Saturday, February 24, 2007

Review: Little Flowers Family Apostolate Publications

This review refers to the following Little Flowers Family Apostolate Publications:
  • Flower Gardening for Our Lady Chart
  • A Catholic 123/ABC Copybook, a Preschool Practice Book with Catholic Facts
  • Marguerite by Sr. St. Stephen, G.N.S.H.
  • Catholic Talks for Children,Volumes 2-5, by Rev. Fred Gilbert, O. M. I.
These are reprints from 1947-1955. The pictures and text are very "old-fashioned". For members of a Tridentine Mass community, these can be very handy. All of the references to the Holy Mass and liturgical season refer to the Tridentine rite and the old liturgical calendar.

Flower Gardening for Our Lady Chart comes with a high quality china marker that works quite well. Children can mark all of their good deeds for each day of the week, as well as affix earned flowers stickers (2 sheets with 100 stickers each included). They can also "lose roses" if they sin ("fight, lie, are unkind, disobedient, lazy", etc) which is something I hadn't seen in a chart like this before. The back of the chart lists rules for using it and how many flowers children should attempt to win daily. Suggestions of "holy rewards" are given, as well as more examples of sinful behavior that will cause one to lose roses.

A Catholic 123/ABC Copybook, a Preschool Practice Book with Catholic Facts
This is a very straight-forward preschool workbook, with one letter on each double page: on the left the capital letters and on the right its corresponding lower case, with multiple lines provided for both tracing and copying. On the bottom of each page there is a simple picture and two sentences with a word in bold starting with that letter, and one line provided for the child to copy the word. I should note here that the lower case letters consistently reach well above the dotted middle line--I do not know if this was the way lettering was taught before 1050. Numbers 1 to 9 follow the alphabet pages, in the same basic pattern. One plus is that the paper is better quality than the usual newsprint. It is of equivalent weight/color of your regular printer paper.

Marguerite by Sr. St. Stephen, G.N.S.
First copyrighted in 1955, this cute booklet tells the story of St. Marguerite d'Youville, of Canada, founder of the Grey Nuns. The chapters portray brief vignettes of her childhood and growing ups years brushing through the many, many sorrows and crosses of her life. This will serve as a delightful read-aloud as the language is very suitable for young children.
On a personal (and artistic) note, I would have preferred if the the new edition had left the original illustrations intact. By adding shading, they lost the freshness of the originals they also are no longer suitable for coloring-- a very favorite activity in our homeschool.

Catholic Talks for Children, 5 volume set
As stated on their website, these are actual talks given by a priest in the 1940s. The topic, or themes, of each "talk" was directed to the season/liturgical theme, so a chapter may begin with references to the need to change clocks to daylight savings time or to a certain specific Sunday, such as Christ the King. Some will, of course, be more relevant than others for the readers. With some preparation time (looking over an appropriate theme beforehand), these should work very well for family read-aloud.

Volume #2: Advent & Christmastide - Advent Candles & Trees; Decorating; Christmas Legends; Ever-Watchful Eye of God; Name of Majesty and Power and more. $6.95

Volume #3: The Sacraments - Church, a Ship on Life's Sea; Your Ticket to Heaven; Prodigal Son; Five Strings on Your Fingers; Ceremony of Knighthood; An Altar Boy Dies; and more. $6.95

Volume #4: The Mass and Its Parts - Helping at Mass; We Pray; We Give; Lift up Your Hearts; Hail to the King of Kings; Pray for Me; Grace before Communion; A Farewell Blessing; and more. $6.95

Volume#5: Timely Topics Prayer Wheels; Making Crowns; A Song for Mother; Leaves; High Flying; This is Your Day; and more. $6.95

All items available from Little Flowers Apostolate website.

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