Elementary

Easter

Book cover: 'Easter'
Author(s): 
Fiona French

A gorgeous presentation of the Easter story! Fiona French tells the story in twelve stained glass tableaux: the entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus judged before Pilate, the scourging at the pillar, the carrying of the cross, the crucifixion, taking him from the cross and laying him in the tomb, the resurrection, meeting with doubting Thomas, the loaves and fishes by the Sea of Tiberius, the Ascension into heaven.

The Easter Story

Book cover: 'The Easter Story"
Author(s): 
Brian Wildsmith

This book tells the story of the passion and resurrection from the point of view of the donkey that carried Christ on his back. "The little donkey had never been ridden before, but Jesus spoke gently to him, and soon he stopped being afraid." The donkey (and an angel companion who is never mentioned in the text but is always present in the scenes) follows along after the entrance into Jerusalem and witnesses the primary events of the Gospel narratives including the Last Supper, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Ascension.

The Donkey and the Golden Light

Book cover: ‘The Donkey and the Golden Light’
Author(s): 
Gill Speirs
Illustrator(s): 
John Speirs

The story follows a donkey, named Bethlehem, who was born on the same night and in the same stable as Jesus and who never forgets that it was a special night, symbolized by the mysterious golden light that shines from the star that guided the Magi.

Starting with Shakespeare

Author(s): 
Pauline Nelson
Todd Daubert

Unit Study-loving families may find in Starting with Shakespeare a very useful resource! This book is literary filled with Shakespeare-related activities!

A Storyteller's Version of Shakespeare for Kids

Author(s): 
Shakespeare as told by Jim Weiss

I love Melissa Wiley's quote on Jim Weiss' website: "Suddenly I understand. My four-year-old is narrating Shakespeare...Thank you, Jim Weiss!" (www.melissawiley.net)

My teenagers have fond memories of doing just that-- listening and quoting Shakespeare in early elementary school. I asked my 16 year old before I wrote this review and his opinion was that this CD offers the usual Jim Weiss traits: high quality adaptations, great storytelling voice, well done character voices.

Rosary Rummy

This is a lovely and inexpensive Rummy game that also teaches the mysteries of the rosary. It includes two colorful cards, illustrated with Old Masters paintings, for each 0f the twenty mysteries of the rosary. The Rummy game requires both matching and ordering the mysteries. Instructions are included.

First Farm in the Valley: Anna's Story

Author(s): 
Anne Pellowski
Illustrator(s): 
Roseanne Sharpe

It’s back in print! One of my favorite series for young children, the Latsch Valley Farm series (formerly called Polish American Girls series), is being reprinted. The first in the series, First Farm in the Valley: Anna’s Story is now available from Bethlehem Books with lovely new illustrations.

Take it to the Queen

Author(s): 
Josephine Nobisso
Illustrator(s): 
Katalin Szegedi

The long awaited companion to The Weight of a Mass (Nobisso, Gingerbread House Books) is finally available. In her new story Take it to the Queen, a Tale of Hope, Josephine Nobisso tells a fable that draws upon the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her material and mystical participation in our salvation. The villagers of a once favored city rebel against the goodness of the King, bringing famine and desolation. Eventually they seek the intervention of their queen, who was once of their village.

My Advent Calendar

This is a very simple advent calendar with little doors to open each day of Advent. The price is very reasonable, but the quality is suitable for a one-time use (it would be difficult to close the doors a second time around). The illustrations are very simple with some glittery high-lights but my favorite feature is a simple task (though some are very generic) printed on the inside of each door for the child to do to prepare for Christmas. Here are a few random examples:

"Jesus, as we prepare to welcome you, let me be welcoming of others, too."

Owls in the Family

Author(s): 
Farley Mowat

Owls in the Family is a wonderful story of a few years in the life of a young boy growing up in Canada, his friends, and his unusual pets. This tale, by distinguished author Farley Mowat, is told in the first person, recounting hilarious episodes with colorful descriptions, proving that real life can be even more fun than a made-up story.

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