Archive for the ‘Bible Stories’ Category

One of the goals I’ve had for my children this year is to increase our visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. While in theory this should be easy, when you toss a very active 2 year old into the mix, it’s a wee bit of a challenge. But I’d like my older child to be able to go for short visits, in hopes to develop that desire and love for our Lord. I’ve recently come across two books that may help us to teach him the importance of adoration and also the connection between what we see and do at Mass and what happens in our home.
The first book is one I came across at our library. It’s an older book, written in the early 50s, so the illustrations, simplicity and innocence presented certainly reflect that. But in the case of this book, it’s a good thing! If Jesus Came to My House is short story, written more in verse about a little boy who imagines what it would be like if…you guessed it…Jesus came to his house. He imagines Jesus as a little boy, like him and has ideas of how and what they would play. Then, very simply the author (Joan Gale Thomas) makes the connection between the Jesus we see in the tabernacle at church and our homes.

“I know the little Jesus
can never call on me
in the way that I’ve imagined
like coming in to tea.

But I can go to His house
and kneel and say a prayer,
and I can sing and worship Him
and talk with Him in there.

And though He may not occupy
my cozy rocking chair,
a lot of other people
would be happy sitting there.

And I can make Him welcome
as He Himself has said,
by doing all I would for Him
for other folk instead. “

Then the story goes on to give ideas that the little boy has of how he can show, in little ways, kindness to others around him. I think it’s a lovely little poem to read to ages 3-6 and have them then come up with ways they can treat people in their homes how they might like to treat Jesus. If you want ways to expand this lesson, there’s a preschool level lapbook for use in conjunction with reading this story.

The second book is a small booklet published by Pauline Books called Come to Jesus! A Kids’ Book for Eucharistic Adoration. This book is definitely for the older kids, strong independent readers. At the same time it could be used for group settings in which children would be at adoration as a group with an adult leader to read parts of it aloud. The book has 3 different sections in which children can have something to read and meditate on during their adoration time. It gives them and understanding of why we go to adoration, prayers to say quietly, and questions to think about in silence. Then there is a Gospel reading with questions and points to ponder in silence.

I hope one of these books might inspire your children!

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I have a 2 year old.  Which means I am often called upon to read books over and over and over and over and…you get the idea.  It means that we go through waves of obsessions with books then suddenly, they will be over and we’re on to something else.  For instance, today I found myself making up a new song, to the words of Marvin K. Mooney Will you Please Go Now? And the best part was that my 2 year old was no where around, he was in fact napping.  Which proves to you that I’ve been reading that book over and over and over…

So I’m not too fond of my 2 year old’s current book obsession.  However, there’s one book that he has consistently enjoyed since about 8 months, asking for it a few times a week.  It’s a board book and I haven’t reviewed a board book in a while, so I thought it was time.

No, No Noah! is a fun board book about a monkey who is very reluctant to join Noah and the other animals on the ark.  He is worried that there won’t be trees to swing from and that he has to leave behind his home.  He finally jumps aboard and finds that life is ok, and eventually God puts an end to the flood.

The story is written as a poem, filled with rhyming words and a good flow to the phrases.  While it’s a toddler book, I found myself often being thankful for the time to sit and read this to my son as it was a good reminder to me.  Noah says,

“Monkey, you must trust the Lord.”

And the message at the end…

When your day brings something new,
Think of Noah’s floating zoo.
Pray like Monkey swinging low,
God stays with you as you go!”

Author: Dandi Daley Mackall

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I just finished a unit with my 6 yo about Moses and the Exodus of the Israelites.  We were rather combining our History studies of ancient Egypt and our religion units of the Ten Commandments.  I wanted to share some of the books we used to enhance our studies.

The one thing to keep in mind with this Bible story is that it can be quite graphic.  From the Pharaoh setting out to kill all the firstborn baby boys to the plagues and Moses’ murder of the Egyptian, these can be violent stories so of course you have to preview these books before reading them to your child, or allowing your child to read them.

I’ll start with the lighter versions first:

Mary Auld has retold the story in two different books:  Exodus from Egypt and Moses in the Bulrushes.

This one starts with a brief telling of how the Israelites became slaves of the Egyptians and ends with Moses being called by God back to free his people.

It’s well done, not too simple nice illustrations.

This one goes into fairly great detail of the plagues and follows the Israelites until after they pass through the Red Sea.  It makes a nice follow up to the above book.  I appreciate the pictures in here, not too gory and there is just something about the style that draws you in.

The next one is by Jean Marzollo (she also wrote the I Spy books).

Miriam and her Brother Moses is definitely more cutesy and lighthearted, focusing on the sibling relationship between Miriam and Moses.  On each page it shows Miriam and the song she would sing to Moses, and how eventually it is that song that helps him remember who he really is, an Israelite.  A tough story is given some reprieve with the images of this little girl dancing and singing, and ducks quacking.

Of these books, this one was one of my son’s favorite to read over and over.  It’s a fun reprieve from a tragic story.

The next two are quite accurate re-tellings of the story.  They are longer versions, with very detailed and sometimes graphic artwork.  They should be used for older children or read-alouds.

Ann Keay Beneduce‘s Moses:  The Long Road to Freedom. Is well done.  My complaints are possibly inconsequential.  I hate the font chosen for the text.  It’s very light, quite small and a lot of space between lines.

I struggle with falling asleep while reading to the kids.  I don’t want to have to squint!

The illustrations by Gennady Spirin are unique.  They remind me of a particular painter but can’t put my finger on who it is.  They are very detailed, with soft colors and kind of grainy.  There is a very detailed picture of the Red Sea engulfing the Egyptians so be sure to preview this one for your kids.

Lastly, Exodus retold by Miriam Chaikin is the most detailed and long version of the story.  It uses many names for the secondary characters.  Starts with Moses as a baby and ends with the Ten Commandments and the Ark of the Covenant.  The drawings are detailed and there is a lot of text on each page.  The storytelling is engaging and it was a good read overall.

So go out and read about Moses and the Exodus.  Advent is a good time to read about one of the Old Testament Promises that lead to the ultimate promise of a Savior.

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