Review of Precious Moments 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury

Precious Moments are one of those things that just about everyone in the Christian world, and many in the secular world, know about. The little teardrop-shaped children are easily recognizable everywhere. They were first drawn by Samuel Butcher in the 1970’s. The first collectible figurine line was created in 1978, and throughout the 80’s and 90’s they were one of the hottest collectibles. They were oh-so-cute and the thing to get for birthdays, weddings, holidays, and special milestones in life.

Today the craze seems to have died down a bit, but the figurines are still available. And I was pleasantly surprised to see them make an appearance in the book I’ll be reviewing today, Precious Moments 5-Minute Bedtime Treasury.

The book itself is solidly made. It’s a slightly padded hardcover that measures a little smaller than a sheet of paper, about 11 inches by 8 inches. Every page inside is full color and made of a thicker stock than usual. The book has space in the front for a child to write a family tree, answer questions “all about me”, draw a handprint, and keep a record of church events. On the last two pages are spaces for someone to write a prayer for the child, and for the child to write his or her own.

The book doesn’t provide a suggested age range, you can probably start sharing this with them once they start understanding words and learning to read from ages 3-7. The stories are true to the title of the book–you can definitely get through them in 5 minutes, so it’s great to read with your child right before bed and then conclude with a Bible verse called a “bedtime Bible promise”. There’s an article in the book that talks about establishing a comforting routine at night.

The book is divided into three categories: God is Trustworthy (Old Testament stories), God is Good (Psalms and Proverbs), and God is Love (New Testament stories). There are about 46 stories in total. The stories are paraphrased from the International Children’s Bible, and do a pretty good job of being accurate and complete.

The star of this book, of course, are the adorable Precious Moments children. There are illustrations throughout of Precious Moments children as the characters of various Bible stories, or just pictures of them in everyday situations like a teacher teaching kids or a pair of kids having a picnic. Some of the illustrations are full-page ones filled with all kinds of detail that children would love just to stare at (in fact, especially for younger kids you might find there’s a lot more interest in the pictures than in the words). And the detail is such that you can go through every one with your child and point out different objects and animals. Every last illustration is absolutely delightful and reminiscent of those figurines and artwork we loved back in the 1980’s. If there’s one gripe I have, it’s just an recurring pet peeve of mine that they show an illustration of Christ as a Caucasian man with European features and a neatly trimmed beard. That’s of course probably not what He looked like, and I’m one who believes that we should leave what He did actually look like to each of our individual hearts. I wish more people could just portray Jesus the subtle, respectful manner that the movie Ben Hur did.

As for the text of the book, for the most part it seems to follow the Bible closely, not a surprise since it literally is a paraphrase from a Bible translation. The main pet peeve I have here is that certain words go a bit too far in my opinion in terms of sacrificing accuracy for sounding overly conversational and colloquial. For example, instead of the word “blessed” they use the word “happy”, which of course is not all accurate. Instead of the word “wise” they use “smart”, again, not quite the same thing. I appreciate the effort of trying to make the Bible to those with the most basic vocabulary, but it’s not like those words they replaced were very difficult ones.

Still, we’re in such dire need of great, engaging, appealing books for children these days and despite the flaws the selection of stories and beautiful illustrations make this a worthwhile purchase, especially if there are girls in your household. I look forward to being able to read it with my little girl.