Our Holy Father, the Pope

Our Holy Father, the Pope:The Papacy from Saint Peter to the Present

by Don R. Caffery Illustrated by Emmanuel Beaudesson

After the historic visit of Pope Francis to America, it is fitting and fun to read together from this beautifully and richly, illustrated, hardcover book about the papacy.  The book takes the reader through the inception of the first pope, beginning at the Sea of Gallilee with Peter and Jesus as Jesus first calls Peter to be a “a fisher of men”,  to his giving Peter the “keys of the Kingdom.”

The language of the narrative is appropriate for even your young ones to listen along and engaging enough to keep everyone still while being inspirational and rich in the depth our our beliefs.   As we are lead to Peter’s life as the first pope we see the the connection today to our pope as well as the election of a pope.

The book journeys towards several notable popes to our present day Pope Francis.  It is complemented with a lovely prayer for the pope, as well as the official listing of all 266 popes throughout the history of the papacy. You can even extend the lessons taught in this inspiring book with the suggested Scripture readings listed in the back of the book. 48 pp. Hardcover. All ages.

Copies may be obtained here:

Ignatius Press - Catholic Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Jane Austen is arguably the finest female novelist who ever lived and Pride and Prejudice is arguably the finest, and is certainly the most popular, of her novels.  A classic of world literature, its profound Christian morality is all too often missed or willfully overlooked by today’s (post)modern critics.  Yet Austen saw the follies and foibles of human nature, and the frictions and fidelities of family life, with an incisive eye that penetrates to the very heart of the human condition. This edition of Austen’s masterpiece includes an introduction by Professor Christopher Blum and several insightful critical essays by leading Austen scholars.


Bible in Felt Sets

Publisher: Little Folk Visuals

A family priest once told us that using Bible felt is the best way to teach your children Scripture and Bible stories, hands down!!!

When you read your child’s favorite and most beloved Bible Stories have them play with the felt Bible figures and backgrounds so they can act out the scenes. We would also ask our children to “retell” the story using the set figures and background to Dad when he came home from work after dinner-time. Having a tangible way to talk through these important stories makes it concrete and lasting for your child!  These are the stories we want to impress in our children’s hearts and minds! We have had our own original sets now for over 20 years—ready to hand onto grandchildren. We recommend the following two sets from Little Folks visuals:

Bible Favorites Soft Storybook Kit
A hands-on book tells your favorite Bible stories, especially having the children use it for re-tellings.   Moveable figures allow the child to participate—Jonah slips into the mouth of the big fish, and the animal pairs load onto the deck of Noah’s Ark. Pieces are stored in pocket on each facing page. This set tells seven stories and includes a printed booklet and 39 pieces that you cut out.(Ages 2-8)


Bible Heroes Soft Storybook Kit
The Bible is full of stories of courage and faith. This hands-on book features the heroes and heroines as described in the Old Testament. See Jacob’s Ladder; find Baby Moses in the bulrushes;watch the Red Sea part; face the giant with David; enter the Lion’s Den with Daniel; learn about King Solomon and the two Mothers, the Tower of Babel and more. This great set tells nine stories in a seven page felt book, and includes peek-in windows, a printed booklet and 33 pieces (you cutout). Kids love them! (Ages 2-8)

Latsch Valley Farm Series Book 4: Willow Wind Farm – Betsy’s Story

WillowWindCoverThis is the fourth book in the popular Latsch Valley Farm Series that has so far spanned 100 years and four generations of a Polish-American extended family in rural Wisconsin. The story is based on the lively experiences of Betsy Korb, 7th daughter in a family of 10 children and niece of author Anne Pellowski. Along with Linda, Kathy, Danny, Carol, Mona, Dorothy, Julie, Sara and Kristine, Betsy enjoys the fun—and disasters—that occur at “medium-sized” Willow Wind Farm, with its cows, cattle, pigs, chickens, cats and dogs. She partakes in all the pleasures of a large family as well as learning to cooperate with the necessary chores: preparing meals, washing-up and being an alert member of a busy, working farm.

Set in the year 1967, the book describes a close and flourishing community still connected to its European and Catholic roots.

