New Resources For Children

 

 

Our Lord's Prayer

A Prayer Guide for Children

Elizabeth Mills

Veritas Publications, 2021
ISBN 9781800970090
pp. 32 • €4.99/stg£4.50

The disciples who lived daily with Jesus and whom we might therefore imagine needed little advice on prayer, nonetheless, found themselves asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. They had been praying with their Jewish community throughout their lives as grown men and yet in Jesus’ presence they found themselves to be children once more when it came to understanding what it means to pray. By evoking this humble request and stimulating their thirst for God the Lord’s work was bearing early fruit and vindicated his choice of the twelve. The prayer that Jesus then taught his disciples provides the basis for Elizabeth Mills tender presentation of the prayer for children and leads them to consider what God is saying through each line of the prayer and how that applies to our daily lives. The beauty of this little prayer guide for little ones is that we will never be too old to benefit from its message of love and reassurance.

Reviewer: Paul Clayton-Lea

 

Starchaser

Jacintha Mullins

Veritas Publications, 2021
ISBN 9781800970047
pp. 156 • €12.99/stg£11.70

This beautifully illustrated and sensitively presented publication emerged from a primary school for the Deaf in Limerick where the author and the school community suffered the loss of young members of the school body. In the aftermath of such tragedies children often hide their sadness and confusion in case they cause further pain to adults they love who are suffering more obviously. This gentle aid to comfort children and young people who have lost a loved one provides a visual and child friendly way of explaining what has happened. Initially composed by the author as an in-house publication and then revisited and revised over a seven-year period this special resource has now thankfully become available to the wider public. It is a non-intrusive yet powerful tool with which to help mend young grief. Part of the royalty proceeds go to the Children’s Grief Centre in Limerick.

Reviewer: Paul Clayton-Lea

The Boy, The Mole,

The Fox and The Horse

Charlie Mackesy

Edbury Publishing, 2019
ISBN 9781529105100
128 pp  (available Veritas) Kindle Version (available Amazon)

Charlie Mackesy is an accomplished cartoonist, who previously worked for the Spectator Magazine and is an engaging illustrator and unique author. Since its publication in 2019, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has sold more than two million copies worldwide. It is a book that will appeal to people of all ages.

     The story invites us to appreciate the gifts of love and the bonds friendship as they unfold through the snippets of many conversations the boys shares with the mole, the fox and the horse. It explores some precious wisdom that is timeless. All four characters represent different parts of the same person: the inquisitive enthusiasm and open eagerness of the boy; the quiet persistence of the mole, despite his greed; the hurt of the fox, who is withdrawn from life, but wants to trust and belong; and the horse, whose depth of soul-wisdom is uplifting and inspiring. The book is a visual gem as well as a celebration of compassion and empathy in all its myriad forms. In the foreword Mackesy writes: ‘The truth is I need pictures. They are like islands, places we can go to in a sea of words.’ There are tender illustrations that have already become an online phenomenon. The book delves into the effects of kindness through exquisite, sensitive artwork and delicate calligraphy, where the pictures and the words connect seamlessly. As a writer and artist, Mackesy conveys atmosphere, feelings and moods that we can all relate to in his sketches and endearing drawings. The boy’s face is only partially seen and this helps the reader to personally identify with his searching questions and imaginative journey. Mackesy writes: ‘I hope that this book encourages you, perhaps, to live without fear and with more kindness for yourself and others.’

     Everyone’s interpretation of this book will be different. No matter who you are, what your belief system is, there are universal feelings and experiences that unite us all. I have shared this book with a Quaker, a Rabbi, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Lutheran, an Imam, an Anglican and a person of no faith affiliation. Christians will recognise gospel gems and fragments that glisten throughout the book. They echo the call of Jesus to us to love one another and to live a life that is hallmarked by forgiveness, compassion and a discipleship of service to the least, the lost, the lowest and the last. Mackesy reminds us in the book, ‘life is difficult, but you are loved.’

Reviewer: John Cullen

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