Friday, May 19, 2017

Our Lady's Message (Sophia Institute Press)

Sophia Institute Press is historically known for printing quality Catholic books for adults with occasional titles for children. Today, I would like to focus on one of their recent children's books, Our Lady's Message, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Fatima. The books is for children with a minimum age of 7, but written in such a way that there is no maximum age that it would appeal to. The author is well-known, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle and illustrated by Ann Engelhart, who illustrated other beautiful Catholic children's books.

The book tells about the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in a storybook format, making the message approachable and not a dry, historical summary. Each chapter then ends with a reflection or "something to think about" section, which pulls back on some key event in the chapter and asks you to apply it to your daily life. The book begins by giving a brief background on the three shepherd children, and then leads into the message of the Angel of Peace. We then see the visits from the Virgin Mary; the three secrets of Fatima; the children being put in jail; and my personal favorite, the Miracle of the Dancing Sun. The book could have ended there, and it would have been a fine children's book, but O'Boyle doesn't shy away from the story and tells of the deaths of Francisco and Jacinta and the further life and ministry of Lucia, who went on to become a religious sister. The book has a nice flow to it, and the illustrations sprinkled throughout which add to the story without dominating the words. What I really appreciated though was the appendices, which give your children prayers associated with Fatima and a guide on how to pray the Rosary.

This book was provided to me for free by Sophia Institute Press in exchange for an honest review.