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A Bright Star Falls

Author(s): 
Lenora Mattingly Weber
Series: 
Beany Malone
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Rosellen Kern dies and Andy struggles with it.

A Catholic 123/ABC Copybook, a Preschool Practice Book with Catholic Facts

Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This is a very straight-forward preschool workbook, with one letter on each double page: on the left the capital letters and on the right its corresponding lower case, with multiple lines provided for both tracing and copying. On the bottom of each page there is a simple picture and two sentences with a word in bold starting with that letter, and one line provided for the child to copy the word. I should note here that the lower case letters consistently reach well above the dotted middle line--I do not know if this was the way lettering was taught before 1950. Numbers 1 to 9 follow the alphabet pages, in the same basic pattern. One plus is that the paper is better quality than the usual newsprint. It is of equivalent weight/color of your regular printer paper.

Additional notes: 

These are reprints from 1947-1955. The pictures and text are very "old-fashioned". For members of a Tridentine Mass community, these can be very handy. All of the references to the Holy Mass and liturgical season refer to the Tridentine rite and the old liturgical calendar.

Review Date: 
2-24-2007
Reviewed by: 

A Catholic Family Prayer Book

Book cover: 'A Catholic Family Prayer Book'
Copyright: 
2001
Publisher: 
Little Flower Family Apostolate
Binding: 
Stapled Softcover
Number of pages: 
36 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

1st copy FREE for one "Hail Mary"; suggested donation $2-$5 thereafter

What a lovely, little prayer book! Sized to fit into a shirt pocket, this paperback prayer book can be tucked into your pocketbook, favorite tote bag, or even your lunch box. It contains a selection of familiar and long-forgotten prayers arranged under the headings of "Morning Prayers", "Prayers Throughout the Day", "Prayers for Those in Purgatory", "Prayers in Reparation", and "Evening Prayers". The prayers have been gathered from various sources, and the texts are printed in an eye-pleasing typeface in English.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Additional notes: 

This is a photocopied, stapled booklet

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

A Catholic Garden of Puzzles

Book cover: 'A Catholic Garden of Puzzles'
Author(s): 
Sandra Garant
Copyright: 
2000
Publisher: 
Catholic Heritage Curricula
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
88 pages
Subject(s): 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This book includes nearly 100 word puzzles (for ages seven to adult - varying levels of difficulty) based on Catholic beliefs, prayers, litanies, precepts of the Church, famous Catholics of the past and present (nice to have some current material sometimes!), the Popes, etc. The book is organized by topic (not difficulty level) and includes five main sections - God, Scripture, the Blessed Virgin, the Saints and Virtues, and Catholic Life and Traditions. Types of puzzles include: Connect the words, Restoration, Vowelless, Purgation, Cryptogram, Which Way? Pictures to Color, Logic Puzzles and at least one maze. Permission is included to photocophy the pages for your own family.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
6-27-2000
Reviewed by: 

A Catholic Homeschool Treasury

Book cover: 'A Catholic Homeschool Treasury'
Author(s): 
Rachel Mackson
Maureen Wittmann
Copyright: 
1999
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

I haven't been able to read this entire book yet because (although I've had the book less than two weeks) I've already lent it out to a friend. At first it didn't look like much, but after reading a number of the essays, I've come to see why this book can be considered a real treasure. This is a collection of essays written by real homeschooling moms who share some of their experiences and the stories of how homeschooling has worked for their families. I thought it was nice just to hear ordinary moms explain how they adjusted a program to fit their needs, worked with their husband on determining how to balance structure and flexibility and how they've grown to see homeschooling as a wonderful way to develop a healthy, happy and holy family life and to encourage their children to really love learning for all the right reasons. So many families struggle with how to tailor homeschooling to their family's needs and to find the right balance between flexibility and structure, good academics and the joy of learning, etc. These essays provide a very valuable sense of the scope of possibilities available to Catholic homeschool families.

Due to the changing nature of the Internet world, the authors have provided a companion website where you can find current information on website addresses and other helpful info from the resource guide segment of their book.

A sequel, A Catholic Homeschool Companion, has been published by Sophia Institute Press.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

A Catholic How-to-Draw

Author(s): 
Andrea Helen Smith
Copyright: 
2005
Publisher: 
Little Way Press
Binding: 
Spiralbound
Number of pages: 
109 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This lovely and engaging book presents 30 drawing projects (of mostly religious subjects) in an easy-to-follow step-by-step fashion so that even very young children can gain confidence in their drawing skills and enjoy making beautiful decorations for holy day decorations, greeting cards and more.

The projects included are as follows:

Sacred Heart of Jesus
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Rose
Rosary
Bethlehem
Chalice and Host
Bouquet
Bow
Nativity
Lamb of God
Monstrance
Mother Mary
Child Jesus
Praying Boy
Praying Girl
Altar
Cherub
Crucifix
Baby Jesus
Saint Joseph
Jesus, Our Savior
Our Lady of Fatima
Angel
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Risen Christ
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Good Shepherd
Saint Francis of Assisi
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
Holy Spirit

Several of the projects also include more advanced steps for more eager young artists. An appendix offers a number of smaller pictures to decorate the larger projects - including birds, butterflies, flowers and more.

