Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Psalm 23: Board Books for Christian Formation

The new school year tumbles in, with torrential rains, soaked earth, and flickering electric power. Online classes begin, with technology connecting us to classrooms in Serbia and Romania, classmates in Ethiopia and the United States, and language studies in Russian, Chinese, and Greek.

[Disclosure of Material Connections: I am a member of the Psalm 23 launch team. The publisher, Harvest House, provided me with a complimentary copy of Psalm 23 in exchange for writing and publishing this review. I was already a fan of the Baby Believer Primers by Catechesis Books before being selected for the launch team. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]

My third culture heart is so delighted we have been fortunate enough to build an intentionally global homeschool (after all, we serve a global God!) I love seeing how this plays out in little details, like virtual classrooms which span the globe, a world wall map centered on the Pacific Ocean, not the United States, and middle school math built around the UK framework. (Singapore math is my go-to for elementary grades.)

A Global Worldview Extends to the Very Youngest Members of Your Home

Seeing the world with a wide-angle lens also goes hand-in-hand, I think, with seeing kids as born persons. A global worldview sees all people, regardless of geographic location or age, as equal and equally deserving.

The eager 3-year-old deserves to learn something new each day, just the same as the 6th grader. There is no minimum age for learning, nor is there a maximum age for open-ended play. (The sixth grader can play with LEGO while I read aloud. The preschooler is not an afterthought to lessons, nor is he an interruption. And board books are just as valuable as Shakespeare. Yes, really.)

Lochlan started out the school year with the newest board book from author-illustrator team Danielle Hitchen and Jessica Blanchard, Psalm 23: A Colors Primer.

I love this series of books, and I love the concept behind them:

Baby Believer Primers help you teach your children the central tenets of the Christian faith that they may never know a day apart from the Lord. –catechesisbooks.com (emphasis mine)

Isn’t that beautiful?

Previous books in this series have derived their text entirely from hymns, creeds, and Bible verses, and the Psalm 23 primer is no different. Other than the colors, the text of Psalm 23 is all Scripture, with each colorful two-page spread illustrating a verse from the ESV translation.

Baby Believer Primers from Catechesis Books teach Christ-Centered Truth Alongside Preschool Basics

Since it’s a colors primer — prior Baby Believer books have included shapes, emotions, numbers, movement and more — Psalms 23 walks kids through ten colors:

  • brown
  • green
  • blue
  • grey
  • black
  • orange
  • purple
  • yellow
  • red, and
  • white.

A serene blue scene, for instance, is used to illustrate “He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” while flowing oil and brilliant yellow sunshine brings to life “you anoint my head with oil.” The book ends with a gleaming celestial white, reminding us “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

The illustrations are top-tier. Each page is drenched in deeply pigmented color. Lochlan recently learned his colors, so he was feeling pretty proud of himself as he “read” the book by shouting out the color for each page. He also loved how illustrations switched back and forth between horizontal and vertical spreads, since it required him to turn the book sideways — and this is quite hilarious when you’re three!

A side note: While I have no theological issue with depictions of Christ — I am typing this next to an icon of Christ the Shepherd — some readers may wish to know that this book contains an illustration of a shepherd cradling a lamb.

There are now NINE books in the Baby Believer series!

Baby Believer books have a special place in my heart. Aveline and Lochlan are actual miracles; click through to read my review of Jesus Heals, and the story of God’s miraculous healing hand.

(P.S. Lochlan is wearing a hand-me-down Småfolk shirt, which Aveline originally wore in kindergarten! I saved it out of pure hope. You can click here to see teeny-tiny four-year-old Aveline wearing the same exact shirt back in 2015. Once you click through, scroll down! She’s wearing it in 4 different photos. Oh, time!)

I’ve absolutely loved reading these primers with my dear kids —

I’m thrilled to add Psalm 23 to our regular rotation. It’s launched at a perfect time — the beginning of the school year — and Lochlan is thrilled he gets a new book, too, while sister digs in to her stack of school books.

You can purchase Baby Believer books directly from Catechesis Books, or shop at any major retailer.

My prayer is that Lochlan tucks Psalm 23 away in his heart, never doubts God’s endless love for him, and grows up to always love Jesus.

What is your prayer for your kids this year?

Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare - Here's Why

You know what I’ve done during this pandemic? I can tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t write a book, learn a new trade, renovate a house, become fluent in another language, or read Anna Karenina (I’m on page 77 of 963).

I didn’t do any of those impressive things “they” say you should have done during lockdown.

What I’ve done? I’ve read a lot of board books.

Continue reading “Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare”

Book Reviews, Homeschooling, Poetry & Words

Jesus Heals: a Baby Believer book (& my story)

Jesus Heals: A Baby Believer primer, and my story

At 22, I sat in a doctor’s office and listened as the doctor told me I’d likely never have kids. My body, she said, wasn’t 22. It was 60.

“Give us faith to be strong
Father, we are so weak
Our bodies are fragile and weary
As we stagger and stumble to walk where you lead
Give us faith to be strong…” -Andrew Peterson

Time marches on.

Continue reading “Jesus Heals: a Baby Believer book (& my story)”