Sunday, November 1, 2009

Catholic Mosaic – Living the Liturgical Year with Literature: An Illustrated Book Study for Catholic Children.
The title says it all.
The author, Cay Gibson has created a mosaic of Catholic culture and beautiful literature. Catholic Mosaic is organized by the months of the year and corresponding liturgical celebrations. Then she wove picture books of substance that correspond to the liturgical year.
I had the pleasure of meeting Cay at our homeschool conference at The University of St. Thomas a few months ago. What a gracious and down to earth woman!

But back to the book itself!
It is definitely more than an annotated book list, although that is included, too. It includes

  • suggested discussion starters/questions for digging deeper with your children
  • quotes for memorization or use for handwriting practice
  • ideas for activities that will reinforce the meaning of the particular book.
Catholic Mosaic is a beautiful way to help both young and old celebrate our liturgical year. Cay Gibson really helps families live and relish Catholic traditions. There are connections to feast days, liturgical celebrations and other things Catholic.

Some of the books described and linked in this book are Catholic illustrated classics – books like
  • Weight of a Mass by Josephine Nobisso
  • Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi and
  • St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
These are examples of books that are already extremely popular with many Catholic parents and children. But Gibson goes beyond the “Catholic classics” and mentions books like
  • The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen (illustrated by Rachel Isadora) and
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and
  • I added, I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (illustrated by Sheila McGraw)
Think of the many ways you can apply Catholic teachings to these books, giving your children a rich and lasting understanding of our Catholic culture!!

In a review by Mary C. Gildersleeve she says,
In total, Gibson integrates FIFTY-TWO illustrated childrens' books with the Catholic calendar and Catholic living. Books that cover the Mass, First Communion, various saints and important liturgical seasons are included. In addition, she suggests other books which may also work (but omits questions and activities linked to these “second-string” books some of which unfortunately are out-of-print or hard-to-find).

All the primary books are easily attainable from booksellers; in addition, books by popular authors like Tomie dePaola are usually available at public libraries so as not to strain your book budget too much. However, after seeing these books, you might want to have good copies for your home library. Gibson has selected books not only for the meaning in their words, but also for the beauty of their illustrations. These books could easily be used as an art study in conjunction with the literature, religion and other subjects covered in these books.

Further resources that Gibson gives the reader are suggestions for creating and maintaining a “Liturgical Notebook” throughout the year – a memory scrapbook of this literature-based journey – as well as incorporating some of the traditional Catholic homeschool resources (for example, CHC’s A Year with God or Seton’s Art 1).

Run, don’t walk, to get a copy of this book. I know I sound effusive, but this book is remarkable in its ambitious objective which is stunningly successful. This is one of those homeschooling volumes that needs to be on every Catholic resource shelf – that is, when it’s not being used!

Hillside Education
475 Bidwell Hill Road
Lake Ariel, PA 18436

Here is a sample of just the booklist from CATHOLIC MOSAIC's NOVEMBER BOOK LIST

November 1
I Sing a Song of the Saints of God by Lesbia Scott/ Judith Gwyn Brown
Saints: Lives and Illuminations by Ruth Sanderson

November 2
The Spirit of Tio Fernando: A Day of the Dead Story
by Janice Levy/ Morella

November 3
The Pied Piper of Peru by Ann Tompert/ Kestutis/ Kasparavicius

Brother Joseph, The Painter of Icons
by Augustine Denoble


Anonymous said...

I have had this book for several years, and it is worth every penny. I also have Christmas Mosaic and A Picture Perfect Childhood, two other books Cay has penned. Treasures!

Soutenus said...

I am so glad to know you love this book, too!
I tried, tried, tried to get the school where I taught to purchase it.
No go-- and it was a Catholic school!
My whole family enjoys following the liturgical year with this book!
I am going to have to order Christmas Mosaic and A Picture Perfect Childhood.
Thanks for the info and comment!

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