Friday, August 3, 2018

Mary Mother of Jesus and I Went to Mass: What Did I See?

Mary Mother of Jesus is a cute, little board book from Pauline Books and Media. It is written by Sister Marlyn Evangelina Monge and illustrated by Mary Rojas. The book begins by introducing us to Mary and Joseph, telling us about the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. It ends by teaching us about the Assumption and Coronation of Mary and reminding us that she is not only Jesus' mother, but also ours. The writing style felt a bit stilted, as the author used the phrase "very much" a lot, but I have to remind myself that this is for children so repetition is good! The art is bright and colorful with pictures that really enforce the core concepts about Mary.  I especially like that the cover has some glitter texture, as younger children like to see and feel. I also liked that the Crucifixion and Resurrection were discussed. These are hard concepts for children, but it's never too early to introduce your children to these truths. The only thing I would change is that I wish it would have talked about Mary's parents, but I believe the aim of the book was still Jesus through the lens of Mary, which is exactly a model for her life!
I Went to Mass: What Did I See? is a lovely, hardcover book from TAN Books.  It is written by Katie Warner and illustrated by Meg Whalen. I would describe the illustrations as pencil sketches with color used sparingly to emphasize importance. The writing style is a pattern of a child saying, I went to Mass. What did I see?" We then receive the answer in the form of a holy water font, incense, the Eucharist, etc. When we are given the answer on each set of pages, that is when the black and white drawings receive their pop of color, i.e., blue for the holy water and gold for the swinging censer. The book has a great rhythm and is subtly educational without your child realizing they are learning at all. This is a beautiful book for Catholic children and one that you should get any new Catholic as it is one they can read to their little one and instill an early love of the Mass. Highly recommended!