Ana Braga-Henebry

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI

Book cover
Author(s): 
Susan Provost Beller

There is a whole lot be liked in this book, beginning with the title! The author has researched numerous interesting anecdotes about the lives of these two holy men so dear in the heart of many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and the result is a fresh, easy to read and captivating double-biography.

Aquinas 101

Author(s): 
Francis Selman

If you, like me, had very little to no Thomistic Philosophy in high school or college, and would love to know more, this book is for you. What a pleasure for me it has been to read Aquinas 101 in preparation for this review. The book brings forth a surprisingly readable and sometimes funny Saint Thomas!

To begin, I quote from the publisher's site, Ave Maria Press:

The Beatitudes: Coloring and Activity Book

Author(s): 
Virginia Helen Richards, FSP and D
Thomas Halpin, FSP

This is a little more than a coloring book, as it elaborates a bit on each of the eight beatitudes Our Lord presented on the Sermon of the Mount.

Each double spread displays a negative and a positive attitude one can have about each beatitude-- called the "me" and the "be" attitude respectively:

The illustrations are simply done, and there are a few pages of activities in the end, such as a maze and a dot-to-dot. This inexpensive and friendly coloring book will serve as a good enrichment for a religious curriculum, especially for coloring-loving children!

A Pocket Guide to the Meaning of Life

Author(s): 
Peter Kreeft

If any writer today can squeeze the meaning of life into a small 64 page booklet, the popular and prolific author Peter Kreeft can! The book is short, brief, almost laconic. One can throw it into the purse or even the pocket. And yet, the Pocket Guide to the Meaning of Life has it all: the truth of who we are, why we are here, where we are going, and how to get there.

La Boda: A Mexican Wedding Celebration

Author(s): 
Nancy Van Laan
Illustrator(s): 
Andrea Arroyo

I love picture books, especially ones with warm, colorful, sweet illustrations. I love rhythmic, poetic language, made simple and accessible to children, and I love truly multicultural books!

This book brings all of these elements together, added to the universal theme of the sacrament of Matrimony. I couldn't help but love it at first sight--or at first reading.

An Alphabet of Catholic Saints

Author(s): 
Brenda & George Nippert

Our family is crazy about picture books, saints books *and* alphabet books: this fantastic new publication fits all of the above. In fact, it was some time after my order arrived before I could get my hands on it: a Catholic homeschool mother who was over visiting opened the package and enjoyed reading it with a large sample size of our children before I could even see it!

Little Stories for Little Folks

Author(s): 
Nancy Nicholson

Our third child, now a deep voiced high schooler towering me by several inches, learned to read with me when he was five years old using these little folding readers. This new edition has a new cover and some additional materials, but the readers themselves are the very same I used ten years ago! He looked at these the other day and could remember many of the stories.

Catholic Talks for Children

Author(s): 
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.

Marguerite

Author(s): 
Sr. St. Stephen, G.N.S.H.

First copyrighted in 1955, this cute booklet tells the story of St. Marguerite d'Youville, of Canada, founder of the Grey Nuns. The chapters portray brief vignettes of her childhood and growing ups years brushing through the many, many sorrows and crosses of her life. This will serve as a delightful read-aloud as the language is very suitable for young children.

A Catholic 123/ABC Copybook, a Preschool Practice Book with Catholic Facts

This is a very straight-forward preschool workbook, with one letter on each double page: on the left the capital letters and on the right its corresponding lower case, with multiple lines provided for both tracing and copying. On the bottom of each page there is a simple picture and two sentences with a word in bold starting with that letter, and one line provided for the child to copy the word. I should note here that the lower case letters consistently reach well above the dotted middle line--I do not know if this was the way lettering was taught before 1950.

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