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)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Make Room on Your Shelf for This Graphic Novel!

Today I'd like to introduce you to an inspiring new graphic novel for kids - The Cross and the Stag; the Incredible Adventures of Saint Eustathius, by Gabriel Wilson. 

It is Ancient Faith Publishing's inaugural book into the graphic novel format, the first in their new "Among the Saints" series written to inspire both children and adults.

I am so excited about this book! Gabriel Wilson's illustrations are striking, and graphic novels are a great way to introduce kids to stories of the saints!

For those unfamiliar with graphic novels, they are like comics, but the format is longer and the self-contained story has a definite beginning, middle, and end. 

Wondering if graphic novels are a good fit for your child?  Click on the link to explore this article from scholastic: A Guide to Using Graphic Novels with Children and Teens.

Now, on to The Cross and the Stag...

This is one incredible adventure story, about a very godly man and his brave family.  Not all saint stories would work well as graphic novels, but this one was practically begging to for it! (As are many others - I can't wait to see what more will come from Ancient Faith Publishing). 

In art school, author/artist Gabriel Wilson became very interested in graphic design, animation, and comics and was inspired to switch out super heroes for saints in his comic-format stories! Drama, action, love, adventure, death, and hope - they are all in this heroic tale.

Book description from AFP:
He lost his wealth. 
He lost his family. 
He lost his station. 
He endured it all, to gain everything. 
Roman Commander Placidas was a man of great power and influence. He and his family wanted for little, yet he knew there had to be more to life. Once baptized into the Christian faith as Eustathius, he faced trials beyond anything he had ever experienced on the battlefield. His faith was challenged, but that same faith gained him eternal life. Meet this great man in Ancient Faith Publishing's first graphic novel.

  • Age Range: 7 years and up 
  • Author/Illustrator: Gabriel Wilson 
  • Format: Paperback 
  • Dimensions: 7 x 10 inches 
  • Page Length: 56 pages 
  • Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

Listen to Bobby Maddex interview the author here, on Ancient Faith's podcast Ex Libris.  And then order this book, available here.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Beautiful Beetle Book. I'm Serious.

Though not particularly "bonkers about beetles", I'm definitely "bonkers" about this book about beetles!  And your child will be too.  
 Did you know that there are roughly 400,000 different species of beetles? These amazing creatures make up about 25% of all animals on our planet.
You'll find out all you ever wanted to know about these creatures in Owen Davey's Bonkers About Beetles.
As you can see from the Contents Page, there is loads of fun info to be found...
The mythology section is particularly interesting.
I love the fact-filled detail in the text and illustrations!

All of Owen Davey's large format Flying Eye Books are striking artistically, as well as fun and informative in content.  Parents and kids alike will appreciate both aspects of these books!

I hope you'll take time to find this gorgeous book for your little science enthusiast!  And look for Davey's other titles: including:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pregnancy Pilgrimage

Grandmother-ing, Mother-ing, and Godmother-ing are among my favorite callings/journeys EVER.  Being pregnant and giving birth? Not so much.

Today's book recommendation FERTILE GROUND, A Pilgrimage through Pregnancy by Laura S. Jansson will calm any negative or fearful perceptions you may have about pregnancy and childbirth. But it's not a typical "What to Expect When You're Expecting" handbook.  Thank goodness.

Fertile Ground explores the theology and mystery of pregnancy and birth, along with practical, thoughtful discussion on subjects such as ultrasounds, the umbilical cord, naming your child, having a birth plan, childbirth fears, nursing, and becoming a parent.

IF I HAD READ THIS BOOK when my first pregnancy pilgrimage began 35 years ago, my attitude and whole experience would have been different!  My heart, mind, and body would have been so much better prepared not only for that 9-month journey, but also the birth itself.

As Laura Jansson notes in her chapter "Self-Denial": 
Parenthood is a voyage into the deep sea of self-offering, and pregnancy is God's way of easing us in at the edge.

If you are on the voyage of pregnancy and parenthood, or know someone who is, I hope you will get this book!  It's new from Ancient Faith Publishing. (I'll be passing my copy on to my daughter, who is expecting her fourth child in December!!!!)

*Note - There are several Orthodox "Prayers of a Woman with Child" at the beginning of the book, as well as a gentle, but frank and personal discussion about miscarriage at the end, titled "Losing a Baby". 

Book summary: Pregnancy is not just a trek from one medical appointment to another but a journey of the heart. Here at last is a guidebook through its sacred terrain. For each week, Orthodox doula Laura Jansson provides a new reflection on a theme specific to the ground covered at that stage. From one milestone to the next, she helps us unearth the spiritual treasures buried within the physical experiences of childbearing. These are gifts of love from a merciful God who reaches out to us, making a perilous expedition into a path of salvation. 

About the Author: Laura S. Jansson is an Orthodox Christian doula, childbirth educator, and mother living and writing at the intersection of birth and faith. She earned her Masters degree in Theology and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, UK, and has also resided in the USA, Serbia, Germany, and Fiji. Since 2005 she has guided scores of expectant mothers on the path to parenthood, witnessing with wonder as bellies and souls grow along the way.