Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Review: Hear My Voice (Children's Lectionary)

Hear My Voice: A Children's Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009
123 p. 8.5" square
Hardcover: $18.95
Review pages at Prayer Press

A pre-publication copy of this marvelous book arrived over the weekend. Author Jonathan Stampf and illustrator Robert Conrad deserve glory, honor and praise for their fine contribution to liturgical resources.

Hear My Voice has everything I look for -- and hope others do, too. First, it's a gorgeous book, beautifully designed and illustrated in a user-friendly trim size. The full-color illustrations are charming without being mawkish. In fact, they abound with historically accurate details of buildings, clothing, terrain, and food. The colors are vibrant and sophisticated; no visual dumbing down with primary colors!

And the content? My guess is that parents will get as much out of reading this as kids. In fact, any adult could benefit from reading how Stampf interprets the Lectionary readings (included in a sidebar). He uses colloquial language without devolving into slang. Be very grateful: You won't find Jesus addressing the Apostles as "dudes." You'll find smart, vocabulary-building text that will benefit readers of all ages.

The best part: this finely nuanced text places Stampf well within the ancient Jewish tradition of Midrash, something Jesus himself would have known, appreciated, and probably used when he wasn't speaking in parables.

Hear My Voice will be available this November. Start the new liturgical year right by ordering it now! Also available through the Catholic Company.


  1. Thanks for the review and link. This looks great!

  2. It is great! I wish every parish would buy them by in bulk for Children's Liturgy of the Word efforts.


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