Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: My Picture Missal

About a year ago I discovered the secret to keeping young children quietly entertained and well behaved at Mass.  The secret is incredibly simple: Books.  But before you start to think that any book will do, I must back up and clarify that the books should be oriented to the Mass, or God in some way in order to be appropriate.  Brining along a SpongeBob book to Mass simply won't cut it in my book.  After spending more Masses than I care to remember wrangling my young child and doing all that I could to keep her quiet and still, I discovered that St. Joseph Picture Books seemed to be part of the secret to keeping little ones happy and quiet.

My Picture Missal by Fr. Lovasik is a lovely (and inexpensive) book that even very small children can follow and understand during Mass.  I originally brought this book to snuff out the jealousy my younger child had over her big sister's Missal.  While it has seldom been used to follow the Mass by my younger child, she has happily flipped through the book during Mass trying to match the pictures to what she observes during Mass.  Occasionally she will pull this book out in the middle of the week and want to discuss a particular aspect of the Mass, so the book has also been a great conversation starter for teaching my child about the Mass.

If you're looking to use this particular book as a Missal for a young child, I think you will be pleased with it.  The book follows the Novus Ordo Mass and has all the responses included in the Missal.  On the occasions where my older daughter has forgotten her Missal or Magnifikid, this little Missal has nicely filled the void.  I particularly like how this book offers explanations of certain portions of the Mass in kid friendly terms.

Just recently I was talking to a friend who teaches in a Catholic school and she was telling me that this particular Missal is the one she gives to her students.  She's of the opinion that it's the best one out there for young children.


  1. Totally agree with you and would love a recommendation for the 2-3 yr age group. Will definitely look into getting this missal for the future but unsure it would work right now.

  2. Joy- I actually got this book for Ellie when she was three (almost 4). I think a two or three year old could happily page through this book. In fact, I wish I had this book when she was a young three. We have a small stack of St. Joseph Picture Books (Some day I'll write reviews for all of them.) and each week Ellie gets to pick two additional books to bring to Mass along with this picture Missal. Another thing we started bringing to Mass about 9 months ago was a one decade rosary (string of good deed beads--I have a how to tutorial that I posted in March or April of this year). The books plus the rosary keep her happy the entire time...most weeks. ;)

    I particularly like the St. Joseph Picture Books because they're small and inexpensive. I generally pay between $1.50 and $2.00 per book. Places like Aquinas and More and The Catholic Company have pretty good selections, too.

  3. We had this book when I was a child and I loved it. It really helped me follow along during mass...As adults, we sort of know what follows what, but as a child I would feel lost and not know where we were in the mass.

    I tend not to bring any books for my children though because they are quite young (2 and 1). It seems that fewer distractions are better for us right now. But we have a collection of these books sent to us by my aunt and we'll bring them to mass when the boys are older.


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