The spiral binding is much appreciated because the book lies perfectly flat, leaving the artist with both hands to work on his project.

This is a completely new book from Catholic Heritage Curricula's previous book with the same title.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1-7-2007
Reviewed by: 

A Charlotte Mason Companion

Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
Book cover: 'A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning'
Author(s): 
Karen Andreola
Copyright: 
1998
Publisher: 
Charlotte Mason Research and Supply Co
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
383 pages
Review: 

I have talked to a number of people who read For the Children's Sake, loved it, and wanted more. Karen Andreola has really provided for that need with this book. It was delightful to read Mrs. Andreola's personal experiences and ideas for applying the philosophies of Charlotte Mason to her own family's homeschooling years. Reading through some of the chapter headings gives you a sense of the flavor - The Atmosphere of Home, The Happiness of Habit, How We Use Whole Books, Narration: The Art of Knowing, Teaching Composition, Kernels of Wisdom, Simply Grammar, Hero-Admiration as a Factor in Education, Picture Study, Music Appreciation, Once Upon a Time - Fact or Fairy Tales, Shakespeare: A Mother's Secret Resource, Neighborhood Nature Study, Magnanimity and Enthusiasm, Picnics Any Time At All, etc. Each chapter also includes "Questions for Personal Reflection or Support Group Discussion". Although Karen Andreola is not Catholic, I didn't detect any anti-Catholic bias in her own writings. However, I would use caution with regard to books she recommends (such as Pilgrim's Progress) which may be inappropriate. I think you'll also find that most of her ideas are very compatible with our faith. I would even go so far as to say that using this book might be very helpful in giving your children a Catholic education. Her chapter entitled "Hero-Admiration as a Factor in Education" is a good example. You may at first be frustrated that she doesn't even mention the Saints here. You may realize, however, that the points she makes in this chapter are highly applicable to learning about the Saints and the importance of encouraging your children to know and love them. As with any homeschooling book, there are ideas that I wouldn't agree with on a practical level.

Perspective: 
Protestant
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

A Child's Book of Lullabies

Book cover: 'A Child's Book of Lullabies'
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This is a songbook of lullabies illustrated with paintings of mothers and babies by American artist Mary Cassatt. The songs are mostly classics such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Now the Day is Over, but you'll also find Cum By Yah. Mary Cassatt was an impressionist from the 19th century and her paintings include lots of baby bottoms and nursing mothers. They are all very sweet, but not necessarily everyone's style. It is sold by Dorling Kindersley with a tape of the lullabies. On one side of the tape is the music with vocalization and the other side is the instrumental version of the same songs. I don't care for the voice, but the tape does help to learn the songs, especially if you don't know how to read music. I think this makes a very nice beginning art and music book, particularly for preschoolers, and could also become a nice part of your bedtime routine.

Reviewed by: 

A Child's Book of Prayer in Art

Book cover: 'A Child's Book of Prayer in Art'
Author(s): 
Sister Wendy Beckett
Copyright: 
1995
Publisher: 
Dorling Kindersley
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
31 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This book is designed to help your child discover the lessons present in many fine works of art. The inside cover explains "In this, her first book for children, Sister Wendy has selected paintings that can speak to children, illustrating the important values of life, such as love, respect and forgiveness. She helps children to look and listen, gaining insight into art while developing a greater understanding of their own spirituality." For an art book published by a secular company the material is fairly religious and includes such paintings as French Peasant Girls Praying, The Martyrdom of Saint Clement, Christ Discovered in the Temple, The Kiss of Judas, and The Calling of Saint Matthew. The art selections are great - very classic - and the text is very simple. An interesting side point that homeschoolers will enjoy is that there is a painting called The Young Schoolmistress. In her description, Sister Wendy mentions, "Perhaps she is his big sister and he is being taught on his own at home. It is not only in the classroom, or from qualified teachers, that we learn about the world."

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

A Continual Feast

Author(s): 
Evelyn Birge Vitz
Copyright: 
1991
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Binding: 
Paperback
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

My cooking is simple, ordinary, and I seldom follow recipes. But one recipe I have gone back to again and again is the Four-Egg Cake in A Continual Feast cookbook by Evelyn Birge Vitz. That is a wonderful sacrament cake--First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Baptisms, Weddings-- I have made it again and again, for over twelve years, and have had consistent, excellent results!

The recipe is a wonderful from-scratch experience, and the kids love to help as each step progresses towards a marvelous tasting result! Vitz' book is much more than a cookbook, it is a lesson in Catholic traditions in the kitchen.... I have recommended it for so many years!

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
2-27-2010
Reviewed by: 

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