Ignatius Press has released three lovely new books for the little ones in your life along with a beautiful Advent calendar, just in time for the beginning of Advent.
I had the opportunity to review these items in my home and am excited to share them with your family. I was not compensated for this review.
First, A Missal for Toddlers is a cute board book for the youngest children. It walks toddlers through the Mass, from arriving at church and making the Sign of the Cross through the Gloria and the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Sign of Peace and the final blessing. The illustrations by Elen Lescoat show a family as they participate at Mass. The thick, durable cover and pages should stand up to many readings with young children. I imagine using this book at home and reading the story with my toddler as a preparation for attending Mass, but it could also be used as a follow-along during the Mass. The publisher recommends this book for ages three and up, but my two year old has been enjoying it as well.
My Little Catechism is a beautiful new resource for younger school-age children. The publisher recommends it for ages 7 and up, but younger children could enjoy it with an adult or older sibling. The softcover book is printed in color on high-quality paper. It follows a question and answer format, explaining basic tenets of the Catholic faith in clear language that is easy to understand. Each lesson contains an appropriate Scripture reference, a sum-up “We Believe” statement, and a suggestion for how to put that faith principle into practice in real life. There is also a short prayer and a question or two to review each lesson.
The depth of the content and the clarity of the writing in the lessons impressed me. This catechism explains wonderfully the central truths of the faith. Far from “talking down” to the children it addresses, it inspires awe and joy in its beautiful explanations and illustrations. This book would make a lovely gift for godchildren or grandchildren- it is truly a pleasure to read. I am looking forward to using it to help my own children continue to know and love Jesus better as they grow.
The Christmas Star is the newest addition to the First Steps in Faith series from Ignatius and Magnificat by acclaimed illustrator Maïte Roche. This sturdy board book traces the journey of the Magi as they travel to find Baby Jesus. As always, Maïte Roche’s amazing illustrations vividly bring the story to life. I especially love her pictures because they include many people beyond the main characters of the story. My children and I enjoy studying the illustrations and talking about which person we would be in the story as we read. At just twelve pages, this clear and simply-told story will hold the attention of even the youngest children, but the depth and beauty in the illustrations rewards repeated reading and careful examination. This book would also make a lovely gift for a child in your life.
The final new resource is a gorgeous Gospel Advent Calendar, also created by artist Maïte Roche. It is a three-panel illustration of the town of Bethlehem with the stable at the center and the countryside surrounding it. The city of Jerusalem with the Temple is pictured in the distance. There is a small door to open each day from December 1 through the birth of Jesus, with three doors to open on Christmas Day. Behind each door is a detailed illustration of a scene from the Nativity story with a line from the story to read. Although many Advent calendars end on Christmas Day, this one has additional doors included for the feasts of the Holy Family, Mary Mother of God on January 1, Epiphany and the Presentation on February 2. The calendar stands nicely on a mantel or tabletop and is almost two feet wide when open (and just over one foot tall). It could also be hung on the wall. An illustrated companion booklet provides a short family reading and prayer for each day. Using this calendar would be a wonderful way to prepare your family for Christmas this year.
These resources are available now from Ignatius Press or your local Catholic bookseller. They are also available on Amazon.com.
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Copyright 2016 Abbey Dupuy