Catholic Saints for Children is one of the latest releases from Ignatius Press and Magnificat. The book is just under 100 pages, but it packs a punch in content. There are thirty saints covered in all, and they are arranged by order of their birth, with the exception of the Blessed Mother being placed before St. Joseph. In addition to well-known saints, like Peter and Paul, there are some lesser-known ones, like Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Each saint’s entry contains a one-page biography, what the saint can teach us and the intercession he/she can provide, a prayer, and an illustration of the saint.
With thirty entries, you or your child could read one entry a day and not repeat a chapter until the next month. This reduces reader fatigue that parents can often get from reading the same book over and over again, but with a book like this you will want to read it many times over. I enjoyed reading the articles on St. Benedict and St. Dominic as I have a particular affinity toward them. The book is done in the same style of The Catholic Bible for Children, which was released in 2011, both in artistry, size, and the presentation, i.e., French flaps. Thus, these two books are perfectly complementary and if you are buying one you should buy the other. Five stars!
A Missal for Little Ones is a little book designed for little hands. The book is a hardcover with a dust jacket, which means that the book is carefully crafted and designed to last. The book attempts to make the Mass as approachable as possible for young readers. The title of each section tells the child what is going on in the Mass, and the text in the chapter contains a portion of the specific prayer or a summary of what is occurring at the specific time in Mass. In the very middle of the book is a section on the Apostles’ Creed. Unfortunately, it is only snippets of the Creed, which is my biggest complaint with this book. The Creed is a vital part of the Catholic faith, and the snippets in the book omit key parts, like Jesus being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Incarnation is one of the great mysteries of the Faith and should not be omitted, in my opinion.
The book closes with prayers for children to learn and instructing your children in the method of spontaneous prayer. Overall this was a good book, but it could have been better. It is recommended for ages 3+, but if that is the case there should be even fewer words. Also, for that age, it should probably be in the format of a board book. I guess what I am saying is that I feel like there should be two different books, one for ages 3 to 5, and one for ages 5 and up.
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Copyright 2015 Stuart Dunn.