Wednesday, December 9, 2015

[Peanut Butter &] Grace-filled Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #11)

I've said it before here at String of Pearls, and I'll say it again: this blog has brought me so many opportunities, blessings, and even friendships that I never would have experienced had I not taken the plunge almost five years ago.  I have my first daughter-in-law to thank for making me a blogger; she's the one who suggested the idea, feeling sure it was something I would enjoy.  Well, she was right.

One thing that always amazes and surprises me is when, out of the blue, I receive an email from someone who has stumbled upon my humble little blog and asks me if I would be willing to use it as a tool to spread the word about their products or websites (and they're always wonderful Catholic products and websites).  This doesn't happen often, mind you.  Since I set up shop here on the Internet, I can count the number of times this has happened to me on one hand.  But when it does, I get excited because I look at it as a way to evangelize about our glorious Catholic Faith.

So today I'm going to tell you about a new Catholic micropublisher that reached out to me not too long ago, called Peanut Butter & Grace.  And because yesterday was Tuesday, and that's book club day...instead of a Grace-filled Tuesdays meeting, we're going to call this one "Peanut Butter & Grace-filled Tuesdays."  (I know it's Wednesday; but it seems that lately I'm always a day late and a dollar short.)
When PB & G asked me to look over their site to see if there was a book I might be interested in reviewing for the blog, I chose their picture book for children titled The Little Flower, A Parable of Saint Therese of Lisieux.  But it was still in production, so they kindly sent me a two-book set instead: Sense of the Sacred, A Coloring Book for Young Illuminators by Dominic de Souza, along with its companion, a book of beautifully-illustrated prayers.
A young illuminator can use the full-color illustrations in the prayer book as a guide and try to recreate them in the coloring book, if he or she so desires.
These books are not only perfect for inspiring young artists, but they also teach many traditional but lesser-known Catholic prayers that they might have never learned before, such as "Mary, Help of Christians," "Prayer Before an Image of the Sacred Heart," "Christ, King of the Universe," and "St Patrick's Breastplate."  This set would make such a great addition to any Catholic school or homeschool art and/or religion curriculum--not to mention any Catholic home with youngsters in it.

I was just getting ready to blog about the Sense of the Sacred books when I got word that a paperback copy of the much-anticipated PB & G children's book about St. Therese was on its way to me.  When we got home from our latest trip south to visit with three of our sons and their wives (and our two grandsons!), it was waiting for me in the mountain of mail that had accumulated while we were away.  I tore through the packaging.  (What can I say?  St. Therese is a saint to whom I am very attached and about whom I get very excited!)

Here it is,  PB & G's The Little Flower, A Parable of Saint Therese of Lisieux.
Look at that sweet cover artwork!  Doesn't it just make you want to find out what's inside?

What's inside is more of the same: dreamy, ethereal watercolor illustrations accompany the story of Therese's childhood aspirations to become a saint.  "She knew that because she was little, she could not do big things for Jesus...Therese wanted to do great things for Jesus, too.  But how could someone so little do great things?"
This engaging and endearing book, lovingly written by Becky Arganbright and beautifully illustrated by Tracey Arvidson, tells young readers how Jesus spoke to Therese's heart, using a parable.  He assured her that in His garden, the humble little pansy is no less important or beautiful than the grand orchid.  Therese realized that she might be little, "but that did not make her any less important to the Gardener."
Children who read this book will learn why Saint Therese is often referred to as "The Little Flower," and they'll come to understand her "Little Way"--a way that even the smallest and humblest among us can follow.  They will realize that every kind of flower has its place in God's garden and know that no matter how small they are, Jesus sees them and appreciates the unique gifts they have to offer.

I just visited the PB & G website and saw that if you order The Little Flower, A Parable of Saint Therese of Lisieux by December 14, you could receive your copy in time for Christmas gift-giving So if you have a young reader/saint-in-the-making on your list, head on over there now, before it's too late.  (The book is also available on Amazon.)

(Quick plug here: you could also get Erin's Ring, a Catholic novel for the YA crowd and up, in time for Christmas.  Head on over to Amazon and order your copy now!)

Before I sign off, I want to thank the kind folks at Peanut Butter & Grace from the bottom of my heart for sending me these inspirational books, which I plan to share with my growing brood of beloved, book-loving grandchildren.  It has been my privilege to share the good work you're doing with my readers.


  1. Thanks so much for the shout out, Laura!

    1. It is I who needs to thank YOU! It was my pleasure to read these books and recommend them to readers of this blog.