I was born owning the book: Egermeier’s Bible Story Book by Elsie Egermeier. Well, actually it belonged to my mom when she was a little girl and she kept it for her own children, so it has always been around. I cannot tell you how often I have used it.
The book was first published in 1923 … but there have been numerous editions since. (Mom’s copy was the 1939 edition.) You can buy a later edition on Amazon. The book has 200 plus reviews, most of them five star. If you look at the one- or two-star reviews – these are people who are frustrated that they can’t get an older copy of the book because the newer editions, though still biblically accurate, leave out some of the text from the older editions.
And let me interject right here – that I don’t like the term “Bible story,” because I think it conveys made-up tales – so we need to always make it clear that events from God’s Word really happened.
So what makes this book so outstanding?
When writing it, Elsie stated her purpose: With vivid recollections of the capacity of the child mind to grasp and retain Scripture truths, she has labored prayerfully and conscientiously to present these stories in such a simple, direct manner thet her youthful readers will have no difficulty in comprehending their teaching.”
My guess is that Elsie was cutting edge when she wrote because the language is still easy for kids to understand.
The reason I like it so much is that Elsie pulls from the entire Bible so that the stories include facts from throughout Scripture. Sometimes, after I’m done writing curriculum or a devotional I will look at Elsie’s writing as a backup check to make sure I got all the references to that particular Bible story or event. (Reviews show that other teachers do the same.)
The pictures in the earlier editions are plentiful and are in black and white – I’ve heard that’s changed in later editions, however, since my copy is old, I’m not positive. But it’s the content that sets this book part.
This is NOT a children’s Bible that goes verse by verse – but instead relates the events of Scripture in story form for kids. And it does leave out the extremely difficult (for kids) passages about some of the people or events.
If you’re in any type of children’s ministry, I would 100% recommend that you purchase this book. Do what you can to get an earlier edition – a lot of parents/teachers are looking for those originals. I did see that a 1955 edition was on Amazon – that might be an original text, I’m not sure. (If anyone reading this knows, please comment and I’ll pass the word along to my readers.)
In today’s culture of watering down curriculum, this book is a must for any teacher.