Ages 8-12 (or younger as a read-aloud), 179 pages, available in paperback and .epub format


Latsch Valley Farm Series Book 3: Stairstep Farm – Anna Rose’s Story

StairstepFarm_cat_cover_sm_0Wisconsin farm life in the Latsch Valley of the 1930’s comes alive through the eyes of imaginative Anna Rose-a five-year-old girl who can’t wait to catch up with her four older siblings. While Anna Rose impatiently waits for the longed-for start of school, her days are filled with family work-minding geese, picking nettles, chopping thistles, helping with the haying, minding her three little sisters-and with family celebrations-good food, singing, sledding, and games of Star Light, Moonlight and Uncle Wiggily. Based on the author’s own experiences, this story is the third of five books which vividly describe memorable people and events of the Pellowski family and its Latsch Valley descendents.

Ages 8-12 (younger as a family read-aloud), 185 pages, available in Paperback and .epub format

Latsch Valley Farm Series Book 2: Winding Valley Farm – Annie’s Story

WindingValleyFarmSet in 1908 Wisconsin, life for six-year-old Annie Dorawa on Winding Valley Farm—just down the road from the Pellowskis’ “first farm in the valley”—is busy and happy. Then one day, Annie hears her father speak about not planting that year, but instead moving into town. Is it really possible that they might leave their beautiful farm? What could her father be thinking about? This new anxiety, along with that inner imp of mischief always threatening to get her into trouble, hover over Annie as she works and plays with her sister and five brothers immersed in the vigorous life of their American-Polish community. Despite the discovery that life is not always easy, Annie begins to realize what warm security is to be found in a hardworking family rooted in their Catholic faith and love.

(Ages 8-12, 204 pages, PB/.epub)

Family Read Aloud Time: First Farm in the Valley – Anna’s Story

FirstFarmInTheValley We came across this series years ago when I read Bethlehem’s monthly journal In Review, the issue Ribbons to Romance from the summer of 1995. In this issue I discovered an author profile of Anne Pellowski, immediately I had to read this master storytellers real life “Little House on the Prairie” story. It is the tale of a large Catholic Polish family told through the eyes of one of the younger daughters in the family. Pure delight, filled with endearing characters (who behave they way our children do even in this modern age) and the comfort and joy they receive from each other always centered on their faith! Now Bethlehem has brought the first book in the series back in print with the remaining four to follow! We are reading it aloud to everyone’s enjoyment! (Late 1800’s)

click the link for the instant download : First Farm in the Valley

(Ages 8-12, 194 pages, PB/.epub )

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom TollboothThis was our daughter Anne’s all time favorite book when she was little. The hero of the story, Milo, thinks everything—especially learning—is a waste of time and there is nothing worth doing. When a mysterious tollbooth appears in his room and finding nothing better to do, Milo uses his electric car to drive past the tollbooth and finds himself in a different land. He meets strange creatures and makes friends with a watch dog named Tock and a bug named The Humbug. He goes on an expedition to rescue the two princesses, Rhyme and Reason, because everything was going wrong without them. He learns much through his adventures with the tollbooth–perseverance, appreciation for words and numbers, and wisdom! Most importantly, he learns life is far from boring—it is a gift!!!

Enemy Brothers

EnemyBrothersConstance Savery’s dramatic tale of British airman Dym Ingleford, convinced that a young German prisoner, Max Eckermann, is his brother Anthony who was kidnapped years before. Raised in the Nazi ideology, Tony has by chance tumbled into British hands. Dym has brought him back, at least temporarily, to the family he neither remembers nor will acknowledge as his own. As Tony keeps attempting to escape, his stubborn anger is whittled away by the patient kindness he finds at the White Priory. Then, just as he is resigning himself to the English family, a new chance suddenly opens for him to return home- to Germany. This book gives an inside view of the confusion war brings and of the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of it.

Story of the Trapp Family Singers

story trapp familyThe original! Written by Maria Augusta Trapp the true story of a family forced to flee Austria by hiking a mountain trail to freedom, leaving everything behind with only singing as their means of support. “It is great because of  the faith emanating from it— the tremendous  trust of ‘consider the lilies of the field.’ Abounding in humor, freshness and love… The love of God, of one another, and of their fellowmen has proved a sustaining influence against ‘the roar of the world.’”