Storypath - Storypath is a website that connects children's literature with our stories of faith by providing concise but detailed book reviews. Extra bonus...it aligns with the lectionary and comes out WEEKS ahead of time so you can be sure to get the book from the library or buy it BEFORE you need it.
Noah's Bark - Noah's trying to build an ark, but with the snakes quacking, the beavers crowing, and the pigs howling, he can't even hear himself think, much less make a giant boat. Pretty soon Noah's barking in annoyance - and then it starts to rain! Discover how each animal came to make the noise it does today in this whimsical retelling of the beloved Noah's ark story. Written by Stephen Krensky.
I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin' Work by Doyin Richards captures fathers in a variety of activities with their children. It lifts up the importance of the relationship with their children beyond machismo roles to a more liberating view of fathering. The book includes photographs of multicultural families making it accessible to all.
Big Bob, Little Bob - Despite the fact that they share a name, Big Bob and Little Bob are different. Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingling bracelets and being quiet. No matter what they do, they do not do it the same. Could they possibly be friends despite these differences? With humor and tenderness, James Howe and Laura Ellen Anderson beautifully depict the struggles and rewards that come when friendships are forged between different kinds of people.
Luis Paints the World - For ages 5-10 about a brother's deployment into the army and the artful way his brother paints about the things he hopes his brother remembers while he is away. By Terry Farish, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez.
My Two Blankets is an excellent book for preschool and elementary age youth, as it follows a young girl who must leave her home and who moves to a new country. Now she is a girl who not only has two countries but two blankets where she belongs and feels at home.
The Branch - Author Mireille Messier explores a young child's experience with loss and renewal. Though the little girl is heartbroken that her special perch in the tree is gone, the kindness and vision of her neighbor, combined with her own creativity and determination, help her recognize that it can have a new life in a different form. Good for lessons on perseverance, teamwork and initiative, also an example of caring for the environment by reusing salvaged materials. Illustrated by Pierre Pratt.
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) written and illustrated by Keith Negley has brief but powerful words paired with trimmed down modern illustrations.
Beautiful - Short, poignant book whose words and pictures together tell a liberating story for young girls (and boys) written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff.
Cancer Hates Kisses - by Jessica Reid Sliwerski and Mika Song. A simple and appropriate way to talk with kids about cancer.
Deployment: Strategies for Working with Kids in Military Families - by Dr. Karen Petty
Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay - by Susan Hood shares the story of children living in garbage dumps, learning how to make improvised instruments and AMAZING music now touring worldwide!
Not all children's Bibles are created equal. In an effort to have big print and big pictures, not every story in the Bible can fit. Ever wonder how and why certain stories are chosen for children's Bibles and what impact that has on our children? Check out this GREAT resource that helps parents, pastors and all of us understand more about what different children's Bibles have to offer.
Water of Baptism, Water for Life: An Activity Book by Anne E. Kitch and Illustrated by Shelley Dieterichs makes for a wonderful family devotional or upper elementary kid's devotional. Inclusive language for God as well as diverse pictures and most importantly wonderful connections between baptismal water and daily water use makes for a well thought out and sound theological baptismal book.
Example of a Weekly Family Devotion Guide.
Faith Lens - Written with teenagers in mind, it is a weekly (during the school year) look at the lessons that uses current events and relevant questions to get people talking. Put out by the ELCA.
Baby Time - It's never too early to reach out to a family and help them "do" faith formation in the home. Here is a great tool for connecting and planting the seed of faith life in the home as connected with a church.
Enter the Bible (from Luther Seminary)
Book of Faith
YouVersion Bible - A free Bible on your phone, tablet, and computer. YouVersion is asimple, ad-free Bible that brings God's Word into your daily life. (Also, check out the LIVE option that lets you create study questions and interaction for participants!)
NIV Readers's Bible - When having children read the Bible during worship consider the NIV Reader's Bible for ease of understanding. We want to set them up for success!
Text Study Helps:
Exegetical Notes (by Brian Stoffregen) - an ELCA pastor who digs into the texts including original language and offers really elaborate explanations and detailed notes for teaching and preaching.
The Text This Week - A curated site that links you to many different resources around the lectionary texts each week.
Working Preacher - A "go to" resource for preachers but also helpful for those teaching on the lectionary texts. Note that they support the RCL and the new Narrative lectionary schedules.