All ages

Mother to the Poor

Jung-wook Ko
Mary W. Chung
Seung-bum Park

Once in a while I am fortunate to review a book that is outstanding, and this is one of them! Mother to the Poor tells the story of the great modern saint of our time in a marvelous way: the beautiful illustrations, the quality of the paper, the language--loving, biographical, translated from Korean. It reads like a picture book, but a meaty picture book!

Joseph and Chico, The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat

Jeanne Perego
Donata Dal Molin Casagrande

It’s not every day that a picture book is written about a Pope, especially from the point of view of a cat.

Joseph and Chico is the delightful story of Pope Benedict XVI’s life as told from the viewpoint of Chico, a cat who lives at his residence in Bavaria. With a lively conversational tone, he relates the life of Pope Benedict XVI, beginning with his birth and touching on the important events in his life.

Reading the Saints

Janet McKenzie

This is an interesting and helpful book of lists designed for parents and teachers interested in collecting Catholic stories (particularly saint stories) for their children and incorporating them into their school studies.

The first part of the book consists of listings of Catholic book series (both in and out of print), including titles with Catholic content that have been awarded the Caldecott Award and the Newbery Award, Catholic Readers, the Clarion Series, the Vision Series, American Background Books, Catholic Treasury Books and much more.

The Book of Saints and Heroes

Andrew Lang, Lenora Lang

This a reprint of a book that was written about 100 years ago, and yet, when do stories of saints, heroes, chivalry and adventure become old? In the preface, husband and wife Andrew and Lenora Lang explain how legends full of wonderful and sometimes imaginary creatures and events entered the stories of the saints of the Church.

The Penderwicks

Jeanne Birdsall

It may have been the old fashioned cover with all those happy children, or the subtitle, but the fact is, I grabbed a copy of the Penderwicks from the library even though it’s a 2005 copyright: our read-aloud selections are almost never beyond 1950! It took me a while, however, and some research online, before I inserted the CD into the van’s stereo, and not without some trepidation. Needless to say my personal experience with contemporary children’s materials has been… bumpy at best. But this one promised to be different.

I could do that! Esther Morris gets Women the Vote

Linda Arms White
Nancy Carpenter

This is a very cute book telling the true story of Esther Morris and the advent of the woman vote. The language is fun and accessible but it doesn't sugarcoat events.

The eighth of eleven children and six foot tall, Esther had a interesting life and courage to spare. In this time of primaries, as we breathe politics in the air, this books brings a refreshing read!

Close to the Wind

Peter Malone

Sometimes your casual pick-up-what-looks-good from the library hits jackpot--last week it was one of those instances for us. Close to the Wind by Peter Malone gets very close to being the picture book par excellence. In every aspect, this gem brings the very best of the world of picture books: beautiful, detail-rich illustrations, a captivating story, plenty of educational content, and great use of visual diagrams, side notes and explanatory illustrations.

The Gammage Cup

Carol Kendall
Erik Blegvad

A Minnipin is not a pin for miniature bowling.

The Minnipins, or Small Ones, are a group of people who fled the horrible Hairless Ones to the Land Between the Mountains. Gammage, their hero, led them to this "snug and secure valley."

But that was long ago.

Red Butterfly

Deborah Noyes
Sophie Blackall

When I first read aloud Mary Daly's First Timeline to the children, it was the first time I had ever heard of the story of the young Chinese Princess and the cup of tea where the silk strands first unravel revealing themselves... such a captivating story.

Then Mary asked me to illustrate it for wider publication... and I just loved doing the Chinese teacup!

Well, last week at the library, browsing as I always do through the new picture books, I found a Chinese princess and the tale of the discovery of silk! I knew it as soon as I glanced at the cover.

Q&A for Lent and Easter

Theresa K. Driscoll
Kelley L. Renz

This is a rather unique resource for Lent. It's a quiz book written at three levels of difficulty with all sorts of questions and answers about the Catholic Church's celebration of Lent and Easter. It primarily focuses on Church liturgy, with a very significant focus on the process of Christian initiation, culminating with the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.


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