Disclaimer: I received all 3 of these books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!
This year I received 3 catholic books for children to review. I love to give books as gifts and Catholic kids books can be hard to find. Since Christmas is fast approaching, I thought I would share these for your shopping pleasure :).
Catholic Book For the Littles
Faith Filled Lullabies With Big Al and Annie. This is a hardcover book with an audio cd of the songs in the book. There are a mixture of new songs by Cathy Pescario and Fr. Joe Kempf and traditional sacred folksongs. If you’ve ever watched The Grinch with Jim Carrey, the songs remind me of the song “Where Are You Christmas?” They are very mellow, but beautiful…truly lullabies, yet they also have reminders of classic hymns in them. My newborn son seemed to enjoy them when I played them. The book has cute illustrations on one page & the other side includes the lyrics to the song.
While it’s a cute book and it was nice to have the lyrics, I can’t see myself reading it at all. If you listened to the CD enough and knew the tunes, you could sing a page & use it to start discussions as the child grew. Faith Filled Lullabies would make a nice baptism or new baby gift.
Catholic Book For the Middles
Forever You. Forever You is the debut book of Nicole Lataif who has been writing poetry since she was a child. My 3 year-old daughter loved this book, in part, I think, due to the repetition. I had mixed feelings about it.
Here is an example of a page of the book:
Your soul shows through in what you like.
Your mind dreams of ice cream.
Your heart hopes for three scoops.
Your hands reach for the cone.
Your mouth smiles–that was yum!
I like the subject, but as a reader, it felt a bit disjointed to me. Some parts had really nice rhythm & even rhymed. But other parts just didn’t read aloud as nicely. I liked the refrain, if you could call it that —
Your soul is in all you are and do–soul and body, forever you.
I would consider this book to be good for maybe ages 3-7, perhaps? My oldest is almost 6 and she’s not a fan, but she can be picky. I imagine it would be a good conversation starter for up to first communion age or so.
Catholic Books For Big Kids
Holy Crocodile!: Stories of Saints and the Animals Who Helped Them. Holy Crocodile is, as the subtitle implies, a books about saints and animals. It’s not quite a picture book, but its not a chapter book either. I’m not sure what the intended age range for this book is, but my 5 and 3 year old daughters really enjoyed this book. I would imagine that it would be enjoyed by all ages.
The stories in Holy Crocodile were drawn from Roman Catholic, Coptic & the Orthodox traditions and so there were a lot of new stories and saints in it. My girls liked the stories about animals and the illustrations. The pictures seemed to have been done in pen & were rich and colorful and a pleasure to look at. I loved that the stories were short (usually 1 page) AND that they were learning about the saints and our faith.
Holy Crocodile! is one of those books that would appeal to Catholics & non-Catholics alike because they feel almost like fables. They never call them saints within the stories and they aren’t overtly Catholic. If you have an animal-lover, this would be a great book to buy them for Christmas, or anytime.
Read about more Catholic children’s books: