Preschool

Good Night, Little Sea Otter

Book cover: 'Good Night, Little Sea Otter'
Author(s): 
Janet Halfmann
Illustrator(s): 
Wish Williams

This sweet book is about Little Sea Otter saying good night to all sorts of ocean friends. While it makes a wonderful bedtime book, the illustrations deserve some time to be admired as you read through it. The story is straightforward, and yet contains enough tidbits to include it in an ocean study. The illustrations are full of color, bringing alive Little Sea Otter's story. You can preview the book at Star Bright Books: http://www.starbrightbooks.org/details.php?id=300

Newton and Me

Author(s): 
Lynne Mayer
Illustrator(s): 
Sherry Rogers

With the release of Newton and Me I was hoping to find an elementary science book written as an engaging story but, unfortunately, I was disappointed. The book is about a boy and his dog, Newton, discovering various forces in their daily lives, forces first described by Isaac Newton.

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?

Amazing Saints

Author(s): 
Mario D Macari
Illustrator(s): 
Mario D. Macari

Our local Catholic Archdiocesan paper has a wonderful kids' section. The first thing my kids do when the Catholic Herald (Milwaukee, Wisconsin Archdiocese) comes is to go to the kids’ section. There they fill out the word games, puzzles, and read the saint story.

Now the creator of “Amazing Saints” has produced his own saint book, Amazing SaintsVolume 1, highlighting 27 saints. Covering an eclectic mix of saints from the unknown to the familiar, St. Joseph to Bl. Karl Leisner, each biography is a short page.

My First Christmas Sticker Book

Author(s): 
Sally Ann Wright
Illustrator(s): 
Moira Maclean

I have always loved sticker books-- especially when the drawings are cute as in the case of this booklet. Sticker "scenes" are 2 page- spreads following the story of the birth of Our Lord, and the last page had a suggested scheme of each scene.

The Saving Name of God the Son

Author(s): 
Jean Ann Sharpe

Bethlehem Books has just released the first in a set of three new board books on the Blessed Trinity. This first one is about God the Son and it's gorgeous! Each page has a lovely painting by early Renaissance artist Fra Angelico, illustrating a scene from the Life of Christ. The paintings are accompanied by short, rich text that speaks of who Jesus is. It's a very quick read, just a few lines per page, but thoughtfully put together and one that can be reflected on over and over again.

Beginnings

Author(s): 
Lori Ann Watson
Illustrator(s): 
Shennen Bersani

This is a lovely picture book about, naturally, beginnings. The simple but descriptive storyline, along with vibrant illustrations, take you through signs of new things - like a tomato plant, a tree and a thunderstorm. These capture the beauty of different aspects of God's creation, but only show the simple ways that we see what's coming next.

There's a Frog in My Throat

Author(s): 
Loreen Leedy
Pat Street

This is a clever, very colorful picture book with a simple purpose. It illustrates, with funny little cartoon illustrations, hundreds (440 to be exact) of common expressions in the English language that involve animals, such as:

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
"Mad as a hornet."
"I have butterflies in my stomach."
"You're putting the cart before the horse."

A short definition of the phrase's meaning is also included.

My Mass Kit

This is a sweet Mass Kit designed for little fingers (ideal for toddlers and preschoolers). It's made of fabric with cleverly weighted bases and includes a chalice, paten (with a hidden pouch that holds little foam "hosts"), cruets, "candles", a censer, crucifix and two cloths (corporal and purificator) all packaged rather nicely in a zip-up case (with a long carrying strap) that doubles as an altar.

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