Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


"Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"
If your family is one that traditionally watches A Charlie Brown Christmas, you'll soon be hearing Linus repeat this familiar proclamation that the angels made to the shepherds out in the fields.  Linus' simple monologue is his calm response to Charlie Brown's exasperated and somewhat desperate question, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about!??"

"Lights, please."

Angels play an important role in the Christmas story -- as heavenly hosts bringing to earth the Good News of Christ's birth. As children, this may have been our first remembered introduction to these winged messengers. Soon we'll be hearing (and singing) the angels' joyous words in Latin, from the chorus of Angels We Have Heard on High: "Glo-ori--a! In excelsis De-o!"

Hopefully Christmas isn't the only time children and adults consider the role of angels, and of heaven coming down and touching earth.  Many of us were brought up to believe God has given us each a Guardian Angel.  Some think that could be a scary thought to a child, but in my experience (as a child myself and then as a mother), children readily and happily accept the idea of having an Angel who watches over them.

There is a beautiful new picture book from Conciliar Press that shows the loving role a Guardian Angel plays in the life of a little child.  It would make a lovely Christmas, birthday, or baptismal gift for a young girl or boy.  What Do You Hear, Angel? is by Elizabeth Crispin Johnson, illustrated by Masha Lobastov.

Annie loves to go for walks in the woods and is accompanied by her angel.  Every time Annie encounters a woodland sound, she asks, "What do you hear, Angel?"  The angel hears corresponding praises from heaven.

"I hear a brook in the woods saying, 'Gurgle, gurgle'...
What do you hear, Angel?"
"I hear a little girl in the woods singing,  'Tra-la-la, tra-la-la!'
and I hear all the angels in heaven singing, 'Alleluia, alleluia.'"
This precious book would be a treasure for any child's library.  The illustrations are simply glowing; Marsha Lobastov is a classically educated and trained artist from Russia.  Working with oils on colored canvas, she leads you to a painted world that is pure and unspoiled.

Elizabeth Crispina Johnson's lyrical text is fun.  With joyful sounds in sequence, each new one builds on the last until at the end your child will have fun naming off all the woodland noises and heavenly songs!
This books is perfect for ages 2-7 and is available from Conciliar Press (hardback only).

Monday, November 28, 2011


On this post you will find my favorite Christmas and Nativity books listed by age group. I've also included favorite books for St. Nicholas and St. Lucia Day.  Click on the titles to read my past reviews about each book. You'll find this list especially helpful in making an ADVENT CALENDAR OF BOOKS.

Who is Coming to Our House?

I Spy Christmas

Christmas Look-Alikes

Christmas Trolls

The Little Drummer Boy

The Nutcracker

The Mitten

Merry Christmas, Cheeps!

Christmas Mice

Christmas in the Manger

The Friendly Beasts

Christmas Night, Fair and Bright

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Tomten

The Jolly Christmas Postman

Babar and Father Christmas

Christmas in Noisy Village

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas

One Winter's Night

Uncle Vova's Tree

The Legend of the Poinsettia

B is for Bethlehem

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

The First Christmas

The First Noel

The Legend of Old Befana

Baboushka and the Three Kings

The Miracle of St. Nicholas

We Three Kings

The Nativity

Christmas Angels

Prepare O Bethlehem

The Nativity of Our Lord

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Angela and the Baby Jesus (3rd and up)

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition

Santa, Are You For Real?

The Legend Of St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend

Lucia Saint of Light

Kirsten's Surprise

Click HERE for my post "How to Make An ADVENT CALENDAR OF BOOKS"

Take Joy! Tasha Tudor Christmas Book

St. Nicholas: A Closer Look At Christmas

The Winter Pascha by Thomas Hopko