New Catholic Books for Young Readers Focus on Faith, Saints and Even Science

CHILDREN’S BOOK PICKS SUMMER 2021

Check out eight good books for young readers this summer.
Check out eight good books for young readers this summer. (photo: Courtesy of publishers/Amazon)

Brilliant! 25 Catholic Scientists, Mathematicians, and Supersmart People

Written by David Warren

Illustrated by Jaclyn Warren

Pauline, 2020

112 pages, $24.95

Think big, seek the truth, and don’t forget to take your faith along, the author urges aspiring young scientists and mathematicians. Many Catholics have done just that and have blazed trails. Profiled are modern pioneers who explored, among other things, DNA, genetics, astrochemistry, disease eradication and the Big Bang Theory. (The father of the Big Bang Theory was, in fact, a Catholic priest from Belgium, Father George Lemaitre.) Catholic heroes of the more distant past contributed to our understanding of astronomy, calculus, the calendar and music theory.  Detailed black-and-white sketches combine the image and inspiring words of each supersmart Catholic.  Ages 7-11.

 

Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family

Written by Marlyn Evangelina Monge, FSP

Illustrated by Mary Rojas

Pauline, 2019

14 pages, $12.95

As the Church celebrates the Year of St. Joseph, this sturdy board book is perfect for preschoolers. Joseph bravely follows God’s will in taking Mary as his wife. Readers follow Joseph to Bethlehem, Egypt and home to Nazareth with his young family. Joseph loves Mary and Jesus, cares for them, and protects them.  From heaven, Joseph helps us. Ages 1-5.

 

Saints Around the World

Written by Meg Hunter-Kilmer

Illustrated by Lindsey Sanders

Emmaus Road, 2021

224 pages, $22.95

Simply awesome! This is a saints book like none other for kids (and their grown-ups!). Engaging, lively stories take readers behind the scenes. Revealed are unique and often-riveting tales of God’s holy people who reflect different ages, cultures, abilities, disabilities and temperaments. These are not cookie-cutter saints, but common to all is a fierce, palpable love for God. A water painting of each of the more than 100 saints featured in the book and artist’s notes provide even more fascinating insights about lives well-lived for Christ. Ages 9 and up. 

 

Saint Spotting: Or How to Read a Church

Written and illustrated by Chris Raschka

Eerdmans, 2021

44 pages, $17.99

In a warm, conversational tone, renowned illustrator Chris Raschka reflects on the bright and airy way his mother approached church visits. walking readers step by step through a sacred space that is replete with images of the saints. Together, mother and son spot these depictions of holy men and women and discover important elements of their lives and faith. This beautifully rendered book will engage children (and art-loving adults) and perhaps inspire some budding “saint spotters” who will look at sacred images in a whole new way. Ages 4-8.

 

All You Holy Women, Pray for Us

Written and illustrated by Adam & Angela Smyth

Sophia Institute Press, 2020

20 pages, $16.95

This pint-size board book offers a great introduction to eight women of God. Each one is introduced with a picture and three-stanza poem that tells of the saint’s life and faith. Even very young children will enjoy meeting the likes of St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and more awesome Catholic women. Ages 3-5.


Holy Mysteries! 12 Investigations Into Extraordinary Cases

Written by Sophie de Mullenheim

Illustrated by Solenne & Thomas

Ignatius, 2021

84 pages, $16.95

Did the sun dance at Fatima? Did St. Joseph actually build a spiral staircase for the Sisters of Loretto in New Mexico? How does the blood of a fourth-century saint liquify today?  These are just some of our Church’s history mysteries examined in this creative dossier case book. Each investigation sets forth the facts with supporting photos and documents. Points of view of doubters and believers are presented, as are the results of repeated scientific inquiries conducted to search for the truth. Authorities weigh in. The evidence awaits faith-filled readers! Ages 9 and up. 

 

Jesus, I Adore You: Children Praying Before the Blessed Sacrament

Written by Sabine du Mesnil

Illustrated by by.bm

Ignatius, 2021

64 pages, $13.99

“Adoration is very simple,” the author shares. “All we have to do is be there, and that makes Jesus happy.” Sometimes, though, children might need a little help. This book gently explains what Eucharistic adoration is, how children can adore Christ, and what they might do during their special time together. Questions are answered (What if I fall asleep?) and concerns addressed (What if I don’t feel anything?). But, most of all, the book celebrates the loving heart-to-heart relationship between a child and Jesus, who is “so great but becomes so small, in the Host.”  

“Words of Adoration,” the final section, draws from Scripture and the saints to encourage those who keep company with Jesus. Ages 5 and up.

 

Monks Make Amends

Written by Sylvia Dorham

Illustrated by Christopher Tapa

TAN, 2020

24 pages, $14.95

“Monks work./ Monks play./ Monks stay busy every day.” At the monastery monks do all kinds of things — sometimes they even get angry. Father Abbot becomes worried when he notices that the monks are grumpy. When he learns they are at odds with one another, he urges them to reconcile: “Father Abbot taps his chin./ “You can be angry, just don’t sin.”/ Monks nod./ Monks forgive./ Monks know how they want to live.” The tight, rhythmic text and charming illustrations offer readers a fun, engaging story of reconciliation. The monks offer great models of how to deal with relational challenges through kindness, determination and help from the sacraments. Ages 3-8. 

The Crawford sisters write from Pittsburgh.  

All books are available on Amazon.

Mathias Grünewald, “Meeting of St. Erasmus and St. Maurice,” ca. 1522

St. Erasmus, ‘Dauntless Bishop and Martyr’

“Grant us through the intercession of thy dauntless bishop and martyr Erasmus, who so valiantly confessed the Faith, that we may learn the doctrine of this faith, practice its precepts and thereby be made worthy to attain its promises. Amen.” —Prayer to St. Erasmus

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco celebrates the ‘Mass of the Americas’ using the extraordinary form of the Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2019.

Msgr. Charles Pope and Limiting the Latin Mass (July 24)

Historically, changes to worship have always cause intense reaction. Reaction to Pope Francis’ decree Traditionis Custodes limiting the use of the Traditional Latin Mass is no different. Msgr. Charles Pope helps us sift through the concern and frustrations many Catholics have we expressed. Then, in an Editor’s Corner, Matthew Bunson, executive editor for EWTN News, and Jeanette De Melo discuss the Napa Institute conference and a roundup of Catholic news.

Photo portrait of American poet and Catholic convert Wallace Stevens (1879–1955).

The Art of Catholic America (July 17)

Art, music, literature — in a word, beauty — have in the life and history of Catholicism been a great evangelizing force. For a lesson in this we often turn to the lasting masterpieces and legacy of Christendom in Europe. But what about on our own shores: Is there an imprint on the U.S. from American painters, poets and the like who were Catholic? On Register Radio, we explore American artists and Catholicism in the U.S. with Robert Royal, founder and editor in chief of The Catholic Thing. Then we look at the ways the sexual revolution has impacted the professions — particularly education, psychology and medicine — with Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute.