Books & Reading

Marian Consecration for Families With Young Children – Review

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:


  1. Orthodox 
  2. Accessible
  3. Instructive
  4. Delightful


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.

Top 9 Books of 2019

I completed 90 books in 2019. If that’s a staggering number to you, I recommend you take my free 5-day challenge to read more books!

While I didn’t hit my goal of 100 books in 2019 (and didn’t match the 103 I read in 2018), I’m content with that number.

We had a lot of life happen in 2019 with homeschooling, foster care, pregnancy loss, and -ahem- video games. 90/100 is still an A in my book.

These books were all new to me in 2019. If I included rereads, this would’ve been more like top 30!


My Top 9 Books of 2019

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Catholic Fiction: In This House Of Brede

A book about nuns of a Benedictine monastery doesn’t sound thrilling. Go on and say it, you think it might be boring. Won’t it be all pious and sweet?


I assure you, no realistic portrait of 96 women could be a gentle and darling thing. Rumer Godden’s penetrating, lyrical work lulls you in with a restraint that is quintessentially British. Then, with your guard down, she strikes at your heart. The personalities, secrets, and piercing truth make In This House of Brede my favorite work of Catholic fiction.

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Don’t Feel Like Reading? 7 Tips To Get Back To Reading More

The beginning of this year was a roller coaster for me. Extreme highs contrasted with extreme lows.


One day I was on top of the world.


My business was keeping me busy. We had a packed social calendar. And after years of infertility, we were pregnant again!


Then we suffered a miscarriage and lost the twins.


I didn’t feel like reading


Grief sapped my energy. Depression steals your personality. I was trapped in my thoughts, unable to focus on the hobby I once loved.


I had to find a foothold and grapple my way up Depression Mountain, through the Vale of Tears, and get back to myself.


The journey has changed me in countless ways. But I’m so glad to have reading back. Here are 7 ways to shake the cobwebs and jump back into reading.

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A Different Kind of Reading List for 2018

2017’s reading list had 17 minutely researched, considered, and chosen titles. But I only finished half.


I read lots of other books: new recommendations, book-club picks, and old favorites. My interests evolved. Many of the books I wanted to check out from the library (or purchase) I never got around to. I also give myself full permission to quit books, so that kicked a few off the list.

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My 7 Most Influential Books Of 2017

So I didn’t read all 17 books on my 2017 reading list. I read lots of other books: new recommendations, book-club picks, and old favorites. I also give myself full permission to quit books, so that kicked a few off the list. And above all, my interests evolved.

The woman who wrote that list in December 2016 is not the same woman writing to you now. Her tastes have changed. Her schedule changed. Her family changed. And her heart changed.

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#WorthRevisit Trusting God with St Therese

The month of October will center on St Thérèse. Email subscribers will receive a digital print from Story of a Soul throughout the month of October. I will post in-depth book reviews of my favorite books on the Little Flower here on the blog. You can read more on Facebook. Even Instagram will get a little sprinkle of roses with a flash sale each Sunday.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also known by her religious name, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, is one of the most widely-known Saints of the modern era. You might be familiar with the rough outlines of her life and veneration, but how much do you really know about this Saint and her “Little Way”? For an engaging, readable book on St. Thérèse and the essential necessity of trust, I highly recommend Trusting God With St. Thérèse by Connie Rossini.

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