The illustrations and coloring pages in the Telling God’s Story, Year One Activity Book are realistic, based on historical fact. This is in response to the desire of many parents, including longtime educator and Peace Hill Press author Jessie Wise, to have illustrations which do not portray the Biblical characters as cartoons.
Jessie Wise says, “Portraying Biblical characters in the form of cartoons presents to a child that these are imaginary figures, and not real people. I have been teaching children’s church in my local fellowship for over twenty years. In that time, I have reviewed dozens of Bible curricula, looking for one that does not use cartoon images. Those that use unrealistic cartoon images trivialize the Biblical stories by portraying the characters as if they were in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.”
Here’s an example of our approach: This coloring page for Year One, Lesson 25 shows Jesus calling Simon & Andrew to be his disciples. We tried to make the men look like Galilean Jews, not like cartoon characters. The fish are Barbus longiceps, which are still caught in the Sea of Galilee in modern times. The picture is fun to color while still depicting realistic people in realistic settings. This helps young children to begin seeing the facts of the Bible’s “story” in a different way than they see the content of the many fairy tales, cartoons, and other fictional stories they encounter every day.