Looking for an old children's Bible story book
July 13, 2009 10:33 AM   Subscribe

It's probably a long shot, but I'm looking for an old (1980s or older) children's Bible story book I had when I was a kid. I can't quite recall the name, but it might have been called something like "The Children's Bible Story Book." What I remember most about it were the awesome illustrations. Can anyone help?

Here's what I remember about it:

* I had it in the '80s.

* It was hardbound

* The cover was sort of sky blue in color - I think there was a picture of Noah's ark on it with animals trailing out of it. This cover illustration wrapped around the spine and back cover.

* This wasn't an actual children's Bible - it was a collection of Bible stories.

* The illustrations were full of bright, vibrant colors and had a painted look to them. They were fairly realistic - not silly or cartoony in any way.

*It wasn't any of the books mentioned in this previous thread.

* The title was something like "The Children's Bible Story Book" but it was not the one by David C. Cook or Anne DeGraaf (I don't think so, anyway. The publishing dates and cover art shown on Amazon don't match). That might not have even been the title, but it sounds close, and my dad seemed to think it was something similar, too.

*Some images that particularly stuck out to me: Mary in purple weeping in a graveyard full of white lilies, Esther reclining while Haman begs for his life, a wealthy Ethiopian (with a goatee?) being baptized, Samson just before he was crushed to death.

It would be just awesome if I could find this again. The illustrations in that book taught me a lot about art and color. I used to spend hours studying the pictures and coming up with my own stories for them. I miss it!
posted by katillathehun to Religion & Philosophy (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, I know this book. I bought it for my kids in the 80s and I couldn't find it recently (I wanted to give it to my daughter as a going-to-college gift). If it's the one I'm thinking of, it is indeed on Amazon and the author is Selena Hastings. You're right, the illustrations were so compelling!
posted by thinkpiece at 10:45 AM on July 13, 2009

I know exactly which one you're talking about -- even my non-religious family had one! Thanks for asking -- I'm glad to know it for future reference.
posted by olinerd at 10:47 AM on July 13, 2009

I don't think this one was the one by Selena Hastings - though that one looks beautiful, too. This one had the animals coming out of the ark. I remember it was a bright and sunny day with some puffy white clouds, as if the flood waters had finally receded.
posted by katillathehun at 10:50 AM on July 13, 2009

Could it be this one? Everything fits your description except for the cover.

Cover. Samson story.

It's sitting right in front of me as we speak type, so I can take more shots of it if you want.
posted by aheckler at 10:59 AM on July 13, 2009

The Kingfisher Children's Bible?
posted by Crotalus at 11:10 AM on July 13, 2009

Nope, not that one either, though the illustrative style in that is similar. I think this one was a little bit more modern, and it wasn't Catholic.
posted by katillathehun at 11:11 AM on July 13, 2009

Not the Kingfisher, either. Looks like that one was published in 2001 (though that may be a newer edition.) This one did not have any decorative bands across the top and bottom, and it wasn't branded like a Bible. I'm pretty sure it had "Stories" somewhere in the title. Thanks, though!
posted by katillathehun at 11:14 AM on July 13, 2009

There's this one, originally published in 1969.

The one I initially though of though was this one, which I had as a child and enjoyed. It has realistic artwork, but the above one at least fits with your cover description.
posted by waitangi at 11:18 AM on July 13, 2009

Was it the Golden Children's Bible? Look at some of the customer images to see the illustrations. I had this book in the mid-1970s, and it had a light blue cover. It seems that I remember it also being in my pediatritian's and dentist's offices (must've gotten them free with Highlights magazine or something). It was a popular book.

The link says the publication date is 2006, but if you look at the reviewer comments, quite a few people remember it from much longer ago than that.
posted by Houstonian at 11:31 AM on July 13, 2009

Arthur Maxwell's set of books called The Bible Story also had a blue background.

(Also at my dentist's office... times really have changed. Anyway it was also popular, and probably free or seriously discounted, so lots of people had them.)
posted by Houstonian at 11:44 AM on July 13, 2009

Not the Golden Children's Bible or The Bible Story, either. This wasn't a book commonly found in dentist's offices. Haha. Keep in mind - the blue background was a sky, not just a solid blue background. The artwork was mature and very well-done. It's possible that it was printed before the '80s when I had it, but I doubt it was much older than the '70s. The style of it seems more modern than story books I've seen from the '60s.
posted by katillathehun at 11:56 AM on July 13, 2009

Was the ark sitting high on the cover, like all the way up? And facing to the right? On top of a rocky cliff?

