I am sad.
Why? Well, I recently received a beautiful new book for young Catholic children, and my only son is now a college student.
Heidi Hess Saxton's new book My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories is reminiscent of the excellent Catholic Books for children from the '40s and '50s where one was never disappointed by the spiritual content, beautiful illustrations, whether in black and white or in color, and solid binding on a hard-covered book.
By the way, this lovely book contains the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of the Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville, the Most Reverend David R. Choby, STB, JCL. This is one mark of a solid Catholic book for me.
My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories has chapter after chapter of stories of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Since the readings this week in Mass were from the Book of Samuel, I will focus of that story for you.
Hannah and Samuel
Heidi begins each story with a short paragraph to make the story more understandable to the child.
"Have you ever prayed urgently for something, only to be disappointed when God didn't answer your prayer like you wanted...?
What child or even adult cannot relate to the question posed by Heidi at the beginning of Hannah and Samuel?
The passages are taken from the Holy Bible. Heidi has kept the wording true to Scripture, utilizing the NRSV Catholic Text. The fact that she did that was a big plus for me. Many bible stories that I have read, have unfortunately dumbed down the words as if a child were not sufficiently intelligent to be able to comprehend God's words. You will not find that problem here.
Following each story, there is a beautiful little prayer which would be good for parent and child to recite together.
I know when my son was young, he would have questions following any interesting story, especially from the Holy Bible. Heidi knew that children's interest may be peaked by some of the stories. She added a Going Deeper part to the stories where she gives citations with an activity which will instruct the child to read something further, like from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and also do something with their family to further make the story come alive.
I know I mentioned my son was too old for this kind of book. But you know what? My mom and son cannot wait until I lend them the book to read.
By the way, considering the quality of the binding, as mentioned above, the beautiful illustrations and the overall look of this book, it sells for an incredible price of 19.99. I really thought I would see at least 35.00 on the back of the book!
Thank you Heidi for this treasure which is now a part of our permanent Catholic library.