Books for Catholic Kids

Some questions for you parents out there:

What are the best Catholic kids' books you know about? 

Do any of these great books have really great illustrations?

What do you think makes for a really great book for kids?

Which is more important to the kids:  text or illustrations?

What do you see in children's books in general (not necessarily religious-themed books) that drives you nuts?

What, if anything, do you see in religious-themed books that drive you nuts, make the books less great than they could be, etc.?

Are there any particular books any of your kids are in total love with, never get sick of reading or having read to them, etc.? What is it about those particular books that "get" to the kids in question?

Do you have a hard time finding Catholic-themed books for your kids?  Is there a particular writer or particular publisher that tends to do a great job with Catholic-themed books?

What Catholic-themed (or just generally great, well-written, beautifully illustrated that don't diss religion and might give our Faith a nod without being overtly religious) books would you like to see but that just aren't out there yet? What sorts of stories would they tell?

Here's a list of books that we use in my house.

-St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism.
-St. Joseph board books Joyful Prayers
- the illustrated Carholic Children's Bible
- the picture book of Saints
- Heros of God: Saints for boys

Many others but those are the main ones.
I never seem to have a problem finding decent Catholic kids' books.

I find lots at the local used book sale.

Currently, 2 of our favourites are The Weight of a Mass and Angel in the Waters.

I use these 2 resources for finding titles:

This year, we're doing 2 books a month from Catholic Mosaic along with accompanying activities in the actual book.
"The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes"

I just love this book! It's not Catholic per se, but I love the book because it shows kids that they can be capable and help out around the house. Mother is not the maid! 

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The country bunny attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
Neumann Press Books!!!
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"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls, by Caryll Houselander
More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls, by Caryll Houselander.

(09-21-2015, 06:58 PM)Clare Brigid Wrote: Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls, by Caryll Houselander
More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls, by Caryll Houselander.

We are reading the first one just now. Very sweet!
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
this is a good thread because i am currently trying to write some children's books.  my son and i love making books together.  despite our large collection of catholic books, i often find myself wishing there were more catholic children's literature, not just catechetical books and saint biographies for the under 12's.

and i hate books that draw children like precious moments.  i hate precious moments.  why are their faces so scrunched up and small?  people don't actually look like kewpie dolls.  this book is a prime example:

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and this one.  blergh.

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we have a LOT of books at our house i can go through and list.  i am not home and once i get home i can go through

lots of them are from the pre vatican II era and contain illustrations of a certain quality that just seems very "retro."  these may be cute and endearing, sure, but i have some concerns.  i don't want him to think that traditional catholicism is a museum piece from 1949.  my son also has lots of secular books, and often these have vivid, beautiful illustrations.  there are too many wonderful books to list.  engaging stories.  relatable characters.  it would be nice to have catholic storybooks featuring relatable characters who did not feel like they were from another time. 

unfortunately aside from the occasional Madeline, most of the characters in popular children's books are not catholic.  they do not turn to the faith when they have problems. they s
do not pray before meals, they  do not operate ina  catholic cultural milieu

one author i really love is tomie depaola.  his children's books are what i would consider actual works of children's literature.  books like Big Anthony, one of my son's favorites, lives in a world with cardinals and churches and priests.....well he is italian i suppose. 

it is interesting when you look at our bookshelves...with the exception of books like big anthony, and madeline, there is a very sharp division between sacred and the profane.  it's either Fr Lovasik religious books and the st joseph catechisms, or it's the Magic School Bus and Where the Wild Things Are.  Never the two shall meet.  i always wonder, what if alexander had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and offered his sufferings up to God?  what if there were books that demonstrated what that looked like at a small child's level?  i would love to see young children's literature that is not overtly preachy but point children toward a christian worldview. 

maybe it is just my INFP/melancholic way of looking atthings but when i was a kid i was very sensitive to manipulation.  i could  sense when a children's book had an agenda attached to it.  it turned me off. 

my son did love Little Stories for Little Folks which is from catholic heritage curriculum, it is a phonics reader:

It's not a Catholic book, but we're really loving "Alison's House" by Maxime Trottier.

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It's a funny little book about a girl with a large family that lives in a little house. When a new baby comes along, the house is officially "too small" and the family moves to a larger house, but Alison refuses to move, saying, "I love it here, and I'm never going to leave." When a new family moves into their old house with only 1 kid, she realizes it's not the house she loves, but her big, boisterous family.

I love how it portrays the family - large and loud, busy and crowded at time, but where Alison wants to be even after the luxuriousness of having her own room with the "new" family. Of course, the parents high-fiving each other at the end of the book makes me & my husband laugh every time too.

It looks like it's out of print, but worth picking up used.

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