Books make the perfect gift — and here are some suggestions for kids of all ages
Reviewed by Katie Bogner
I recently met a seemingly unreachable goal — I finished buying all of my Christmas gifts before Advent began. It is my hope that having that list checked off will allow me to enter into the beautiful waiting of the Season of Advent with more peace and stillness. I am already grateful for lessened stress related to shopping trips and shipping times in December!
One major reason I was able to accomplish all of that shopping is because I believe books often make the perfect gift and happen to have read many good books this year. I’ve got stacks of books ready to wrap for everyone from friends to coworkers, and also picked up books for the little ones in my life. My niece and nephews and godchildren are all getting a book or two from me under the Christmas tree this year.
If you have children to shop for too, here are a few recommendations:
TO EXPLORE TOGETHER WITH LITTLE ONES
“The Life of Jesus: Seek and Find with Sarah and Simon” — Geert de Sutter, Ignatius Press
With very brief text and edge-to-edge illustrations, this book is less for reading and more for looking. The pages share 12 major events from Jesus’ life through wide perspective images.
Sit together and explore each page as a seek-and-find, discovering little surprises among the multitude of details surrounding Jesus at the Nativity, his public ministry, death and resurrection, and more.
FOR THE KIDDO WHO LOVES SUPERHEROES
“Jack Giorgio, Future Priest” — Katie Warner, illustrated by Amy Rodriguez, TAN Books
Little Jack Giorgio wants to fight evil with courage and justice like his favorite superheroes. His dad encourages him to look closer at a real life role model — his parish priest — and suddenly Jack sees the important work God invites us into through our vocations.
Alongside the grace of the sacraments and the example of the saints, he discovers that each of us is invited to live our own epic mission by loving and serving God.
A BOOK EVERYONE WILL WANT TO READ
“Light of the Saints” — Cory Heimann, illustrated by Tricia Dugat, Word on Fire
Not your typical saint biography collection, this interactive book has lyrical text and striking illustrations, but the real magic happens when a light is shown through each page.
Shining a flashlight, phone light, or even sunlight reveals hidden images that tell facts, miracles, and characteristics of the saints, but most importantly carry the theme of the light of Christ moving and working in each of them — and how Christ desires to work in each of us!
FOR LEGO-LOVING KIDS
“The Holy Mass: On Earth As It Is In Heaven” — Kevin and Mary O’Neill, Sophia Institute Press
It can’t get much better than a Lego illustrated, graphic novel style, giant 240-page book all about the gift of the Holy Eucharist given to us in the Mass. Teaching about everything from Old Testament connections to stories of the life of Jesus, as well as info about participating in the Mass today, this book is guaranteed to be picked up by kids.
Its engaging format helps convey the impressive content on the Blessed Sacrament with both reverence and creativity.
TO ENCOURAGE A TEEN
“All I AM: A Catholic Devotional for Discovering Who You Are in God” — Caroline Pignat, Zonderkidz
This 90-day devotional orients the reader’s search for identity and purpose in Who God is, rather than the struggles they may face.
Using Scripture, wisdom from the saints, reflection, and questions for prayer or journaling, the well-designed book is a perfect resource for today’s teens.
KATIE BOGNER is junior high faith formation teacher at St. Philomena School in Peoria, director of religious education at Immaculate Conception Parish in Lacon, and a popular blogger at looktohimandberadiant.com. She is a member of The Catholic Post’s book review team.