Last year when mining Catholic educational websites, I struck gold. Searching for a book to use with my Sunday School class that would get the kids curious about our Faith, I didn’t know quite what I was looking for. But when I found Sophia Institute Press’ updated reprint of A Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt, I was sure the Holy Spirit must have been guiding my cursor. This book is exactly what I had dreamed of! Marigold Hunt’s book literally opened up the Gospels for my class.
Miss Hunt must have known children very well: her narrative style is warm and inviting, thoughtful and challenging. That is why the book holds attention well as a read-aloud, and it was actually interactive, in a way: during class, I would encourage the kids to talk back at the book while I read aloud, which the conversational style of book invites. Offering page after page of thoughtful connections and explanations, this book has deepened our amazement at what God has done for His people, founding His Kingdom among us and being our King. And that’s how she has set up her book: as a retelling of all four Gospels that highlights Christ’s coming as King and the foundation of His Holy Church as His Kingdom. With this framework, Miss Hunt decodes for readers the sequence of the Gospels, explaining how God prepared the Chosen People for the coming of their King, what kind of King was born to them, and how He taught His servants to work in His Kingdom so that it would endure throughout all ages and include all of us. At the same time, this book provides context for the great and the small, so kids can understand the “big picture” of Christ’s mission and Sacrifice, while also zeroing in to explain small details such as the cultural significance of many things Our Lord said and did. It’s so complete, we had to skip a quarter of the book in order to finish it during one school year—and the whole class was disappointed by what they had to miss! After a year with this wonderful book, I would recommend it as a read-aloud for grades 3-5 and silent reading for grades 6 and up. If you’ve been looking for a book to make Our Lord and His Church alive and real for your children, while educating and inspiring them, Marigold Hunt’s The Life of Our Lord for Children is the one you’ve been dreaming of, too!