Bible & Saint stories

In addition to our daily story book, we also read a Bible or saint story every day.  We read through the bedtime Bible book that I had initially selected in the fall, and rather than start over I began looking for something different to borrow from the library.  The bedtime book was a great general overview, but didn’t focus much on Jesus’ ministry and teachings, so the first books I got for us to read were Mary Hoffman and Jackie Morris’ Miracles and Parables:

These books were perfect for teaching the kids more about Jesus’ ministry.  Each contains about seven or eight stories, with citations showing what book and chapters of the Bible the story came from.

Now that we’ve finished these two, we’re moving on to saint stories.  I’m planning to use Carole Armstrong’s Lives and Legends of the Saints:

I like how she has associated each story with a piece of great artwork – it will not only expose Little T and Mr. S to the stories of Catholic saints, but will also have the added benefit of giving them a glimpse of some significant works of art.

In my research, I’ve found several great books that I just don’t think we’ll have time to get to during this school year, but I wanted to record them here for posterity’s sake!  Ruth Sanderson’s Saints: Lives and Illuminations and More Saints: Lives and Illuminations are two that I hope to use next year.


And two stories of specific saints that I also hope to use in the future are Kathleen Norris’ The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica (illustrated by Tomie de Paola) and Bryce Milligan’s Brigid’s Cloak (illustrated by Helen Cann):

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Still more fairy tales

Yes, we’re still reading fairy tales!  Next week will be our last week of fairy tales for a while, but the kids and I are enjoying reading them.

Our first book this week is Rachel Isadora’s The Princess and the Frog – I apologize for the tiny picture, it’s the only one I could find online and I’ve already returned the book to the library so I can’t take my own photo:


Isadora’s illustrations are soft watercolors, which is sweet but frankly I prefer more detail.  (Her style works better for me in The Little Mermaid, which we also read this week, possibly because I can imagine things looking slightly blurry underwater.)  The story is the familiar tale, minus any menacing elements – the princess drops her ball in a well, the frog retrieves it, and she is obligated to keep her promise to let him stay in her home.  The spell is broken and voila, he’s a prince!  Cue happily ever after.

Our next tale was Paul O. Zelinsky’s Rumpelstiltskin:

His oil paintings are just gorgeous, and the book is also appealing because of the beautiful language he uses to tell the story.  I think Zelinsky is my new favorite children’s book illustrator!

Our final fairy tale this week was another of Rachel Isadora’s – this time the aforementioned Little Mermaid:

She’s managed to retell this sad story in a beautiful way, though of course the mermaid’s visit to the sea witch may frighten some little ones, and the fact that her sisters try to get her to kill the prince in order to save herself in the end is a bit gory; but the ending is sweet, and the scary parts were not overwhelming, even for my sensitive boy.

Stay tuned for more fairy tales next week!

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