To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
With summer in full swing and back-to-school time weeks and weeks away, the kids are buzzing around the nest — and, all too often, around Mom. Here are some book suggestions sure to help them appreciate their own mother and the Blessed Mother too. By the Crawford sisters, Trish and Kerry.
BY The Crawford sisters
Once again the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are
upon us. For many kids freed from school until September, that means more time
around Mom. For God’s children of all ages, it can also mean special times
devoted to the Mom of all Moms — Mary.
And why not? Mary gardens are in full bloom, the scent
of roses is on the breeze and it’s the perfect time of year for praying the
Rosary in the great outdoors, day or night. Here are some books that highlight
the beauty of motherhood. A couple focus on our Blessed Mother, while the rest
explore the bonds of love between earthly mothers and their children.
written by Sabrina Bus
illustrated by Xavier Deneux
translated by Leslie Mathews
12 pages, $8
This board book introduces
preschoolers to the words and meaning of the special prayer we say to the
Mother of God. Each page presents and explains a different phrase. For example,
the author pairs “and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus” with “Jesus was
your child, and yet he is God.” Throughout the simple text are connecting
points with Jesus through Mary. (“With you, we want to learn to know him and
love him.”) The cheerful illustrations show children praying in familiar
settings — with friends, at church and at home. Ages 1 to 4.
My First Book about Mary
written by Christine Virginia Orfeo, FSP
illustrated by Julia Mary Darrenkamp, FSP
64 pages, $7.95
story of our Blessed Mother begins with God’s promise to send a Savior — One
who will be born to a young Jewish woman. This comprehensive biography for
children traces Mary’s life from her birth to Ann and Joachim to her being
crowned Queen of Heaven. The story does not, however, end there. A special
section, “Mary Comes to Visit,” describes the apparitions of Mary to Juan Diego
(Our Lady of Guadalupe), Bernadette Soubirous (Our Lady of Lourdes), Lucy,
Jacinta and Francis (Our Lady of Fatima) and others. Instructions for praying
the Rosary round out this beautifully illustrated book. Ages 8 to 12.
Before I Was Your Mother
written by Kathryn Lasky
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
32 pages, $16
A mom reminds her daughter Katie
that she was once a little girl much like her — a girl who roller-skated,
played with her dog, tap-danced, and thought her own mother was magical because
she could suspend fruit in Jell-O. Best of all, Katie’s mom remembers long ago
of “dreaming of having her own little girl to love.” Ages 4 to 8.
I Love You More
written by Laura Duksta
illustrated by Karen Keesler
34 pages, $16.99
Two stories in one, this flip book
begins at either side and ends in the middle. A mom and her small son walk
together when one asks, “Just how much do you love me?” Each recounts
separately the depth of her or his love. “I love you deeper than the deepest
fish ever swam / “I love you stronger than the strongest big river dam” are
just a few of the declarations of love made between mom and son. Large,
colorful child-like illustrations. Ages 4 to 8.
On Mother’s Lap
written by Ann Herbert Scott
illustrated by Glo Coalson
32 pages, $6.95
Michael loves to climb aboard
Mother’s lap. Soon he goes to find his toy boat, a doll, his reindeer blanket
and, finally, the family puppy so they can all cuddle together on Mother’s lap.
All goes well until his baby sister cries. When Mother suggests that the baby
would like to cuddle too, Michael is sure that there’s no room. But, somehow
there’s a special place for all of them — on Mother’s lap and close to her
heart. Though set in a chilly Eskimo village, this story conveys a warm and
important message for little ones: Just like there is always room for one more
in Mother’s lap, there is always room for one more in the family. Ages 4 to 8.
The Most Thankful Thing
written by Lisa McCourt
illustrated by Cyd Moore
32 pages, $15.95
A young girl catches her mother deep
in thought. “I’m giving thanks,” Mama explains, “for all the good things in my
life.” The daughter asks, “What are you the very most thankful for?” Mama tells
her daughter to guess. Grabbing her mother’s scrapbook, she searches through
the snapshots for a clue. It must be when you went to camp, the daughter says.
Nope! Dancing at your prom? Starting your first job? Marrying Daddy? No, no,
no, says Mama. “Just when I thought I couldn’t be any happier, I held you for
the first time,” Mama says, revealing that her “most thankful thing” was, in
fact, her daughter. Ages 4 to 8.
I Love You Because You’re You
written by Liza Baker
illustrated by David McPhail
24 pages, $8.99
Fox recounts all the times that she loves her little cub. She loves him when
he’s happy, sleepy, silly or frightened. She loves him when he’s sick, sad,
frisky or playful. (She loves him all the time.)
Rhyming couplets brim with the
reassuring message that kids need to hear: “I love you any way you feel,/ no
matter what you do./ I love you any way you are./ I love you because you’re
you!” Ages 3 to 6.
The Crawford sisters
write from Pittsburgh.