Christmas is coming! And if you’re looking for a child’s book to tuck under the Christmas tree that’s inspirational, educational and fun, you may want to check out these new arrivals from Ignatius Press. I know some small people in my life are going to enjoy them!
The Christmas Star by Maïte Roche (Magnificat/Ignatius). When you’re a baby, the Christmas story is pretty complicated. This beautifully illustrated hardboard book for children makes it easy: Star. Kings. Herod’s Palace. Camels. Gifts. Mary and the Baby Jesus!
Missal for Toddlers with illustrations by Elen Lescoat (Magnificat/Ignatius). Controlling exuberant toddlers during Mass is a challenge for Catholic parents. Some busy moms try to keep their little ones quiet with a toy car, a stuffed rabbit, a handful of Cheerios. Some take the child out, or stay at home during the early formative years. This book is a great tool for the smart mom who wants her child to know, from the earliest time, that Mass is really important.
The hardboard Missal for Toddlers explains in simplest terms what’s happening, and what the child should do. It teaches the Sign of the Cross, helps children to sit quietly and listen during the readings, encourages them to place a coin in the collection basket. Here’s what I mean: At Communion time, it says,
“Grown-ups and big children are going to receive Jesus within them! Daddy carries me in his arms. Sometimes the priest traces a little cross on my forehead.
I say thank you to Jesus for his love for me. I stay quiet so my Daddy and my Mommy can pray.”
My First Catechism: The Catholic Faith for Little Ones by Christine Pedotti, illustrations by Madeleine Brunelet. Still a hardboard book, this one’s a little more substantive. Moms and Dads may want to teach a lesson using a single two-page spread. The lessons are the things children need to learn when they are young: how to make the Sign of the Cross; Christmas and Easter; the meaning of Baptism; the need for forgiveness.
My Little Catechism by Father Guillaume de Menthière, with illustrations by Emilie Vanvolsem. Once you’re past the hardboard-book stage, this is the next step: a 111-page, fully illustrated catechism. The three sections are dedicated to the Three Persons of the Trinity. Each topic includes a brief lesson, a statement of faith, an explanation of how to put the teaching into practice, a prayer, and a “Test Yourself” question. I really liked the colorful art and the attractive layout in this book.
Catholic Book of Bible Stories by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, with illustrations by Doris Ettlinger. Fifty stories from the Old and New Testaments are shortened and simplified and attractively illustrated in this 224-page hardcover book. Sized for small hands, the Catholic Book of Bible Stories teaches six traditional Catholic prayers, and includes a helpful section of simple, engaging activities for each biblical story, to bring each of the child’s five senses into the learning experience.