He Is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter

Written and illustrated by Patti Rokus

Zondervan, 2019

32 pages, $17.99

In this mesmerizing picture book, the good news of Easter is revealed in striking illustrations, constructed solely from carefully placed rocks. With a simple, straightforward text, sprinkled with supporting Scriptures, the book traces the events of Holy Week, through Christ’s agony, crucifixion and death, moving forward to his resurrection and ascension. Each turn of the page depicts an important biblical scene, crafted in a stone collage. Although created with a simplicity suitable for the very young, readers of all ages will be drawn into this artful, moving depiction of the Easter story. A great reminder that Jesus is indeed the rock of our salvation. Ages 4-8.

 

Jonah and the Whale

Written by CJ Leonard

Illustrated by Giuseppe Di Lernia

DK Publishing, 2018

28 pages, $12.99

What happens when God asks us to do something that is hard? How should we respond? These questions are probed in this familiar Old Testament story, in which reluctant prophet Jonah flees from God only to find himself in a deadly situation at sea. In this version, the story unfolds through captivating, oversized illustrations. The enlarged, colorful, widespread images draw readers into the story, giving a great sense of the vastness of the ocean and the enormity of the whale that swallows Jonah. The story ends with a redemptive message of God’s forgiveness and mercy. The durable board book format will stand up to lots of handling by the younger set. Ages 3-8.

 

That Grand Easter Day!

Written by Jill Roman Lord

Illustrated by Alessia Trunfio

Worthy Kids Publishing, 2018

32 pages, $16.99

The Resurrection story is told with joy in this engaging, rhyming text: “This is the place where Jesus first lay/ before he arose/ on that grand Easter day!” The story builds in the form of a cumulative tale (think This Is the House that Jack Built). Full of fun language play, but true to the Gospel story, this book offers an innovative and memorable perspective of the Easter story. Great for a read aloud, kids are sure to join in on the rhythmic, repetitive text. Ages 3-8.

 

When You Were Baptized

Written by Catherine Maresca

Illustrated by Nathan Röhlander

Liturgy Training Publications, 2019

32 pages, $15.95

This book will bless your family, godparents and catechists in so many ways. Each step in becoming a child of God is gently explained and within the context of family and community. Water, light, holy oil, God’s word and the baptismal garment are introduced in an understandable but profound way. School or team clothes might, for example, tell others who you are. In baptism, the white garment signals “that you belong to Jesus and are full of his light.” The wisdom of the text is matched equally by the rich beauty of the large illustrations depicting a joyful gathering of family and friends in a church setting that becomes part of the story, too. Ages 3 and up.

 

The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted

Written by Anthony DeStefano

Illustrated by Erwin Madrid

Sophia, 2019

32 pages, $16.95

 “There once was a seed / who lived in a drawer / in a room of a mansion / by a beautiful shore,” begins this story of overcoming fear. The little seed loves being snugly tucked away in the company of his seed chums. Then, his biggest worry is realized. The owner of the mansion, who enjoys gardening, opens the drawer and snatches him. He places the moaning, groaning seed into a dark hole in the ground. Alone and afraid, the little seed starts to change, and, at last, he begins to grow and grow and grow. His story isn’t over — it has just begun. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Fear gives way to new hope. Ages 3 and up.

 

Let Us Pray: A Child’s First Book of Prayers

Edited by Katie Warner

Illustrated by Meg Whalen

TAN, 2019

12 pages, $9.95

Introduce little ones to favorite Catholic prayers found in this sturdy board book. Sized perfectly for small hands, it couples each beloved prayer with an engaging illustration. In addition to foundational prayers (Apostles’ Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary), the Fatima Prayer, Memorare, Come, Holy Spirit, and others round out this collection of 11 prayers. Ages 2 - 8.

 

You Are Loved

Written by Charlotte Grossetête

Illustrated by Maureen Poignonec

Ignatius/Magnificat

48 pages, $14.99

 “We love you beyond measure,” parents tell their little child. When their child laughs, they laugh. When he cries, they cry. And, when he is afraid, they protect him and reassure him. While their hearts are bursting with love for their son, they share that someone else loves him, too, and loves him even more. “His love for you is greater than our own. His name is God.” God loves the child so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, into the world. Young readers learn Jesus is their special friend who listens, understands and helps them to love others. Padded hardcover. Ages 3-8.

The Crawford sisters write from Pittsburgh.

All books available via Amazon.