More than a week into February already! We started our next book, “Angels for Kids” by Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle. Let me tell you, I have only read ahead a few chapters (because I am a busy mama and I just don’t have the time or energy to read all the way ahead! I am a self-professed “non-reader” anyway–I prefer to do all kinds of other things before I choose to sit down and read a book. Reading is great, I admit, but I still prefer lots of other things to reading), but I am really impressed with this book.
First of all, Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle addresses the book to her young audience. She speaks to them in her introduction, and continues with a friendly and easy-to-understand tone throughout the chapters.
Second, it is full of beautiful Scripture references and stories of the Angels. Each chapter is full of verses, leaving no doubts that not only should we believe in the Angels, but God has given us His own words about them so that we might believe. I also like that each chapter begins with a short verse. I am using some of them as copywork for my children, and hope to also use them in prayer to help memorize verses.
Third, Donna Marie Cooper O’Boyle also references teachings of the saints and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Our history is rich in belief about the angels! She helps that young readers understand and appreciate the rich traditions we have, and by the end of the book, have a new appreciation and (hopefully) a deepening respect for (and even relationship with!) the angels.
To date, we have finished the first two chapters. (Chapter Three, “What Angels Look Like”, is on the agenda later today) Chapter One, “A Multitude of Angels”, tells us all about who the angels are and are not, (they are not fairies!), and what they do. In short, the angels are in God’s service, to aid us in attaining salvation. How fabulous is that? To finish up chapter one, I created copywork sheets for my girls with Hebrews 1:14, “Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” I made another for my 5yr old, with his name, “angel”, and “St. Michael the Archangel”.
Chapter Two, “Angels in the Bible”, might be the longest chapter in the book. From creation in Genesis to Revelation, stories with angels are re-told. Even though this was a long chapter to read aloud, and I wondered at times if my kids were beginning to day dream, I loved this chapter. I know the angels are in the Bible; I have heard the stories all my life. Probably everyone can at least name the Angel Gabriel, who announces the birth of Jesus. And yet, I was delighted to be reminded of not only Gabriel, but all the other angels who play a role in the lives of so many. I had many “oh yeah!” moments while reading this chapter. To finish up chapter two, my 5 yr old retold a favorite story and illustrated it, and the girls illustrated their favorite angel story.
I am keeping it simple as we read and “study” these books this year. Not only to do not have abundant time for coming up with elaborate crafts and activities, but I want our mini family “book club” to be relaxed, casual, and enjoyable. Here and there I’ll come up with a craft or recipe, I’m sure (‘cuz that’s how I roll), but at the same time, it is nice to have a family read that isn’t part of our syllabus and isn’t crying out to be enhanced with Pinterest-worth crafts. It’s the reading together that counts!