I've been pondering Hank's growth in faith for the past week now, after I noticed how he suddenly seems more interested in following along at Mass rather than needing to be distracted with unrelated books. Hank's kind of at a tough age for this sort of thing. He's outgrown his old church-related board books, and even his favorite little Bible, but yet he can't read yet and isn't old enough for some of the materials appropriate for grade school aged children.
I thought about it for a few days and decided to pick up a few new things for him. First, I stopped off at our local Catholic bookstore and got him a copy ($1.50!) of the St. Joseph Children's Picture Missal. I love this series of children's books from Catholic Book Publishing Co. They're very nostalgically old fashioned and designed for children above toddler age. He won't be able to read it himself, but if he can have a missal like Mommy to follow along in, I think he'll like that.
I knew that would be cheap, those little St. Joseph books always are. Easy. The Bible is a bit more complicated. I've blogged about his current Bible before here and here. We've definitely gotten our money's worth out of this one. The binding is actually breaking from such heavy use. For a time, we read a few stories every night before bedtime, and we read through the entire Bible about 3 times. I noticed that he stopped asking for it after awhile, and I think he's simply outgrown it. He has some of the stories near to memorized, and the stories are very short and cutesy. They were perfect for him at age 3, but now I'd like to see him with a Bible that has more material in it. I think that would re-capture his interest.
I looked through a *lot* of children's Bibles, both in our local Christian bookstore and online. The specifically Catholic ones just weren't grabbing me. The ones I browsed were geared at much older children. I figured the Catholic angle really doesn't matter at this point. I don't think any Bible aimed at 4 year olds is going to be heavy hitting on the book of Maccabees. That'll come later, as he develops into a budding apologist as a teen :) I ended up selecting The Children's Everyday Bible and I think he's going to really like it. It contains an extensive array of Bible stories, much more than his previous Bible, but they're still a shorter length with lots of color pictures to keep him engaged. It's set up so that you could read 1 story per day throughout the entire calendar year. My Henry loves calendars, and I think he's going to like this one. I'm excited to read it with him. It received excellent reviews on amazon. And most of the reviewers noted that the recipients were in the 5 year old age category, for the most part. So I think this will be good.
My little cutie pie.