DVD Review – Read and Share: The Jesus Series, Life and Miracles

Title: Read and Share: The Jesus Series, Life and Miracles
Publisher: Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson Kids)

Good quality children’s videos are hard to find, and I’m not just talking about faith-based ones. As a picky parent, it’s really important to me to have video content that I’m comfortable with for my daughters. So I was intrigued when I received a copy of Read and Share: The Jesus Series, Life and Miracles.

Based on Gwen Ellis’ Read and Share Bible, this 30-minute video takes viewers on a very fast overview of Jesus’ three year ministry. I found that, overall, the stories were handled well, particularly the feeding of the five thousand and the last supper. Given the amount of content they covered in a short amount of time, this is an astonishing feat.

There were, however, a few things that didn’t sit quite right with me. Many are simply preference, but a significant one (to me) was the assertion that Jesus “found twelve good men” to be His disciples. While I understand that they need to keep the stories age-appropriate, and a lengthy discussion about the sinfulness of mankind might be more than the average three-year-old can handle, it’s something for parents to be aware of so they can discuss.

The art style, taken directly from the Read and Share Bible, is very cute and eye-catching. That said, I think it’s a style that is better served by a 2-D approach (rather than CGI).

Finally—and I know this is probably a niggling thing—but all the characters are very, very Caucasian. At this point, I suspect we all realize that Jesus wasn’t white (given that He was born in the Middle East), so why do we still depict Him as such in our children’s products?

So that about covers the grown-up perspective. Now for the most important question:

What was my daughter’s reaction?

We sat down to watch the video during lunch and her eyes were glued to the screen. Her attention was fixed on the story (a miracle in itself since she’s three!), and when it was over, she asked, “Can we watch it again?”

We ended up watching this video four or five times in one day, and it’s still one of her most frequent requests.

Overall, I was satisfied with Read and Share: The Jesus Series, Life and Miracles. If I had to choose between (most) VeggieTales selections and this, Life and Miracles wins hands down.

A complimentary copy of this DVD was provided for review through Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program

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  • http://srdesigns.ca Emily Armstrong

    Although I absolutely love the DVD overall, there was one unexpected negative side effect, due more to a preschooler’s habit of absorbing whole sentences of video dialogue and then reusing them to express an idea.

    There is one scene in which Peter’s wife calls to one of the older children “Gaddi, I need you!”. Seems harmless, but a certain little miss has gotten into the habit of saying “But DADDY/MOMMY, I NEED you!” and it’s kind of annoying.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Oh dear – that’s a good point.