“The cost of obedience is small compared with the cost of disobedience.” – Saint Augustine
Review and Comments
is an excellent story about the
virtue of obedience and the promblematic consequences of disobedience. The story revolves around a devoted family
that includes twins, Samantha and Nicholas.
Their eighth birthday approaches and as with all soon-to-be eight year
olds, excitement is at a peak. The
children wonder if they will receive the gifts they long for, and Nick cannot
wait to see what his parents bought him.
He and Samantha sneak a peek at their wrapped gifts, but nothing goes as
planned. There are regrets and consequences
for their actions. Nick just doesn’t
understand why his parents are so upset or that their disobedience has created
a broken trust.
A.A. Milne once wrote “Good judgment comes from
experience, and experience – well, that comes from poor judgment.” The twins certainly rack up a lot of
experience in this story! While at a
public pool, Samantha’s father actually has to save her life because of her disobedience. On the twins’ actual birthday, the family
plans a special family hike. Before they
begin, both Samantha and Nicholas ignore their parents’ advice to be better
prepared and suffer the consequences.
Then, impatient Nicholas ignores his dad and goes to an abandoned barn.
Let’s just say a run in with a family of skunks is a very powerful lesson! Yet
even after suffering all those very tough consequences, Nick chooses to ignore
his parents one last time. He secretly takes all the money from his bank and
buys some so called amazing items from an older nieghborhood boy. On the way home he falls and all his items
break. He is alone with the damage of
his disobedience once again. This time
he fully examines his actions over the last few days and it’s not a proud
moment for him. Then who should come
looking for him but his father! Nick asks for forgiveness and understands that
he is able to start over because of the love and forgiveness he receives.
Continue reading Choices: A Review of ‘Perfect Gifts’ (from THe Adventures of Nick and Sam, Book 1)
The babble of some people is like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise is healing. – Proverbs 12:18
Grades 1-6 [Ages 6-12]
Review and Comments
Seeds of words spoken, some green and others black, are given
to a young prince every day. The green
seeds are gentle while the black seeds contain only hostility and misery. The
prince accepts both seeds and plants them all.
As the prince watches his trees grow he observes that all the trees are
powerful but very different. The green
trees are life giving. The black trees create
such darkness that the green trees eventually suffer and become weakened right
down to their roots.
The prince meets an extraordinary, sincere friend who only
gives him green seeds. She is wise and
very brave in the face of the darkness of the forest. The green trees seem to “come alive” when she
is near, but the dark trees seem to amplify their negativity. The prince’s new friend has a challenging solution
for the tragedy of the weakening green trees.
He recognizes her insight and agrees to accept the challenge. Using her old tools, she and the prince cut
down one dark tree. Then, they carefully cut down more and more until not one
dark tree or any fragment of a root is left. Following his friend’s advice, the prince
never plants dark seeds again. He
carefully watches over his grove of green trees and continues to plant the
green seeds that produce “new life.”
Continue reading The Power of Words: A Review of ‘Seeds and Trees’
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” -Aristotle
Grades 2-4, (Ages 7-9) 3.8
Review and Comments
Danger! Tiger Crossing is the first book
in the Fantastic Frame series. This
exciting story is filled with mystery, interesting characters, and a bit of a Jumanji flavor that will surely attract
the reader from the first chapter.
The main character, Tiger, is an interesting boy who
thoughtfully observes his surroundings, analyzes clues, and then works to solve
problems. And the problems he faces in
this adventure are extraordinary. His
story begins when his little sister reports that she has seen an orange pig in
the backyard. This statement is so
unbelievable that Tiger resolves to prove the pig lives in his sister’s
imagination. While he is examining the
scene, he actually sees the pig in his neighbor’s yard wearing a top hat and a
bow tie. He also meets Luna, a neighbor. Tiger and Luna approach things from different
angles, but these differences come in very handy as complications present
Continue reading A Reason For Everything: A review of ‘Danger! Tiger Crossing’ (#1 of the Fantastic Frame Series)
“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” – St. John Paul II
Grades 1-4, Ages 6-9
Review and Comments
Holmes Garcia is a budding artist who illustrates her actual life experiences
along with some very original daydreams.
