A Christian education begins at home, as any Christian parent can tell you. While attending Sunday School and have connections to a place of worship are important parts in raising children with a Biblical word view, it is parents who are the first and most responsible individuals in a child's life. There are all sorts of books and materials available to help parents reinforce the biblical lessons their child learns at places of worship. Often, though, it's as simple as reading aloud a picture book about biblical characters with one's children. "Naming the Animals" by Gardner McFall and Steven Guarnaccia is a picture book about the passage of scripture in Genesis when God instructs Adam to name all the animals that now populate the newly created world.
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field... Genesis 2:19-20
Full of colorful illustrations and text of only a few sentences per page, "Naming the Animals" is just the right length to be read aloud to toddlers and preschoolers. They will enjoy looking at the various animals that come to Adam to be named and as they grow, they will enjoy reading the book on their own. While the scripture that contains this information is only a couple of verses in the first book of the Bible, the author has expanded the story to help children understand what it might have been like to be responsible for naming each one of God's animal creations. Adam is, of course, unclothed, but the images are not inappropriate for young readers. Those that know the Bible story of Adam and Eve will remember that they didn't put clothes on until after they disobeyed God.
While this book is a work of fiction, little children often need to hear stories and facts repeated several times before it becomes part of their own knowledge. "Naming the Animals" is by no means meant to take the place of religious instruction in a formal setting with the revered Holy Word. However, it is another resource that parents and Christian educators can use to reinforce lessons that are already being taught. Even children still not reading on their own will enjoy looking at the pictures and naming the animals that can be found on each page.
Other children's books about the creation and the Garden of Eden include "The Real Story of the Creation" by Paul L. Maier and Robert T. Barrett, "See and Say! Creation Story" by Christina Goodings and Melanie Mitchell and "Dinosaurs of Eden: Tracing the Mystery Through History" by Ken Ham, Earl Snellenberger and Bonnie Snellenberger.