Are you looking for the perfect gift for a young child in your family this year? Spread the Gospel and give them a gift they’ll love.

You may have heard it before, but it is worth repeating: If you have been baptized, it is your duty to spread the Gospel, and your family is a great place to begin. Your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and godchildren are all going to be expecting gifts this year, so let’s give them something that will make them smile and will feed their soul.

My Pick:

My first suggestion is a new book: “King of the Shattered Glass” by Susan Joy Bellavance. It’s a tale about a young kitchen maid and her courageous encounter with the King. The story is compelling, the pictures are beautiful, and the conversation created between parents and children is priceless. This book will lead children and their parents to consider God’s mercy in a whole new way. Don’t be surprised if you have tears in your eyes by the end. The author also has free-downloadable worksheets, coloring pages and discussion guides on her website – especially useful for a catechist who would like to use this book in the classroom.

Children’s Bible Story Book:

My second suggestion is to pick up a children’s book of Bible stories for your little one. I still have good memories of my own growing up. I remember how foolish that man was for building his whole house on sand – and how joyful the woman was when she found just one lost coin in her house. Growing up with these stories is a great way to be introduced to the Bible and makes for a great conversation starter between children and their parents. Ignatius Press offers “A Child’s Treasury of Bible Stories.”

For slightly older children, try “The Picture Bible” by Iva Hoth, which reads like a comic book. In the words of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen: “This picture Bible for all ages is an excellent introduction to those who do not know the Bible and an excellent review for those who do.”

Bible Playsets:

Maybe the child you have in mind doesn’t want a book – you’re still in luck. Sometimes children need more than pages in their hands. Bring the stories of the Bible alive with the gift of a Bible story playset. Allow your children to set up their own Noah’s ark with the BibleToys Noah’s Ark 18 Piece Playset or put the apostles on their boat with the Galilee Boat 15 Piece Playlet by BibleToys. If you’re handy, you can always make and paint your own wooden figurines.

All books and toys can be found on-line at Amazon* and other on-line retailers

*If you’re shopping on Amazon, consider using AmazonSmile to donate a portion of your purchase price to Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. or another favorite charitable organization.

Michael Hagan is the coordinator of religious education and catechesis for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.