Sunday, January 2, 2011

Arma Dei Review: Hand in Hand with Jesus

If you haven't ever heard of Arma Dei, they're a Catholic Apostolate that offers lots of great products to help teach the faith to children.  They have books, games and crafts that all work to orient your child's hear and mind towards God.  Hand in Hand with Jesus is a faith journal produced by Arma Dei.  I think the whole concept of this journal is pretty cool.  First off, it's actually two journals in one.  The first journal is Hand in hand with Jesus which covers catechesis on the seven Sacraments and teaching of the Catholic faith.  There are also places where you or your child can record when they celebrate a sacrament.  The second journal is called Heart to heart with Jesus and it is filled with questions that will serve to get your child thinking and reflecting on his or her relationship with Jesus.

My overall impression of this journal is that it's sort of the baby book, if you will, of your child's spiritual life.  There are places to record your family tree, milestones, reception of the Sacraments, and your child's thoughts regarding many aspects of his/her spiritual life.   The journal is filled with lots of illustrations that your child can color so he or she can really make this journal his/her own.  Because of the nature of this journal and the need to fill in your thoughts, I think it's best suited to children seven and up when it comes to the actual journaling.  I think it would make a lovely gift for a child who is preparing for his or her first reconciliation and communion.

I was impressed with the catechesis offered in this book.  There is a nice section of prayers near the beginning of this book.  I particularly appreciated that the prayers we all in their traditional form.  Too often books geared to children have more "modern" versions of traditional prayers.  I also liked that references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church are given throughout the area of the book that pose catechism questions.  An answer key to the fill in the blank questions is also provided at the end of the book.  The area of the book that discuss the Mass is nicely done and offers children a check list that will prompt them to treat the Mass reverently. The descriptions of the seven Sacraments are also very well done and are put in terms that children will easily understand and take to heart.

I think this journal is a wonderful way to help your child grow closer to Jesus and gain a deeper appreciation for our Catholic faith.  Because your child can fill in this journal with his or her unique answers to all of the questions, he or she will certainly come to treasure this special journal.

If you'd like to learn more about Hand in Hand with Jesus, please visit Arma Dei for more information.

I was provided with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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