April 12, 2014

Book Week! and a Bundle of Books

Welcome to Book Week!

Over the last month or so I have read a handful of books that were each so very good I knew I wanted to tell you about them. I decided to set aside a week to do a review each day and, thanks to the generous folks at Ignatius Press and Magnificat, I also have a free copy of Kendra Tierney's A Little Book about Confession for Children to give away at the end of the week. Be sure to go to Monday's post to register to win!

If you have read any of the books I'm reviewing I'd love to hear your thoughts, too! Leave a comment or link to your own post in the combox.

Recently I was given a small bundle of books from Ignatius / Magnificat to review. They each had their own little charms and I'm happy to share them with you. 
First up:

The Way of the Cross
Written by Juliette Levivier
Illustrated by Anne Gravier

During Lent we try to do the Stations of the Cross as a family, often using our Stations of the Cross box, so when Ignatius offered me a chance to see their own book on the Stations I was really excited.

The Way of the Cross has a wonderful introduction to Holy Week, praying the Stations, our belief in the Resurrection of Jesus, and what it means to be a follower of Christ. The book is colorful, kid-friendly, and has wonderful illustrations. I really like that each station begins with a line of corresponding Scripture, then moves to a reflection and a prayer.

When we used this book I announced the station, read the Scripture, and read the reflection, changing some of the words (my kids don't know what "brutality" means, for example). The language is more appropriate for children slightly older than mine (my oldest is a kindergartner) but I like that it's something my kids can grow into.

We didn't read the prayers because my kids couldn't sit that long, but I felt like it was fruitful reflection. I'm guessing that this book would be great for 1st - 4th graders who are doing quiet time on their own but it also works just as a picture book for younger kids to follow along with.

It's a nice addition to a family's Lenten book basket or church bag.

The Illustrated Miracles of Jesus
By Jean-Francois Kieffer and Christine Ponsard
Translated by Janet Chevrier

My family has had a first hand experience with miracles and so I was also interested in seeing The Illustrated Miracles of Jesus and seeing how my children would respond to it.

The book is set up as a series of comic strips, each one illustrating the story of a different miracle. The wedding feast at Cana, the major healings, the multiplication of the loaves, and the raising of Lazarus are all included.

In my opinion, because of the comic strip format the book works better as a something a child would read to themselves instead of a story time type book but that's not to say it can't be read aloud.

With all the clean, bright, attractive illustrations The Illustrated Miracles of Jesus has been a great book for my kids to sit and flip through on their own and it has also been a fantastic book to reach for when I want to do more of a Bible lesson story time with my kids, complete with discussions.

The Illustrated Miracles of Jesus, with it's soft cover and simple wording would make a great addition to an Easter basket for a child aged four or older.  

Peter, Apostle of Jesus
Written by Boris Grebille
Illustrated by Herve Flores
Translated by Janet Chevrier

Peter, Apostle of Jesus is a member of the The Life of a Saint series, which also includes Bernadette, John Mary Vianney, Therese of Lisieux, and Francis of Assisi. St. Peter is a personal favorite of mine, which is why two of my sons bear his name, and I was looking forward to this book. It did not disappoint. Of the three in this bundle, this was my favorite.

The illustrations are soft, attractive, and really well done. The book is divided into three sections: The Fisherman of Galilee, The Apostle of Jesus, and the The Head of the Church, each focusing on the biblical stories about Peter that correlate to those titles, along with a little glimpse of Peter as a boy.

I really liked that the story shows how Peter's relationship with Jesus developed and how he came to become not just a follower of Christ but the leader of the Church. The last page also talks about the line of popes and has a sweet picture of St. Peter's Basilica - I loved that touch.

This book is a fabulous way to spend time reading to your kids while also teaching them about St. Peter, Jesus Christ, and His Church. I highly recommend it!

All these books are published Ignatius Press and Magnificat.

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