Cuddly animal babies and mothers bound through this lovely new picture book written especially to help mothers inculcate an understanding of boundless love in their children. As mothers read this book to their little ones over and over, children will hear the important message that they are “a masterpiece- God’s work of art” and “a special treasure.” They’ll feel secure and treasured knowing that both their mother and God love them without limits.
A Perfect Gift to Cherish
This sweet book would make a perfect gift for a Baby Shower, Baptism, Christmas or Birthday. There is space in the beginning for a commemorative inscription and a parent to write down their hopes for their child. In the back of the book are spaces for the parents to write down the meaning of the child’s name, a Bible verse for their life, and a prayer for their child.
A Lullaby, a Poem, a Story, a Memory
Whether you download the free song version of Mama, Sing My Song and play it for your child, sing this lullaby yourself, or read it aloud as a poem, your child will feel loved. I love that this book connects the sometimes distant and esoteric concept of God’s love with something even a tiny child understands: their mother’s love. Now they just need to write a version for fathers!
In 2019 our family made the big decision to leave military life and settle down to live in our homestate and start a small homesteading style farm. The last year and a half have been a whirlwind of planting, building, and learning. Many sheep, goats, ducks, dogs, and cats later, we’re thriving and so is the farm! Part of the joy of farm life for me has been discovering new (mostly old actually) homesteading picture books that capture the joy of farm life. Here are some of the homesteading picture books that we’ve grown to love this last year!
Homeplace is a wonderful exploration of a 6 generation farmstead. Each spread describes and pictures how the farm changed as each generation added on to the tiny log cabin and expanded farming operations.
Ox-Cart Man features pictures by the marvelous Barbara Cooney. This story follows a homestead family through the year as they grow and prepare products for the yearly market visit.
Yonder is a moving multi-generational story about a family who begins a homestead on a mountain. They plant a single tree in their orchard to begin, and add another for each birth, death, and important family event. Watch their orchard grow with the family as the circle of life continues.
In Apple Tree Christmas, a family lives above the farm animals in the barn. Poor but happy, the children take delight in the ancient apple tree- until one day a storm blows it down. Can their parents save Christmas?
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm was the book that made me want a homestead complete with all the animals when I was about 5 years old. Alice and Martin Provensen charmingly describe their array of animal friends with all their unique personalities and quirks.
Also check out The Year At Maple Hill Farm which takes you through each month of the year on the farm and the work that happens as the seasons change.
Head across the Pacific Ocean to a New Zealand farm with Days on the Farm. Author Kim Lewis lovingly paints and narrates simple stories about farm animals and children.
Have a child who doesn’t have the attention span for Little House on the Prairie yet? Check out the Little House Picture Books like Sugar Snow and Winter on the Farm that tell some of the best loved stories from the Little House series with lots of illustrations.
In the last month, we’ve added three dwarf goats, two giant dogs, and nine loud ducklings to our farm. Farm animals are so funny and heartwarming; it’s little wonder that so many children’s classics feature these furry and feathery friends. I thought in honor of all our new animal friends, I’d share some of our favorite farm animal picture books.
These picture books about farm animals combine beautiful illustrations with stories old and new. Enjoy fables and folk tales, funny stories, and classics favorites all about our favorite fuzzy and feathery farm friends.
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Love Garth Williams classic Little House on the Prairie illustrations? Check out Baby Farm Animals for his adorable versions of baby farm animals.
In Charlie the Ranch Dog, meet lovable farm dog Charlie, his friend Susie, the troublesome cattle, and the sneaky chipmunk. There are several equally fun sequels about ranch life, like Charlie and the New Baby in which Charlie and his family rescue a lost calf and reunite it with its mother.
Text from Margaret Wise Brown, and illustrations by award-winning Jerry Pinkney: what could be better? A Home in the Barn follows the coming of winter and all the animals large and small who find shelter in a barn.
Kids love the simple rhythmic text of the Little Blue Truck books. In the original, Little Blue picks up all the farm animals and even does a grumpy passerby a good turn. A celebration of teamwork.
Five o’clock Charlie may be old, but he doesn’t want to just sit in a field all day. He feels useless until one day he finds a new job and new friends at a nearby inn.
Based on the author’s life on an English sheep farm, Days on the Farm is a collection of short stories that capture sheep farm life. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations we just love.
In Tractor Mac Arrives at the Farm, you’ll meet Tractor Mac, Sibley the Horse, Pete and Paul the Pigs, and all the animals on Stony Meadow Farm. One of our favorite farm series, we particularly enjoy the detailed diagrams of farm equipment at beginning and end of each book.
