For children and families
Lift-the-Flap Christmas Stories for Young Children
Invite the little ones in your life to join you in exploring Lift-the-Flap Christmas Stories for Young Children, written by Naomi Joy Krueger and illustrated by Megan Higgins. Hiding behind its flaps are eight stories about Christmas, including the Annunciation, Joseph’s dream, and Mary and Elizabeth’s joyful visit. Singing angels and shepherds also make an appearance—as do Simeon, Anna and the magi. Repeated readings will help young children learn more of the Christmas story right from the start (Beaming Books, 2022; beamingbooks.org).
Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas 2022-2023
Now in its sixth year of publication, the Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas card deck provides families with daily activities to connect them to the Advent and Christmas seasons, to each other and to God. Each card includes a colorful illustration on one side and a prayer, a question, an activity or another creative idea on the other. Help your family pause to enjoy the season and grow in faith through the daily practice of reading these cards together (Augsburg Fortress, 2022; augsburgfortress.org).
The Story of Us
This is a beautiful book that resonates with wonder and warmth. The arc of the creation story, the fall, the birth of Jesus, the redemption of our relationship with God—all are conveyed in sparse, powerful prose by Mitali Perkins, with dynamic illustrations by Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell. Recurring images of air, water, earth and fire throughout its pages will draw young children and their grown-ups into this story again and again (Beaming Books, 2022).
Religion Around the World
Is there a curious kid on your gift list? They may enjoy diving into Religion Around the World: A Curious Kid’s Guide to the World’s Great Faiths (see our October “Media in ministry” column for more). The fifth entry in the “Curious Kids” series, this 64-page volume offers engaging illustrations by Chester Bentley and accessible written content—by Sonja Hagander, Matthew Maruggi and Megan Borgert-Spaniol—that helps elementary school readers learn about Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and other religious traditions (Beaming Books, 2022).
Prophets & Promises: Devotions for Advent & Christmas 2022-2023
Prophets & Promises: Devotions for Advent & Christmas 2022-2023 supports the faith practice of slowing down and taking time during the holiday rush. This 96-page devotional features a Scripture text, an image, a reflection and a prayer for each day of the Advent and Christmas seasons. Household blessings and prayers are also included. Plan to journey through readings about prophetic words, ancient promises, the mystery of God-with-us, and the magi’s travels. Available in pocket-size and large-print versions (Augsburg Fortress, 2022).
Calendar of Word and Season: Sundays and Seasons, Year A 2023
In an increasingly digital world, many people still prefer a paper calendar. Calendar of Word and Season: Sundays and Seasons, Year A 2023 provides a way to mark time during the church year with beautiful images and clear information about the church year season, weekly Bible texts and church holidays. Each month features a vibrant illustration by Vonda Drees inviting you to ponder themes of abundance, flow and warmheartedness (Augsburg Fortress, 2022).
Ordinary Blessings for Parents
Your search for a gift for the parents in your life is over—parents at all stages of planning for and raising kids will appreciate Ordinary Blessings for Parents: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Family Life by ELCA pastor Meta Herrick Carlson (see also page 46). Its table of contents alone may convince you. It begins with entries such as “For Fertility Support,” “For the Adoption Process” and “For Hearing a Heartbeat,” progressing to “For Potty Training” and “For Farewell to a Crib,” all the way to “For Learning to Drive” (Broadleaf Books, 2022; broadleafbooks.com).