Little Acts of Grace by Rosemarie Gortler and Donna Piscitelli
Illustrated by Mimi Sternhagen
2002, Our Sunday Visitor, 48 pages, softcover, Catholic
This is a friendly little introduction for children to the small ways that they can show love to God. It's a combination of a book of manners (since there are explanations of how to behave at Church - and why) with a simple devotional theme that is accessible to young children. What a great idea!
Children are gently encouraged to bow their head when Jesus' name is said, show a sign of affection when they pass by a Catholic Church because Jesus is present in the tabernacle, and say a prayer when they see an ambulance go by. Regarding Holy Mass, the book encourages and explains why we dress appropriately for Mass, bless ourselves with holy water, genuflect, and try to pay attention even when it's hard. There are also parts of Mass that are illustrated and explained (both how we act and what is happening): the "Lord Have Mercy" prayer, The Prayer Before the Gospel (and the special signs we make at that time), The Consecration and Communion. The book concludes with the theme of prayer, including why and how we pray to Mary, to the Saints and to the Angels and prayers for mealtime and bedtime.
Each subject is covered with a colorful illustration on one side of the page and a page of text (including a Bible quote). It's perfect for children preparing for their First Communion, but could certainly be enjoyed by younger children too.
Reviewed by Alicia Van Hecke (4-20-07)
Available from Adoremus Books, All Catholic Books, Catholic Heritage Curricula, Catholic Shopper, Emmanuel Books and Saint John Fisher Forum,