All ages

Catholic Traditions in Crafts

Book cover: 'Catholic Traditions in Crafts'
Ann Ball

This book includes 23 pages of Crafts relating to Christmas. There really isn't an Advent segment, but as Advent is a time for preparing for Christmas, it is certainly an appropriate time to make crafts for Christmas. Mrs. Ball explains that it would certainly be possible to write an entire book on crafts for Christmas, but that here she is providing only a sampling.

Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in the Domestic Church

Book cover: 'Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in the Domestic Church'
Catherine and Peter Fournier

This book is an outgrowth of the authors' longstanding website and is a great companion to the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. It is divided into four parts: Family Activities, Saints of the Season, Crafts, and Coloring Pages. The purpose is to provide families with activity ideas that foster a spiritual climate in those seasons.

The Harp and the Laurel Wreath

Book cover: 'The Harp and the Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum'

At the rate Laura Berquist is going, homeschoolers are going to need an extra shelf just for her books. Her first, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, has already become a classic in its own right. And now Berquist has another book that requires a place in your home: The Harp and The Laurel Wreath. The author begins with the premise that early exposure to poetry encourages a love of the true and the beautiful; memorization of poetry trains the intellect and the imagination; and all of this is good for the soul.

Sense and Sensibility

Book cover: 'Sense and Sensibility'

Adapted from the novel by Jane Austen

Though more serious in nature than Emma, Sense and Sensibility portrays life in a more beautiful, if not always more fair, time. Three sisters and their mother are being turned out of their family estate upon their father's death because of the laws of succession to their half-brother, whose scheming wife prevents him from helping them out financially. After they move to a small cottage in the country, the family find friends and happiness in unexpected places.

Pride and Prejudice

Book cover: 'Pride and Prejudice'

This is a lovely, touching, funny, clever and meaningful miniseries (produced by BBC/A&E) based quite closely on the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. While it's certainly a "chick movie", there's enough clever writing and acting in it to allow "the guys" to tolerate at least one viewing and probably get something out of it. The theme of the story, which is set in 18th century England, is choosing a marriage partner, and the morals here are very sound.

The Phantom Tollbooth

Book cover: 'The Phantom Tollbooth'
Norton Juster

This rather ordinary-looking book is a genuine treasure! It is the story of a bored little boy who has a mysterious tollbooth suddenly appear in his bedroom one day. He goes through the tollbooth, mostly because there is nothing better to do at that present moment. Well, a thoroughly entertaining adventure awaits our young friend, Milo. The novel is a romp through the lands of numbers and letters, the former ruled by the Mathemagician, of course!

Homer Price

Book cover: 'Homer Price'
Robert McCloskey

These clever and humorous stories of the adventures of a brainy, problem-solving small-town boy make great reading for grade-schoolers (especially boys) or a terrific read-aloud. This is suitable for rolling-on-the-floor type laughing (not terribly well-suited to bedtime!). A real classic! The sequel, Centerberg Tales is just as good. Older children may also appreciate allusions to liberal naming of townspeople after characters from the Iliad.

Mama's Bank Account

Book cover: 'Mama's Bank Account'
Kathryn Forbes

When I first proposed to read this story aloud to my children, my oldest, then perhaps 8 or 9 years old, protested loudly! She thought it was going to be a series of numbers and notes about expenditures that I was going to read to her. It only took a little persuading and a few pages before she was hooked.

Fingal's Quest

Madeleine A. Polland

This work of historical fiction brings to life the stories of the great monasteries of Ireland and their evangelization of Europe (in the 6th Century), which had fallen away from the true faith after the Barbarian invasions. The story focuses on Fingal, a poor, fatherless boy, who becomes a student at Bangor Monastery in Ireland and becomes a stowaway in order to follow his beloved teacher Columban to Gaul. His lengthy quest to find Columban has some interesting parallels to growth in the spiritual life.

Celtic Heritage Saints

Book cover: 'Celtic Heritage Saints'
Marian Keaney

This book offers short, readable biographies of sixteen of Ireland (and Scotland's) greatest saints (covering the years from St. Patrick through 1142). The writing style and illustrations are reminiscent of Once Upon a Time Saints by Ethel Pochocki (Bethlehem Books). Despite the simplicity of the book (approximately a 4th grade reading level) it covers an important and oft-forgotten part of Catholic history.


Subscribe to RSS - All ages