He Advanced in Wisdom and Age: A Review of ‘When Jesus Was a Little Boy’

“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”– Luke 2:40

Interest Level: 2-6

Review and Comments:
When Jesus Was a Little Boy is a story that describes what Jesus might have done as a child. Each page shows Jesus actively participating in chores around the house, learning lessons, taking care of animals, and always doing his best. There are also examples of Jesus being a true and loving friend while interacting with other children. All of these activities are perfect examples of “little acts of holiness” as St. Therese of Lisieux called them, which children can imitate to become more like Jesus. This story shows how the holy family, the model for all families, exemplifies how to love and respect others.

The pictures are colorful and present Jesus as the central figure on each page. Mary is also a prominent figure throughout Jesus’ story. My favorite page is “When Jesus was a little boy, He loved his mother so.”

Possible Issues:

There are no issues with this book.

Further Comments:

• Draw a picture of Jesus and yourself doing something together such as: playing at a park, swimming, or eating together. Or make a list of activities you would like to do with Jesus.

• Make a list of Jesus’ qualities you would like to imitate such as: helpfulness, kindness, or obedience, etc. Pick one idea from your list and consciously try to practice it each day – taking one day at a time.

• Draw a picture of the holy family.

• Locate Egypt, Israel, and Nazareth on a world map. Locate where you live on the map.

Catholic Resources:

The Holy Family Prayer
JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
MARY, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.
JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.
HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you. Amen. 

• Mary’s feast day is January 1. (The Nativity of Mary is September 8 and The Assumption of Mary is August 15)  Read more about Mary here. 
• St. Joseph’s feast day is March 19. Read more about St. Joseph here.

• CCC 2197 The fourth commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.

• Bible references about Jesus’ early childhood:

    1. Matt 2:14: “Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.”
      [“Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Palestine, but the main reason why the child is to be taken to Egypt is that he may relive the Exodus experience of Israel.”]
    2. Matt 2:21: “He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.”
      [“Israel, God’s son, was called out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus; Jesus, the Son of God, will similarly be called out of that land in a new exodus.”]
    3. Matt 2:23: “He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”
    4. Matt 2:39: When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.
    5. Luke 2:40: “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”