Sunday, December 20, 2015

Children's Books, Past and Present

From Crisis:
Not every book we read has an element of overt Christian faith. In fact, many do not. Just as the beauty of creation points to God without a specific word, so can a beautiful book point to God without explicit references to faith. We would miss out on many great books if we limited ourselves only to those that directly mention Christianity. However, in keeping with Saint Paul, I look for books that do not endanger the faith of our children. And when faith is woven into a story lovingly, without sounding forced or preachy, it is a great blessing.

On Christmas morning, the March sisters reach under their pillows to find that Marmee has left them each a copy of “that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived.” The older two treasure their books, put their cheeks together and begin to read, and the younger two follow the example of their sisters.
“I’ll help you with the hard words,” Beth tells Amy.

After they come downstairs, Marmee asks her daughters if they will give up their Christmas breakfast for their cold and hungry neighbors. The girls joyfully agree, pack the meal, and bring it to the family.

“I think,” the narrator says, “there were not in all the city four merrier people than the hungry little girls who gave away their breakfasts and contented themselves with bread and milk on Christmas morning.”

That December 25 in the March home could have been an occasion for self-pity: Father was away at war, and in the hard winter the family didn’t even fill stockings. Yet they found contentment and joy in reading Scripture and doing a corporal work of mercy together.

When I look for books, I am grateful to find ones in which the characters’ faith is strong and inspiring, and readers can’t help but feel the peace of that faith in their own hearts. (Read more.)


Dymphna said...

I loved Little Women and then one day I couldn't stomach it. Father was a terrible provider.

elena maria vidal said...

Isn't that the truth.