The Action Bible
A book review for parents
This Bible storybook illustrated by Sergio Cariello is published by David C. Cook, and written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Former Marvel and DC Comics illustrator Sergio Cariello retells 215 Bible stories in colorful comic-book format. The narratives appear in chronological order, beginning with Creation and ending with an invitation to open the door for Jesus as He stands and knocks (Revelation 3). Brief text blocks in comic font fill in the time gaps between stories. Short segments of text also convey the high points of New Testament letters and other parts of the Bible that are more difficult to depict graphically.
The visual stories and corresponding text illustrate God's goodness to the faithful, His vengeance upon the wicked and His repeated forgiveness as generations rebel and return to Him. Accounts of Christ's life, ministry, death, resurrection and the presentation of the Holy Spirit point to God's continued grace and love.
God faithfully speaks to and guides His people despite their complaints, disobedience and lack of faith. He provides angel messengers, signs and miracles, His own Son and the Holy Spirit to ensure His children are never alone. Jesus demonstrates compassion, love, grace, power and sacrifice as a human representation of His Father. The Holy Spirit guides and convicts early Christians in the wake of Jesus' earthly ministry. Many godly prophets speak bold truths to erring nations. Numerous kings and rulers allow their obsessions with power and wealth to turn them and their nations away from God. Several wise kings, such as David and Solomon, urge their people to serve God. But even they show great errors in judgment that harm their nations and their credibility. Jesus' disciples and other early followers grow in faith and allow God's power to transform them from timid, uneducated men into bold ministers willing to die for their Savior.
Other Belief Systems
Numerous characters kill, attack, lie, cheat or unjustly punish. Some act out of jealousy or greed. Others seek to achieve revenge or to obtain power or other forms of personal gain. Job's wife and friends urge him to curse God. Kings, including Saul, consult with witches and sorcerers. Many nations engage in idol worship. A few characters, such as Judas, commit suicide. Nations enslave others. Some characters get drunk at parties. Some allow pride to cloud their judgment. The Israelites and others repeatedly ignore and/or disobey God's commands and grumble about His ways. Note: God demonstrates His disapproval of the above actions and provides consequences for these evil choices.
A few illustrations depict bloodshed or killing.
Men of Sodom note that the visiting male angels are "pretty" and that they want to have their way with them. The story of the woman caught in adultery appears, though "adultery" is not explained or depicted. As a whole, sexual issues found in the Bible — the woman caught in adultery, Sodom, etc. — are not exploited or fully depicted. Some men are shown shirtless and muscular. One female appears in a midriff (the girl who dances in exchange for John the Baptist's head on a platter).
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- What was it like to see Bible stories come to life in words and scene-by-scene pictures?
Do the characters look the way you imagined them when you heard these Bible stories in the past?
Did you discover anything new about the Bible or biblical characters that you didn't know before? Explain.
- Is it accurate to compare heroes of the Bible to Spider-Man, Superman or other action heroes in today's comic books?
How are Bible heroes similar to comic book heroes?
How are they different?
- What qualities make someone a hero?
Where does a true hero's power come from?
Could you be a hero?
Explain your answer.
- Which character did you like the most, and why?
Which character was the most frightening or evil?
Which did you feel was most like you, and why?
- Why did nations keep forgetting or disobeying God, even though He had shown them His power so often?
What are some reasons people today have a hard time believing in or following God?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.