I want to say I had a copy of that as a child, but I would have to get my parents to dig through their nursery to confirm.
posted by jefficator at 12:24 PM on July 13, 2009

That sounds familiar, jefficator. I think the ark *was* on a rocky cliff facing the right. Noah was possibly closer in the foreground, standing off to the right while the animals descended down the cliff from the ark.
posted by katillathehun at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2009

Just looking for Children's Bible Stories that feature Noah's Ark on the cover, I've come across this and this, which are both more recent. Same for this one and this. I'll spend some time seeing if any of these have earlier printings.
posted by specialagentwebb at 1:27 PM on July 13, 2009

I used to have this very book, I'm sure of it. The illustrator had an Asian surname, and it had Noah either ushering the animals aboard or sailing with them all around him with a dark, stormy sky in the background. Perhaps my mother still has it at her house...
posted by dozo at 1:38 PM on July 13, 2009

I still think it's the Selena Hastings. What you see on Amazon is an updated version of the cover, but the inside is the exactly the same.
posted by thinkpiece at 3:23 PM on July 13, 2009

The few sample illustrations I saw from that weren't quite the style I remember - but, of course, it's been a long time. I'll have to see if I can find it in a book store and flip through it to be sure.
posted by katillathehun at 3:33 PM on July 13, 2009

I called my mom and she dug the one I had out...

Doubleday Illustrated Children's bible?

I loved it and I distinctly remember the art style, though the illustrator's name is NOT what I was thinking.
posted by dozo at 6:07 PM on July 13, 2009

one of the things that really impressed me as a child was the Witch of Endor story.
posted by dozo at 6:12 PM on July 13, 2009

Damn, dozo beat me to it! I also vote that maybe it's the Doubleday Illustrated Children's Bible - your description sounded just like it, and I remember admiring the drapery on everyone's clothing in the illustrations when I was a kid. I have my copy right here if you need any specific details looked up.
posted by cadge at 6:31 PM on July 13, 2009

The illustrations you are thinking of might be those of Richard Hook. This link has a book displaying his illustrations, maybe you had a different copy of the book which had a different cover.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:38 PM on July 13, 2009

Yeah, that edition is 2009, I know I had a different edition as a child that had a completely different cover.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:52 PM on July 13, 2009

I also recall a children's book of bible stories from the 80's with a blue cover and fascinating illustrations (prodigal son, etc.). For some reason I feel like the title contained a reference to the new testament, as in "The Children's New Testament," or something similar, but I can't find it anywhere...
posted by scribbler at 7:31 PM on July 13, 2009

I'm not sure if the Doubleday one is correct either - I don't remember mine being called a children's Bible... I remember something about "stories" in there, but! I could be totally wrong. Cadge, if you're willing to check yours for me, can you look up the story of Esther? I remember her reclining on something, and the viewpoint was from behind her, and I think Haman was on his knees, begging. There's another illustration in that same story of King Xerxes lookin' all "Leave my woman alone!" which totally delighted my little girl imagination. I'd remember that in a heartbeat if I saw it again.
posted by katillathehun at 8:38 PM on July 13, 2009

I'll check it when I get home this evening. Stay tuned!
posted by cadge at 7:36 AM on July 14, 2009

Nuts! Sorry, katillathehun, I don't think this is the book you're describing. The Esther illustration is just a flat one of her standing in front of Xerxes on his throne, and Xerxes has some guys behind him with bows and arrows and a parasol held over Xerxes. And this book's Samson illustration has him wrestling a lion out in the desert.

I hope you find the version you're looking for!
posted by cadge at 5:06 PM on July 14, 2009

Aw. Oh well. Thanks for checking!
posted by katillathehun at 8:05 PM on July 14, 2009

I think I may have found the book you're looking for: The Read -n- Grow Picture Bible. My copy had a picture of Jesus healing a blind man on it, but there have apparently been several editions.

I've uploaded photos of Samson, Esther, and the front and back covers.
posted by JDHarper at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Not it, but thank you anyway!
posted by katillathehun at 1:32 PM on November 23, 2009

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