Totally Awesome, Super-Cool Bible Stories as Drawn by Nerdy Ned is targeted at late Elementary to early Middle-School kids to tell the stories of the Bible in an entertaining, but respectful way. Corey Adams works in some great illustrations along the way, provides the readers with spaces to doodle, and tells the major stories that make up the Bible. Corey throws in humor just enough to keep things interesting, but doesn’t go far off point. The language is definitely over the top, but not in a way that diminishes the meaning of the stories.
We start off in Genesis, seeing the Creation and Fall and working our way through Noah, Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. We move through Exodus, making sure to include the Ten Commandments along the way. Judges touches on some of the main judges we know in that book – Deborah, Samson, and Gideon. We meet Ruth, Samuel, Saul, and David. We move through the major and minor prophets, spending a bit more time on Daniel than the others, but that works in this context.
Corey then moves to the New Testament, starting with John the Baptist and Jesus. He spends several chapters following the life and teachings of Jesus, summarizing them in an entertaining, but accurate, manner. However, when it comes to the final days of Jesus leading up to the cross, Corey takes a more somber tone. He writes of the trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus in a more serious tone with much less joking. That works well to emphasize this part is important. At the resurrection, things get a little more jovial because all is right again.
We end the New Testament section following Acts, Paul, and so on. Corey summarizes some of the major points Paul makes in his letters in one chapter, emphasizing their importance, though ending with a texting summary. He does say that he prefers Paul’s version. He finally ends with the Revelation when Jesus will come back.
My thoughts: Overall, I think this is a decent summary. Some parts may be a little too silly for my tastes, but I’m not the target audience. Some parts may not quite be summarized the way I would do so or perhaps emphasize a different point, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the way Corey tells the stories. This is definitely not a replacement for a real Bible, but could be useful to point out some of the stories in the Bible to those who find it hard to concentrate or read through the Bible. The spots to doodle could be useful, though some guidance on what might be good to doodle would have been appreciated – in the way that the Doodle books are popular now. It’s something I would consider letting my kid read, though with enough checking in to make sure they weren’t taking everything in here literally. I enjoyed the illustrations throughout and think they worked well to emphasize the main points of the stories.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book with no expectations. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.