Buying books and reading books are two separate hobbies. but I enjoy both equally. I have to strictly keep some rules around buying children’s books, or else I’d drive my family to bankruptcy.
My requirements for Catholic children’s books are that it be:
And I’m happy to share that “Marian Consecration for Families With Young Children” ticks all the boxes.
An Orthodox Catholic Book
The author, Colleen Pressprich, is a former Lifeteen Missionary, experienced Montessori teacher, and current homeschooling parent. We’ve worked together on projects before, so I know a bit about her own high standards for children’s materials.
The book is published by Our Sunday Visitor, and carries an Imprimatur from Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. So I already knew it would present the true Catholic faith. Which is especially important in a book about the Blessed Mother.
There are so many false teachings, missteps, and watered-down depictions of Our Lady, even among books for adults. “Marian Consecration” is so faithful and clear, I’d recommend it as a primer for new converts or reverts looking for a trustworthy conversation starter on the Virgin Mary and her place in our hearts.
Good Design is Accessible Design
Frankly, I don’t need one more thing that makes faith formation difficult. Not in the year we’re having. Not in our therapeutic homeschool with an alphabet soup of diagnoses and profiles. So any children’s material that appears to have been written in the 1850s by a childless crone is straight out.
After a few introductory pages, the book begins a 33 day journey. A predictable rhythm takes over: me reading the short reflection while young sir takes in the lush illustrations (by Rebecca Gorzynska). Even the conversation prompts are simple enough for my son, who’s short on words, to contribute a thought.
For a bit of extra assistance, there are daily notes to the parent in the appendix. Colleen’s Montessori experience shines here, with frequent reminders to follow the child. Just because your child isn’t conversing fluently doesn’t mean they aren’t learning!
Instructive for Parent and Child
“A children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story,” CS Lewis
Having followed Fr. Michael Gaitley’s popular “33 Days to Morning Glory” for my own consecration and having led two group consecrations, I wish I could’ve done this children’s version first.
Colleen has taken a subject that confounds theologians and made it accessible to the very young or developmentally delayed. She relates huge theological mysteries to the commonplace experience. Times we’ve felt scared or challenged. Running to our mothers. Offering to share our possessions. God’s plan for Mary in our lives flows clearly across the vibrant pages, for children and adults alike.
Delight Drives Desire
At the end of the day, it doesn’t just matter how much I enjoy a book. Ha! If only that were the main criteria. But one must also ask, “Will my child actually like it?”
I can happily report that Johnny’s given it two thumbs up. Not only do we read it together, but I tuck it in my purse to bring to Mass. This from a child who is never caught reading!
Even if the 33-day structure is too demanding for you in the present year, “Marian Consecration for Families With Young Children” is a gorgeous, faithful book for the whole family to read through.
A Five-Star Family Read
According to my very scientific Catholic children’s book criteria, “Marian Consecration” earns full marks. It’s faithful. It’s easy to implement. I enjoy learning to love Mary alongside my son. We’re both inexorably drawn to the beauty of the book.
Colleen and Rebecca capture the essence of Our Lady. A radiant woman. A guide for all peoples. The pinnacle of humankind. Our Blessed Mother.