Books have always been a refuge, a comfort, and something that sustains me - my sweetest childhood memories are snuggling up and reading with my mother every night. My husband Kyle’s nightstand is literally overflowing with stacks of books, and we never have enough room on our bookshelves. We always knew that passing our love of reading to our children would be incredibly important to us. So when our daughter, Evie, was born two years ago, we made sure to snuggle up and read with her every single night before bedtime to foster that same love. Amongst the many different books we’ve read her, some of her favorites have consistently been the Baby Believer series from Catechesis Books. She frequently asks for her “God books”.
THE BABY BELIEVER SERIES BY CATECHESIS BOOKS
So far, the books in the Baby Believer series have been:
- Psalms of Praise - A Movement Primer, which creatively highlights passages from the psalms and encourages children to move their bodies in the same ways to praise God.
- Let There Be Light - An Opposites Primer, which journeys through the days of creation, explaining them in contrasts, which makes sense to children in their early development.
- From Eden to Bethelem - An Animals Primer, which travels throughout the biblical narrative, highlighting how animals are used as theological symbols throughout scripture.
- First Bible Basics - A Counting Primer, which walks through important concepts, such as God’s oneness and the Trinity, in a fun way by using counting.
- Jesus Heals - An Anatomy Primer, which follows Jesus’ ministry and showcases all the different parts of bodies that Jesus healed.
- Holy Week - An Emotions Primer, which goes through the days of Holy Week and showcases the various emotions experienced by Jesus, the disciples, and others.
Finding books that are theologically sound, visually appealing, and entertaining to small children is a tall order, but Catechesis Books fulfills all the categories fantastically.
Each book uses strong, straightforward, and smart theological concepts, which have been translated in a way that is developmentally appropriate for small children. The majority of the writing in these books is just scripture passages, wisely chosen, deftly arranged, and highlighted in a way that introduces the concepts with clarity to little readers. My daughter has already learned some phrases from the scripture passages included that she likes to say - her favorite is from Jesus Heals, “Lazarus, come out!” Since learning comes most naturally from repetition, I love that my daughter is hearing scripture passages over and over in a way that is more accessible to her.
As a visual artist, I’m admittedly a bit snobby about the art in the books that I buy for my daughter, and much of it does not impress me. However, the art in the Baby Believer books is vibrant, clean, and lovely. Although they are all very well done, I think my favorites are First Bible Basics and Jesus Heals. I love how the art uses clean, more geometric shapes to juxtapose the rich watercolor textures. I think my favorite piece of art in all of the books is the first page of the Bible Basics - the colors are stunning and it really gives off the reverent feel I would expect for discussing the oneness of God.
ENGAGING FOR LITTLE MINDS
Many times before, when I found books that were theologically sound and had beautiful art, they weren’t at all appealing to small children, either because the text was too wordy or the concepts were too high-level. I love that the Baby Believer books translate theological concepts into patterns that children understand. I think the way that Holy Week does this is incredibly clever - children learn about emotions by seeing our faces and emulating them, so using illustrations of emoting faces to show the action and meaning of the days of Holy Week works beautifully.
I hope that you are as excited about the Baby Believer Series as I am and would consider them as a wonderful resource for your own children, grandchildren, or the children of your friends.
Chelsea Pennington joined the Sacred Ordinary Days team as our Graphic Designer in January 2020. Chelsea is an incredibly talented visual artist with a background that merges classical fine art with contemporary graphic design. She's a Baylor grad and worked in graphic design for Baylor before coming to work with us. After hiring her for a few freelance projects, Jenn knew she would be the perfect addition to our team and began plotting how to hire her fulltime.