Books for you and your students
By Carolyn Astfalk
New books to add to your personal, professional, and classroom libraries.
Divine Mercy in My Pocket explains the Divine Mercy devotion and instructions for reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Perfect for little hands, pockets, and purses, the booklet offers simple illustrated suggestions for extending mercy through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Available from Pauline Books and Media.
A cat’s eye view
The Pope’s Cat by Jon M. Sweeney is an illustrated chapter book for grades one through four, from Paraclete Press. A stray cat, Margaret, is adopted by the pope and becomes privy to the inner workings of the Vatican. The Pope’s Cat is an entertaining introduction to the Curia, the Swiss Guard, and the Vatican. A Christmas story is slated for fall, and the author plans to hold classroom Skype sessions.
Creative crafts at your fingertips
30 Creative Classroom Crafts, Lessons, and Prayers by Michael J. John and Bridget Olson is brimming with hands-on crafts and projects to captivate students all year long. Photos and easy step-by-step instructions help you teach about vocations, saints, discipleship, and more. Each activity includes catechetical background, “quick facts,” and related prayers and blessings. Available from Twenty-Third Publications.
More saints and stories
New from Pauline Kids (Pauline Books and Media): four paperbacks for elementary-age children. Jesus Our Savior: The Story of God’s Son for Children, adapted by Patricia Szczebak, recounts the life of Christ with biblical stories from his birth through Pentecost (grades three through five).
Our Blessed Mother: The Story of Mary for Children by Marlyn Evangelina Monge, FSP, traces significant events in the life of Jesus’ mother. Broken into small chapters and accompanied by gentle, colorful illustrations, these stories can be shared one at a time. Events are linked to their place in the liturgical calendar. The inclusion of approved Marian apparitions and the rosary make it a well-rounded introduction to Mary (grades two through four).
Mother Teresa: The Story of the Saint of Calcutta, by the same author, traces Mother Teresa’s life from childhood in Yugoslavia to her entrance into religious life and service to the poorest of the poor in India. Realistic illustrations portray her care for the sick and vulnerable (grades two through four).
In the Encounter the Saints biography series, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Emily Beata Marsh, FSP, includes pronunciation guides to French names, a glossary, and prayers. Short chapters and a handful of illustrations
make it appropriate for children in grades two through four.
A LEGO catechism
Catechism of the Seven Sacraments by Kevin and Mary O’Neill is a feast for the eyes and the soul. The hardcover book from StoryTel Press includes glossy photographs of hundreds of biblical scenes recreated in LEGOs. The creative graphic-novel-style presentation appeals to all ages.
Church history that’s anything but dry
The Church Rocks!: A History of the Catholic Church for Kids and Their Parents and Their Teachers by Mary Lea Hill, FSP, traces the history of the Catholic Church century by century from Pentecost through present day. Each chapter includes a timeline, prayer, contemporary saints, and interesting historical facts. The presentation is heavy on graphics, sidebars, and illustrations, and can be digested easily by children in grades five and up. Available from Pauline Books and Media.
Carolyn Astfalk is a contemporary Catholic novelist, blogger, CatholicMom.com contributor, and mother of four Catholic-school students ranging from preschool to high school.
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