grade school kids. Don’t expect the same level of humor and story as in VeggieTales. Tries to fit a LOT of information into a short space of time. Much more educational than you might expect at first.
More Info: The series has a web site at http://www.whatsinthebible.com/ with preview videos to watch.
Where to Buy:
Christian Book Distributors
or you can buy DVDs or download digital versions for less at http://store.whatsinthebible.com
Disclosure: I was provided two DVDs and asked to review the series on my web site, but I was not paid to do so. My review was in no way influenced or reviewed by them before posting. I felt the series was a good match for my audience. I will receive a small commission if users buy through the Christian Book link above; none from the whatsinthebible.com url.