Christian Retailing

Classic series aims to avoid ‘fable’ label Print Email
Written by Karen Schmidt   
Monday, 10 November 2008 11:30 AM America/New_York

‘Bibletime’ books telling ‘the same story as the Bible’ arrive in U.S. stores

Carine Mackenzie’s first "Bibletime" children’s book 30 years ago not only launched a worldwide publishing company, but also initiated a series of books that today encircles the globe, continuing to tell children about notable Bible personalities. This month, Scotland-based Christian Focus Publications begins U.S. distribution of Moses: Man of God (978-1-845-50381-9) and Paul: The Wise Preacher (-2-6).

Distinct among current Bible story books, Mackenzie has successfully captured the essence of each Bible personality’s character and his or her significance in the scope of God’s work, without fictionalizing or corrupting the text.

"I wrote these stories because our older children complained that Bible story books often did not tell the same story as the Bible," she said.

By way of example, she points to the many children’s books that depict the ark Noah built as a rounded boat with a giraffe poking its head out of the roof and the animals all entering two by two. Then, "How many stories of Jonah do you read where Jonah is smiling at the end?" she asked. "If we change Scripture to suit our storytelling then we make the Bible just another fable."

Mackenzie wrote the first book, Gideon: Soldier of God, three decades ago in her kitchen in Inverness, Scotland. Since then she has written more than 50 children’s books, including the "Bibletime" series, of which all the previous titles are still in print.

In Moses: Man of God, children will follow Moses from his birth through the wilderness episode where a brass snake is lifted up to offer healing after the Israelites sinned. Mackenzie vividly links this to the crucifixion of Christ that provides for salvation by faith. The story is factually told with enough detail to captivate children. Paul: The Wise Preacher describes the apostle’s life from his conversion through his imprisonment and shipwreck.

Duncan Maclaren, who illustrated the first 12 "Bibletime" titles, has returned to provide art for the new books.

Collectively, the series of 16 softcover books for children ages 4 through 7 has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide. Each 32-page book retails for $2.99.

For more information, visit To order, call STL Distribution North America at 800-289-2772.