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First Communion 2 Book Review

My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories; compiled by Heidi Hess Saxton; illustrated by Natalie Carabetta; published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, distributed by Liturgical Press, January 2010; 420 pp

This collection of almost 200 bible stories uses the New Revised Standard Version Catholic text. Each bible story begins with a brief summary and explanation of the text. At the end of each passage is a short prayer that relates to the story. "Going Deeper", after the prayer, includes a "Read It" section that lists related readings from liturgy and the Catechism, and a "Do It" section, with a suggestion for a fun and educational family activity. Interspersed throughout the book are Catholic prayers and psalms, along with quotes from saints. The colorful illustrations add interest to the stories. Author Saxton has put together a lovely book that both children and parents will enjoy and treasure.

My First Holy Communion: Prayers for a Lifetime; written and compiled by Sophie Piper; illustrated by Angelo Ruta; published by Paraclete Press, March 2010, 64 pp

Sophie Piper's My First Holy Communion is a gift book to celebrate a special day in a young Catholic's life. The book has a commemoration page to record Baptism and First Communion dates, with space for photographs. Praising God, Baptism, Confession, Holy Communion, and living a Christian life are the themes for the chapters of book. Traditional prayers, along with short scripture passages and some simple new prayers by Piper, are colorfully illustrated on every page. The final chapter is a series of blessings for every day and night time--prayers that are expressive and appealing. As the description on the back cover states, this book is a "meaningful keepsake for this most important occasion."

Hooray! I'm Catholic! Written by Hana Cole; illustrated by Joanna Steege; published by Paulist Press, May 2010; 32 pp

Hooray! I'm Catholic!  is a fun picture book that celebrates many of the entities that make it great to be a Catholic. The text is in rhymes and lists candles, bells, and rosaries as some of the "little things" that are special about being a Catholic. Included in the "big things" that make being Catholic great are "Jesus in Communion" and "knowing Jesus loves me, knowing he loves you." Prayer and helping others are also emphasized. The softly-colored illustrations enhance the text and help show children that being Catholic is special and wonderful. Hooray! I'm Catholic!  will be available May 1st.