FIRST BIBLE STORIES. By Margaret Mayo. Orchard Books. Pounds 9.99.
STORIES FROM THE JEWISH WORLD. By Sybil Sheridan. STORIES FROM THE CHRISTIAN WORLD. By David Self. Macdonald Young Books. Pounds 8.99 each.
Whatever morals or lessons they contain, stories lie at the heart of the main religions. Here is an excellent collection, which, taken together, will feed assemblies, as well as lessons across the curriculum, for some time to come.
The two little books of Stories from the Quran are for three to six-year-olds to share with an adult. They are well-produced and illustrated, and for non-Islamic children will shed an interesting light on stories that also appear in the Hebrew and Christian traditions.
First Bible Stories is also intended to be read by an adult sharing the book with a young child. All the stories are from the Old Testament, and all are well told, in flowing and lively style, with illustrations that children should enjoy looking at.
As long as you realise in advance that Stories from the Jewish World and Stories from the Christian World are not scriptural stories, you will not be disappointed. In fact they are accounts of seminal events and key personalities in the histories of these two faiths. Thus the collection of five Jewish stories includes the story of Hannah Senesh, the Hungarian-born Jewish resistance worker tortured and killed by the Nazis, and the seven Christian stories include St Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa. Each book has background notes on the stories. These books, too, are well illustrated, and are suitable either for reading aloud or for fluent readers of about 10 upwards to read alone.