I recently stumbled upon an author who has created a series of books for young readers that I think are extraordinary tools for teaching the Catholic faith. The books are written by Kimberly Fries and there are a number of them. I’ll cover each below but in brief they are easy to read, present the Catholic topic at hand clearly, are written on an engaging manner, and the illustrations are colorful and will draw little readers in.
This title lays the groundwork of showing children why the Eucharist matters. By the end of the book they will eagerly anticipate the day they join mom, dad, and their older siblings in receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Within the book are explanations of what the Eucharist is, how to receive it, and numerous quotes from the saints on the importance of this Sacrament.
No matter what the age, having a devotion to the Blessed Mother is a wonderful thing. Kimberly bases her book on the traditional 33-day preparation of Marian Consecration but boils it down to a child’s level. Young readers will learn about the life of Mary, how to pray to her, and why having a relationship with Mary is an essential step to a close relationship with her son, Jesus. The days of consecration are shown in the beginning of the book and each day contains a page to read.
This book serves as a basic introduction for children to the Divine Mercy devotion. Children will learn what Divine Mercy is, what works of mercy are, details about the image, and about Divine Mercy Sunday. Also included in the book is a page by page walk-through of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
This book does what the title alludes to…..it guides kids through a prayer session. Starting with the sign of the cross the book encourages readers to clear their thoughts and sit quietly. The prayers used include various Psalms, the Hail Mary, the Our Father, an Act of Contrition, a Glory Be, and a prayer for the family.
One of the more challenging things to teach kids is the sacrament of reconciliation. This book puts young readers on solid ground for understanding this sacrament by teaching them how to recognize their sins. The book leads children by having them first call on the Holy Spirit and walk through the ten commandments in question format. The process ends with an Act of Contrition.
Kimberly has chosen twelve male saints in those particular volume to introduce children to. Each of the saints has a brief one page biography and a quote. The saints included are: Thomas Aquinas, Ignatius. John Vianney, Gregory, Francis of Assisi, Patrick, Padre Pio, John Bosco, Augustine, John Henry Newman, Maximillian Kolbe, and George.
This book follows the same premise as the volume on boy saints. The saints included in this one are: Therese of Lisieux, Maria Goretti, Cecilia, Clare of Assisi, Elizabeth of Hungary, Philomena, Gianna, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Brigid, Joan of Arc, Kateri, and Clotilde.
There is also a Lectio Divina for Little Ones book in the series and I hope more are forthcoming as well. I must say I really liked this series. Through my years of reviewing books a number of children’s books have landed in my mailbox and very few grabbed my attention as these did. With eye-catching illustrations and easy to read content these books are sure to delight and more importantly instill a love of the faith in all those that read them.