Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review: Catholic Bible Stories for Children

Catholic Bible Stories for Children by Ann Ball
2006, Our Sunday Visitor, 208 pages, hardback

Reviewed by Ana Braga-Henebry, M. A.

This is a very cute and sturdy volume for children who are ready to begin enjoying the stories from the bible but not quite ready for the real thing yet. The paraphrasing is cross-referenced with the corresponding biblical passages and the language is warm and simple yet not overly toned down. Some important passages are kept in the traditional language, such as Psalm 23, the Beatitudes and the Our Father.

Here is an example of the language from the chapter Daniel in the Lions' Den:
The king quickly let Daniel out of the lions' cage, and the jealous men were put in his place. The lions quickly ate them up.
Author Ann Ball is well known to homeschool families: her book Catholic Traditions in the Home and Classroom seems to be in every Catholic homeschool. This friendly child-friendly volume will also serve Catholic families well in the homeschool, offering a curriculum option for Bible stories in the earlier grades.

As the back covers states, this book of Bible stories is "fully Catholic". Indeed, this is the case! It is so lovely to be able to give to our children a book of bible stories that corroborate the faith we teach them at home. Peter is referred to as the first pope, and Mary's Immaculate conception is discussed, along with her Assumption. One of the final chapters is entitled "The Bible and Sacred Tradition" and explains in simple terms the Church's teaching on Sacred, or Apostolic tradition. The illustrations are also very friendly-- although done in simple watercolors, they are attractive and professional. A cute "talking" goldfish named Icthus is introduced in the very beginning and pops up often throughout the book with the important lesson of the story.

Available from your local bookseller.

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