The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Board Book: A True Story about How God Uses People to Save People – Bob Hartman and Catalina Echeverri

The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Board Book: A True Story about How God Uses People to Save People by Bob Hartman, Catalina Echeverri
Also by this author: The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song, My Epic, Doodletastic Bible Storybook: 60 Bible Stories to Read, Color, and Draw, The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Coloring and Activity Book, Jesus and the Very Big Surprise: A True Story about Jesus, His Return, and How to Be Ready, Jesus and the Lions' Den: A True Story about How Daniel Points Us to Jesus, Goodbye to Goodbyes: A True Story About Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb, The Friend Who Forgives: A True Story About How Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave, God's Very Good Idea: A True Story of God's Delightfully Different Family, The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross, The Storm That Stopped, The One O'Clock Miracle, The Christmas Promise
Series: Tales That Tell the Truth for Toddlers
Published by Good Book Company on March 1, 2022
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
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Discover how the Philippian jailer came to know Jesus in this engaging board book for toddlers.

Using simple sentences and stunning illustrations, this 16-page board book retells the story of Paul and the Philippian jailer.

From the sounds of Paul and Silas singing at midnight to the scary rumbling of an earthquake, young children are encouraged to imagine each sound as they follow the story. Finally, with the sound of singing, they rejoice with the jailer and his family as they all become followers of Jesus Christ.

The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Board Book is a toddler-friendly adaptation of a longer picture book from the Tales That Tell the Truth series. Both books tell the story of Acts 16, showing how Paul and Silas’s worship of God during their imprisonment witnessed to the Phillippian jailer and led to his salvation, but this edition is shorter and simpler. The original author, Bob Hartman, simplified the text for a toddler’s comprehension, and only some of the original illustrations appear, but the book reads in a seamless way and feels complete.

One of the biggest differences between the original book and this adaptation is that it removes references to death and suicide. The picture book shows the whole biblical story, with the jailer despairing after the earthquake and preparing to kill himself, since he believes that the prisoners have escaped and that he will face execution. The board book simply shows him crying and says that if the prisoners escape, he will be in “BIG trouble.” This sanitized element keeps the book suitable for toddlers in different settings, without requiring a parent’s explanation of dark and difficult topics. Some families may also prefer this as an alternative to the picture book, if death or suicide is a particularly sensitive issue for them.

I would recommend this board book for families, churches, and Christian schools. The gorgeous illustrations from Catalina Echeverri convey the story and its emotions in a vivid way, and the simple, rhythmic text can hold young children’s attention. This board book shares a story that is less commonly explored with little ones, and it provides a wonderful launching point for talking more about the gospel. Many families will enjoy reading this again and again, and I highly recommend it.