Our family is developing a love affair with books, especially for the kids. We’re in a stage of binge reading and I’m also big into using them as a bribe when the fellas want to turn on the tube. I try collecting classics for them – books like Corduroy, Harry the Dirty Dog, and Little Golden Books from my childhood. There’s delightful trove of children’s literature out there, but how many of them encourage faith, hope, and love in those terms? If you’re a parent, grandparent, godparent, or any kind of grown up who knows Catholic kiddos, these will make perfect gifts.
The Bible for Little Ones by Maite Roche
This very abbreviated Bible is absolutely ideal for young and older toddlers. The illustrations are vibrant and interesting, and the text per page is brief. It’s become a favorite around here, but not just for the fellas. Reading a few pages to them recently, I was struck by the deliberate theme of obedience Roche included in this Bible. Whether people obeyed or disobeyed God, the consequences are immediately mentioned in the text, which underscores the idea that peace comes from obeying even when we doubt his promises. It was so good to read out loud, “Abraham obeys [God]” and “Adam and Eve disobeyed. What a tragedy!” because it keeps the message clear and simple. The Bible for Little Ones is a board book with a padded cover – so it might just last you a few kids!
My First Pictures of Mary by Maite Roche
Sweet and simple, this board book draws attention to the details of the Blessed Mother: how her home might have looked, the joy she and Elizabeth shared at the Visitation, and other key points of Mary’s life. My littlest man is a big fan of this one and its few pages are enough to hold his 2 year-old attention span.
Tell Me about the Catholic Faith: From the Bible to the Sacraments
Of the three covered in my post, this one is hands-down my favorite. Divided into three parts – The Bible, The History of the Catholic Church, and The Beliefs and Sacraments – this book expresses the faith in terms accessible to young ones. Even though some of the material is over my 5 year-old’s head, the pictures and familiar Bible stories are enough to get our little readers hooked; and as they get older, they’ll be able to enjoy even more of the book and hence, learn more from it.
All three of these have been awesome additions to our Catholic library. They’re ideal for Mass, solo reading, and most especially for reading and conversation with me. When it comes to Catholic children’s literature, you can’t overestimate the power of illustrations. While content is king – I don’t want my kids reading heresy – what draws them are the brightness and vividity of the pictures. I’m pleased to report that these are blessed with both elements because the fact is that The Catholic Kids need Catholic books and I’m thrilled to have found some gems.
*Disclosure: The opinions in this post are my own. Ignatius Press sends me books for my honest review and I am not paid.