Farm Morning is a simple but lovely story about a father and daughter’s morning routine on their farm.
My favorite version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff is Jerry Pinkney’s Caldecott version. The troll in this one is a wee bit scary for very littles though!
If you love Margaret Wise Brown’s well-known Good Night Moon, you’ll also love Big Red Barn, her gentle farm animal story.
You probably know I adore James Herriot’s stories for adults. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children takes some of his gentlest tales and pairs them with lovely illustrations to keep children’s interest. These stories are longer, so best for a child with a good attention span.
Sensitive child warning: in the Christmas story, the mama cat does die in the beginning of the story, though there is a happy ending.
Do you have a little one who loves, loves, loves horses? I was that child, and to this day I love horses. Here are my favorite picture books old and new which capture the beauty and spirit of this special animal.
One of Jan Brett’s lesser known books, but still a charming story with lovely illustrations. Fritz is a short, ugly pony that the people say is unworthy to carry the children. But when the beautiful horses shy away in a crisis, Fritz is there for the children.
The Perfect Pony is another pony story about looks being less important than a sweet nature. Katie dreams of a beautiful, prancing horse, but finds that her wise mother is right that the perfect pony may be different than she imagined.
Who doesn’t love Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague? In Five O’Clock Charlie, Marguerite Henry tells a memorable story about a winsome old draft horse named Charlie. Love the Wesley Dennis illustrations.
Two sisters remember their mother telling them that the Carousel horses waking to life in early spring. They go on an imaginative journey which brings them healing after the death of their mother (trigger warning: mother has died). Gorgeously illustrated by Jim LaMarche.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who “loved horses more than anything else in the world”… The Billy and Blaze series are classic adventures about a boy and his pony. A little lengthier than other picture books, these are also great for young readers.
A little girl longs for a horse more than anything, but her parents carefully explain why buying one isn’t possible. Instead, she uses her imagination and drawings to fly through the stars with her dream pony.
We were blessed with the magic of a white Christmas this year, so I’m in hte mood to share some beautiful winter picture books! Here’s some of my family’s favorite winter picture books that celebrate the beauty of snowy winter wonderlands.
A lovely poem by Robert Frost with serene illustrations by Susan Jeffers: what could be better? The whole family can enjoy this beautiful book.
We just love Jim LaMarche’s magical illustrations that capture the wonder of the tail end of fall and beginning of winter. A little girl observes animals preparing for winter in the wild as she sketches in her nature journal.
The Little Fir Tree is another Margaret Wise Brown illustrated beautifully by Jim LaMarche. This touching story captures the love of a father who digs up a live tree for his bedridden son to bring Christmas magic indoors.
Do you have a little one who asks why they can’t see Jesus? This innovative book from talented author Maura Roan McKeegan helps children learn to “see” Jesus in their daily lives. Using clues from Bible, your child will search each picture of everyday life to find Jesus.
So, where is Jesus hidden?
In the words of the Bible, in Mary’s womb, in the sick, in those in need, in children’s hearts, in the Eucharist. In Where is Jesus Hidden, children become familiar with simple Bible verses about Jesus’ life and teaching. Each verse is accompanied by a full page illustration with a real-life scene for children to search for Jesus. The solution follows on the next page. My 3 and 6 year olds immediately grasped the concept and loved “finding” Jesu son each page!
Great for the 2-5 year old crowd
Where is Jesus Hidden? makes using the eyes of the heart to notice Jesus in our daily life a fun game for preschoolers. Little children will internalize the important practice of thinking about God throughout their day: a valuable spiritual tool for their future. This book would make an affordable Christmas, Easter, or Baptismal anniversary gift.
Just in time for Christmas shopping, here’s an original new Christmas story from Anthony DeStefano and Sophia Institute Press. In The Grumpy Old Ox, a blind and curmudgeonly ox lives with an equally crabby innkeeper in Bethlehem. When the innkeeper grudgingly allows a man and his pregnant wife to sleep in his stable, the ox encounters the miracle of Christ’s birth. His life will never be the same.
A Unique Theme
The Grumpy Old Ox is a simple rhythmic story on the surface, but as is typical for DeStefano’s books, there’s a profound theme lurking beneath the surface. The grumpy ox’s blindness is a physical symbol of his spiritual pride and selfishness: a form of spiritual blindness. When the ox opens his soul to welcome the Christ Child with simple gifts, his spiritual and physical blindness are healed. With this story for children, DeStefano foreshadows the many examples in Jesus’ life where pride and blindness intersect to prevent people from recognizing him as the Messiah. But in this hopeful story, the grumpy ox has a change of heart and is healed.
