All ages

Catholic Talks for Children

Rev. Fred Gilbert, O. M. I.

5 volume set
As stated on their website, these are actual talks given by a priest in the 1940s. The topic, or themes, of each "talk" was directed to the season/liturgical theme, so a chapter may begin with references to the need to change clocks to daylight savings time or to a certain specific Sunday, such as Christ the King. Some will, of course, be more relevant than others for the readers. With some preparation time (looking over an appropriate theme beforehand), these should work very well for family read-aloud.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Lynne Truss
Bonnie Timmons

This is a really nifty little picture book that illustrates the importance of commas through the use of simple sentences with humorous illustrations contrasted with the same sentence (on the opposite side of the page) differently punctuated. The results are entertaining and quite educational.

Here is one example:

On the left-hand page is the sentence: "Slow, children crossing." The cartoon-like picture shows a crossing guard signalling for cars to stop while some school children cross the road.

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Jane Dyer

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons is an outstanding new addition to our family library - this book is a very clever mixture of gorgeous children, lovely pets, and scrumptious cookies combined with important ideas for all ages. I think that this is one of the most memorable "virtues" books that I have seen for young children. Difficult concepts are described both through subtle clues in the illustrations and through little stories related to cookies in the text.

For the Love of Literature

Maureen Wittmann

I'm so excited about my friend Maureen's new book from Ecce Homo Press. Maureen is a kindred spirit in the "living books" department and I know that this book will be a favorite on my shelf and have recommended it to friends who are interested in the way our family homeschools.

Latin Proverbs

This nifty, pocket-sized paperback is, quite simply, loaded with Latin proverbs (along with their English translations and whatever information is available about the source). There are over 1,100 proverbs in all and the appendices contain topical and author indices.

A few samples (note: the book does include macrons to indicate long vowel sounds, which are not easy to duplicate here):

Malum vas non frangitur.
The bad vase does not get broken.

God Listens to Our Children

Kelly Renz

This book is filled with prayers for children from cover to cover! The premise of author Kelly Renz is that formal prayers are too distant from the language children use everyday. Moving through the liturgical year and reflecting specifically a reading from each daily mass, the prayers have been written in simple language and are of short length--five to seven lines at the most.

Art Masters Enhance Religion

If you are looking for an easy to use art appreciation program that uses beautiful artwork, then you will want to check out the Art Masters Enhance Religion program.

Created by the Enhance Company, this is a unique art appreciation course that can be integrated with any religion program or stand by itself. In addition to their K-8 Grade School Curriculum, the Enhance Company also produces a Home School Series. There are four grade levels.

The Dot and the Line

Norton Juster

Freedom is not a license for chaos. is my son's signature below his email messages. It was written by Norton Juster, of The Phantom Toolbooth fame, and it comes from our almost-17-year-old's favorite book.

Catholic Mosaic – Living the Liturgical Year with Literature

Cay Gibson

The title clearly explains what this book is all about: Gibson took the twelve months of the year, wove in the liturgical celebrations and linked these to marvelous picture books – creating a mosaic of Catholic culture and beautiful literature.

Archaeology for Kids

Richard Panchyk

I am always very receptive to this kind of book -- suggestions for activities kids will enjoy completing, factual data presented in a pleasing way, and an author who obviously loves the subject matter. The book recommends the book for children aged nine and up. Sounds like it would be a great resource for homeschoolers, yes?


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