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11 Beautiful Books to Read With Your Children

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Charge! Die you horrible dragon!” My son was screaming, shrieking really, chasing our dog with sheer delight as he catapulted his body down our narrow hallway, nearly toppling over his baby sister {ahem}.

“ I did it, Mom! I really got him, and there was fire and his teeth were really pointy and he was trying to bite me…but I GOT him!”

Five-year old antics aside, my son’s heart was alive- light and pride nearly bursting through his wide eyes and giant grin. He has conquered, he was the hero- he was St. George, victorious in battle, the epic scene so palpable to him after our afternoon story.

Good books will awaken you like that. They make you believe you can conquer and soar and be more than you ever thought possible before.  Good books reflect ourselves idealized, and a part of something big…something great…We become woven into an epic story that our whole being longs to have be a reality.

Because our real selves, the ones knit together by the God of the Universe, redeemed and clothed in alabaster grace, truly are a part of an epic story- and an epic battle.

The spark that lights up my boy’s heart as he imagines himself as St. George, when kindled and flamed, can grow along with his frame, along with his heard and mind, helping to ready him for all that our King calls him to be mighty for in his own life. Stories inspire- words and ideas sustain us.

In “Educating the Whole Hearted Child,” Clay and Sally Clarkson write:

“Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another. Whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture Word, musical symphony: but we must sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food.”

So, what stories and ideas are you feeding your child’s mind on, sweet mama?

For the last 15 years, Mom Heart Conferences across the country have offered the treat of book table upon book table with stories, a feast of ideas for mamas to tuck into their suitcases and share with their children at home.  All of them are available in the Whole Heart Bookstore.

Here are some of my favorite titles you can dig into to begin cultivating and awakening might, imagination, and wonder in your babes. My prayer for you is that they will aid you in teaching your children about the Epic Story they are already a part of- the story that is even now being written on thei

r hearts.

Saint George and the Dragon- by Margaret Hodges- Beautifully illustrated and literary retelling of the classic story.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney- A classy Barbara Cooney storybook about leaving leaving a mark of beauty in life.

Roxaboxen- by McLerran - a classic children’s story about an imaginary town made of rocks and boxes.

The Gold Thread by Norman MacLead- A collection of unique 19th century Victorian family stories for young children.

Dangerous Journey {Family Pilgrim’s Progress} byBunyan- A faithful and highly visual telling of A Pilgrim’s Progress.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children-*my personal favorite*  The Wales vetrinarian, James Herriot’s, true stories of animals and children.

The Safe Place by Patricia St. John, a short story about what Jesus has done for us.

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant- A lyrical story about the joys and rhythms of family in the mountains.

The Island Boy by Barbara Cooney- A Classic storybook about the power of home and place.

My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libby Moore Gray- A lovely story of a mother who danced every season with her daughter.

Children’s Stories by-D.L. Moody – Christian and moral stories for and about children.

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