One for the Christmas Basket
If you’re like me, you love collecting special books for the Advent and Christmas Season. I wrap all our Christmas books into bundles and my children take turns opening one a day until Christmas. I’m excited to add this new book to our basket this Advent. I know my kids will love the bright illustrations and rhythmic story!
As soon as I saw the luminous cover of Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children I knew I was going to love this book!
This book fills an important need for a young child oriented Marian Consecration.
My family had recently completed a more traditional adult-oriented Marian Consecration and I was feeling let down. While it was a moving experience for me, I felt like most of the teaching went right over my little kiddos heads. In fact, there was a lot of wiggling and complaining from my littles.
So when Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children arrived in the mail, I knew I needed to try again with my littles with this brand-new child-centric consecration. And sure enough, I found Colleen Pressprich’s book makes a Consecration with young children doable and even enjoyable!
Gorgeous artwork and simple guidance make this book perfect for use with little children.
First, you and your children take in the sublime artwork for each day. I loved how talented illustrator Rebecca Gorzynska chose to portray Mary in a diverse variety of ethnicities! My kids are obsessed with the beautiful images of Mary, and I am thrilled that they are experiencing the many ways Mary is envisioned around the world.
Then, you read a short paragraph about Mary and Marian devotion. Finally, Colleen provides conversation starters: simple questions to inspire your children to think about Mary and engage in discussion. For example:
Have you done any tracing? Was it easier or harder for you to draw a picture of the thing you traced?
What do you think it means for God to trace Mary’s love in our hearts?
Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children
It’s only 5 Minutes a Day, and even the littlest children can benefit!
Colleen Pressprich’s evident devotion to Mary and experience as a mother brings an authentic spirituality and natural flow to this guide to consecration for young children. When I say “young children” you may be wondering how young? I think children as young as 2 will benefit from completing this consecration. My 3-7 year olds are all enjoying it. This book will certainly help your little ones draw closer to Mary as a mother, queen, and guide.
Do you have 5 extra minutes a day and young children at home? Then this is the perfect addition to your day!
God the Father and the Best Day Ever is a brand-new approach to introducing little ones to salvation and God the Father. Gracie Jagla offers a fresh perspective about Salvation to little ones with this book that focuses especially on God the Father’s love for us, his children.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a small fee for qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Most salvation books for younger children focus on the second person in the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, and the details of his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. God the Father and the Best Day Ever looks at salvation from God the Father’s perspective. This book draws children to reflect on the Father’s love for his children, his sorrow at their exile from heaven, and his joy when the gates of heaven opened.
The simple, rhythmic text tells the salvation story in a way that young children will understand and enjoy:
You’ve heard Easter’s story, You know how it goes: Christ died for our sins And on Easter, he rose.
But there’s more to the story That you might not know. What happened above when God Triumphed below?
As far as the illustrations, I’ll admit I’ve more of a preference for classical and realistic art, so the more contemporary style pictures in this book aren’t my favorite. But kids who like cartoons will probably be engaged by these lively and engaging modern pictures.
Overall, I appreciated this picture book’s unique focus on God the Father. It’s worth checking out and considering if you have 3-7 year old children!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of “God the Father and the Best Day Ever” in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
Check out my favorite Catholic books for preschoolers and kindergartners here!
Looking for that quintessential bedtime story that your little one will listen to every single night before going to bed? These books have gentle, rhythmic text, sweet illustrations, and timeless themes about bedtime and sleep.
Sylvia Long’s lovely new version of the classic lullaby Hush Little Baby has an amazing nature theme. A mother rabbit soothes her little one to bed by pointing out the natural beauty around them. A great improvement on the mercenary motif in the traditional version of this popular bedtime song!
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Each beautiful page of Time for Bed shows a mother baby and her animal preparing for bed. We love the gorgeous illustrations in this soothing book.
In Baby’s Boat, an adorable little boy sails across a sleepy sea in his moonboat, fishing with star bait. A sure recipe for sweet dreams.
In Little Donkey Close Your Eyes, animal mothers urge their babies to close their eyes in this simple, calming poem by beloved author Margaret Wise Brown.
A soothing poem about falling asleep by Eric Metaxas is complemented by Nancy Tillman’s gorgeous illustrations in It’s Time to Sleep, My Love. Animals around the world prepare for bed and coax their babies to sleep.
In The Sleep Ponies, a grandmother teaches her rosy-cheeked grandchild to calm her body and mind by picturing a herd of adorable ponies carrying her off to sweet dreams.