Her drawings are not always restricted to her trusty journal however. She has been known to draw on her little
brother, the walls, and even the television. Her family is usually very supportive of her
enthusiasm unless her art extends beyond her notebook.
It is obvious that Bea’s family and home are very important
to her – the center of her world. That expands a bit when she happily meets her
first best friend on her 5th birthday. The girls are kindred spirits
from their first introduction. They do
everything together: draw, learn new things, and even share a magic tree in the
backyard where their imaginations are truly free.
Continue reading A Restless Imagination: A Review of ‘My Life in Pictures (Bea Garcia)’
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh [A. A. Milne]
Grade 2 [Scholastic]
Review and Comments
James Pompaday and Marvin
are the best of friends even though James is a boy and Marvin is a beetle. They truly enjoy each other’s company and devotedly
support one another. Their friendship is
tested when James spends a week at a summer camp and Marvin has to stay home.
Marvin is troubled and wonders if James will think about him while he’s gone or
even find a new friend to replace him, which would be the worst outcome.
Continue reading A TESTED FRIENDSHIP: A REVIEW OF ‘THE MINIATURE WORLD OF MARVIN AND JAMES’
“God desires from you the least degree of purity of conscience more than all the works you can perform.”
–St. John of the Cross
Review and Comments
Pictures Bad Pictures was challenging because of the subject matter. The message is meant to introduce children to
a “safe and healthy media experience.” I
feel the book handles this very serious topic with simple honesty and an
effective, valuable plan. We want our children to be safe especially in today’s
world, but this grandma’s heart is ever so sad and troubled that very young children
must be armed against such an evil reality.
Continue reading A PROACTIVE PLAN: A REVIEW OF ‘GOOD PICTURES BAD PICTURES JR.’
” We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. we need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.” –Saint Pope John Paul II
Review and Contents
I was so excited when this book first came out. First of all, I am a HUGE fan of the short story genre. It was my favorite thing to read in school and my favorite to teach to my freshmen in high school. Truly great writers can tell such a good story with only a few pages.
It’s also no secret that I’m a fan of Catholic fiction for young readers. Most YA literature is full of vices of the modern world. Sex, drugs, violence….the list goes on and on. It feels so safe to have Catholic writers compile good stories for teens to read.
Continue reading THe Strength of Young People: A Review of ‘Secrets: Visible and Invisible’
Lent is not my favorite season. There. I said it out loud. It’s a rough one for me, but I’m making a serious effort NOT to pass my ‘bad attitude’ towards this holy time down to my children.
I’ve looked for ways to teach my young kids about their relationship with God and helping others and making sacrifices during the Lenten season. Each year I work to try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. (Let’s be real, there’s been a lot that hasn’t worked!) Last year we did the Jesus Tree from Nancy over at Catholic Sprouts. My kids LOVED it! (You can buy it here.) So we are planning to do it again this year. And I have a few new ideas up my sleeve. (Backyard stations of the cross? We shall see!)
But as you all know, I love books. There’s no better way to teach kids than by curling up with them to read a book. Most holidays and seasons are FULL of book lists, but Lent is one that doesn’t have quite so many options.
This is why I’ve put this list together! Consider it my Lenten offering to you. I’ve tried to give as many options as possible. One for each day of Lent if necessary! This list is full of prayer books, reflection books, beautiful picture books, religious stories retold, Catholic fiction stories, stories of sacrifice, and stories of giving to others.
So, this Lent, find some books that might work for you and your family and have blessed, beautiful, and holy Lent!
Click on the picture for the affiliate link.
Books of Prayer/Reflection for Children
Continue reading 40 Books for the Forty Days of Lent