When I first heard of the new Curious Little Catholic series I jumped for joy. As the mother of a two year old and a 14 month old, I am always looking for ways to enrich their faith lives and especially look for Catholic items and toys to bring to Mass (I’d let my kids sprinkle Lourdes holy water everywhere during Mass before I’d let them bring in a Ninja Turtle or My Little Pony figurine). What Annemarie Thimons and her mother, illustrator Nancy Rosato-Nuzzo, have created is nothing short of pure, majestic, simple beauty.
Currently the series contains two titles – What is the Eucharist? and What is a Sacrament? – with a third title to be released this summer. Honest to goodness, I got the chills just gazing upon the book covers. In each book, Annemarie weaves simple explanations of these fundamentals of our faith, with the aid of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to paint a complete understanding that the tiniest Catholics will comprehend. She also includes a relevant Scripture verse on each page, short enough for small children to memorize with ease.
Nancy’s illustrations are flawless. Her depictions of simple, familiar scenes with complex details had me gazing in wonder and awe with every page turn. The layered beauty in her illustrations serves to continually reveal the depths of our faith and of God to the youngest and oldest readers alike.
I positively could not find a single flaw with either of these books. They are the perfect blend of orthodoxy, simplicity, familiarity, and relatability. The most moving moment for me came near the beginning of What is the Eucharist?. Annemarie explains the Eucharist as the hidden Jesus and compares it to a baby hidden in his mother’s womb. In one illustration, Nancy depicts the bread and grapes in the forefront of a shadow of the Cross and in the next depicts the baby hidden in his mother’s womb. It was at this moment I began crying with joy and gratefulness. In these two pages alone Annemarie and Nancy shout the dignity of life at every stage and in every circumstance, affirm the immense majesty of the gift of Jesus Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and showcase the Eucharist as truly the source and summit of the Christian life.
In Eucharist, Annemarie further explains what the Eucharist is, when we receive it, and even explains the beauty and purpose of adoration. In Sacrament, she explains what a sacrament is and then what each individual one is, means, and what graces they confer on us or help us to prepare for.
In all, this series is not to be missed. If you have small children, you do not just need these books for your collection, you need these as a centerpiece of your children’s faith formation. If you don’t have kids or don’t have young kids, buy these books anyway – I guarantee that they will enrich your faith life. The age recommendation for the series is three and up (preschool), but my two year old, who sees the Cross in the stitching on our couch and cries, “Jesus!”, adores these books. A favorite moment while we were reading was when she pointed to an illustration of the crucifix and said, “Jesus on cross” and then pointed to an illustration of the Eucharist and said, “Jesus look like bread!” Yes, I have found the perfect addition to our “Mass bag” and to our daily reading and prayer times.
The books can be purchased from their website: www.curiouslittlecatholic.com. I absolutely cannot wait for Annemarie and Nancy to create new titles in the series!
*I received copies of each book for the purpose of writing a review.*