Bring church history to life with these Reformation books for kids from the new Who What Why Series. Author Danika Cooley, creator of Bible Road Trip curriculum and Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible, believes that church history matters. Here’s an inside peek into these fun and educational books.
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Why Learn About the Reformation
It’s important to teach our elementary kids about the history of the Reformation – because Christian history matters today! And our kids want to know the why behind our church denominations and practices. These books will help you share this valuable Christian history with your elementary kids.
Why should your kids learn about the Reformation?
- shows God’s sovereignty
- teaches biblical theology
- appreciation for the Church in other cultures and ages
If it sounds a little intimidating to teach your kids about something as important as the Reformation, then you’ll love the new Who What Why Series by Danika Cooley. Her books will provide the jumping-off point of great discussions and further study with your 9-11 year olds.
The series includes three books that all work together to tell the story of the Reformation. The books are each about 100 pages long and include hand-drawn illustrations.
Who Was Martin Luther?
“Sometimes the people who change the world come from the most unlikely of places.”Who Was Martin Luther?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 9
The story of Martin Luther is told by Danika Cooley in this illustrated 96-page book. Her writing style is engaging and fun, with just the right amount of dates and interesting facts included. She really knows how to communicate to children – and it shows in this book!
This approachable biography not only includes the pertinent details related to Martin Luther’s life, but author Danika Cooley also makes it a point to emphasize the global impact of his decisions.
If you go to a church now where the Bible is boldly preached, or if you have a Bible written in your own language, well, Martin had something to do with that. This is his story.Who Was Martin Luther?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 10
The book includes a detailed timeline with the life of Martin Luther and other famous events in world history happening at the same time, like the paintings of Da Vinci or the explorations of Vasco de Gama and Christopher Columbus. Your children could create a timeline as they read about events in Martin Luther’s life.
What Was the Gutenberg Bible?
In less than 100 pages, Danika Cooley takes your young children on the exciting adventure of God’s plan to spread His Word throughout the world, using an unlikely man named Johann Gutenberg.
We do know that our great God is in control of all history—every event and every salvation. God cares about his Word, and he sends it forward into the world to accomplish his will. The Bible carries God’s Word to us, and through Scripture we are told God’s great plan for our salvation. It was through Johann Gutenberg that God’s Word spread like dandelion seed in the wind, bringing life to the world. This is the true tale of Johann’s marvelous invention, the world’s most important book, and the way it all glorified our amazing God.What Was the Gutenberg Bible?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 14
You could use this book as part of your Bible, history, or even science and technology studies! While your kids learn about the spread of the Word of God through the printed Bible, they will learn about the history of writing through the ages, and even the technology of how the printing press actually works.
Ties in with Your History Studies
Danika Cooley ties in the importance of the invention of the printing press with the larger historical movement of the Reformation. This is what really makes this set of three books a great collection to read together.
Can you see how important printing became? Printers and the words they produced served an important role in paving the road to the Reformation. Once written arguments could easily be reproduced and distributed, ideas could spread quickly.What Was the Gutenberg Bible?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 53
After tracing Johann Gutenberg’s life and achievements, the book goes back in time to explain how the Bible came to be in Latin in the first place. Then, we learn that Martin Luther is born just fifteen years after Johann Gutenberg died. It really is amazing to see how these important lives fit together and nearly overlap!
Your kids will also learn about the work of organizations today to bring the Bible to people in their heart language. It will give your family insight into how to pray for and contribute to these ministries.
Finally, the Timeline at the end of the book provides an interesting look at the history of printing and Bible translations.
Why Did the Reformation Happen?
In the third book of the Reformation series from Who What Why, author Danika Cooley presents the five Solas in an easy-to-understand format for young kids.
The Five Solas still remind us of the truth today, over 500 years later. God’s Word alone (sola Scriptura) is our authority and tells us everything we need to know. We are saved in Christ alone (solus Christus) by grace alone (sola gratia) through faith alone (sola fide). All things bring glory to God alone (soli Deo gloria).Why Did the Reformation Happen?, Danika Cooley (Christian Focus Publications, 2021), page 15
Danika Cooley spends a chapter on each of the Solas as she gives the historical context for the Reformation. She also explains the importance and contributions of many Reformers, like:
- John Wycliffe in England
- Jan Hus in Bohemia
- Girolamo Savonarola in Italy
- Martin Luther in Germany
- Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland
- John Calvin in France and Switzerland
- Thomas Cranmer in England
- John Knox in Scotland
- William Tyndale in England
- Philip Melanchthon in Germany
- and many more!
In addition to the Five Solas, this book will also give your kids a glimpse into Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, and the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Finally, the book discusses the repercussions of the Reformation in the forming of different groups such as the Anabaptists, the Baptists, and the Puritans.
This book also includes a helpful timeline for seeing all the events in perspective.
Reformation Books + Resources for Kids
Purchase the Who What Why Series and download free lap books to help you extend the learning