Elementary

The Secret of the Shamrock

Book cover: 'The Secret of the Shamrock'
Author(s): 
Lisa Hendey
Illustrator(s): 
Jenn Bower

As my years of homeschooling younger children come to a close, one of the things I enjoy is to teach religious education at the parish. I love telling the kids about the Saints. I just do not think the students hear stories being told or read to them at school these days.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Book Cover
Author(s): 
Alexandra Wallen
Illustrator(s): 
John Wallen

The author and illustrator pair have done many children's picture books together, including the nice "Picture Book of..." American history series.

The Father Brown Reader II

Author(s): 
G.K. Chesterton
adapted by Nancy Carpentier Brown
with Rose Decaen

Nancy Brown and Hillside Education have teamed up for a second volume of kid-friendly mysteries adapted from G.K. Chesterton's Fr. Brown mysteries. It's a little difficult to say what age these are appropriate for since, unlike the first volume, these are all based on murder-mystery stories, and sensitivities vary from child-to-child. My rough-and-tumble seven year old son loved them as a read-aloud, but the general subject matter is off-putting for my very sensitive thirteen year old daughter.

There are four stories in this volume:

Saints and Their Stories

Author(s): 
Maria Loretta Giraldo
Translator(s): 
Margaret Edward Moran
Illustrator(s): 
Nicoletta Bertelle

This is the translation of a lovely Italian book for children. I love the uniqueness of the style and illustrations. The stories are filled with anecdotes and details of the saints' lives not found in other books about saints for children. Truly a gem-- we will read it aloud during Religion this Fall. Do visit the Publisher's site as they have a neat flip-the-pages "look-inside" feature. http://www.pauline.org/SaintsandTheirStories/tabid/425/Default.aspx

Saint Clare of Assisi

Author(s): 
Marianne Lorraine Trouve, FSP
Illustrator(s): 
Mary Joseph Peterson, FSP

With warm, cute illustrations, and accessible language, the courageous story of Saint Clare comes alive in this little book! Young readers will be captivated by the story of a girl who gave up everything for the love of God! Her many miracles, her life in poverty, the love she had for Saint Francis and her sisters: it is all in there.

A Story of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Author(s): 
Brother Ernest, C. S. C.
Illustrator(s): 
Carolyn Lee Jagodits

In this charming, simple story, we are introduced to St. Elizabeth, beginning with her birth and covering her complete life. Clearly, the style is written for younger children. "She was born in a big castle in Hungary way back in 1207--a long, long time ago!" Although the story is written for younger children, the language and storyline are not watered down, touching on the important events in her life as well as addressing the problems she encountered.

Paul Revere's Ride

Author(s): 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Illustrator(s): 
Charlies Santore

Longfellow’s famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, is beautifully illustrated in this picture book by Charles Santore. Every page captures both the historical setting and the patriotic significance of a pivotal event in the American Revolution.

Illustrations are dark-toned and shadowy, just right for the middle-of-the-night setting. The suspense builds with extreme close-ups that spill over the edges, and bird’s-eye views sweeping over the nighttime landscape.

Famous Figures of Ancient Times

Author(s): 
Cathy Diez-Luckie

This is a fun and colorful book of cut-out paper dolls that you assemble with small brads or brass fasteners (available from an office supply store), allowing the arms and legs to be moved and posed.
The book is printed on heavy cardstock (with perforated pages for easy removal) and there are two copies of each paper doll – one in full color and one ready to be colored.

Raising Sweetness

Author(s): 
Diane Stanley

The good sheriff of Possum Trot has adopted every child in the orphanage, and is busier...and happier... than ever providing for their needs. Sadly, but not too surprisingly, he's domestically challenged, and his new family dearly hope for a mother. A letter arrives and Sweetness saves the day by quickly learning to read and write, and using those skills to reunite Tex with his long lost love: kind and capable Lucy Locket.

Saving Sweetness

Author(s): 
Diane Stanley

This delightful little story is the first of two Texas 'small tales'. Sweetness, the tiniest orphan, is aptly named which is one reason why the good-hearted but somewhat clueless sheriff can't resist her. The story is told in Texas twang entirely from the sheriff's point of view, but the clever illustrations provide a broader picture and add to the fun. There are elements of adventure, danger, cruelty, humor, justice, and goodness, all culminating in generous, fatherly love. What more could you want?

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