If you’re looking for great kids books, here are two you should definitely consider!

Great Kids Books - Barnyard Bliss and Miraculous Me - Snoring Scholar Sarah Reinhard

I’ve never been that good at reading to my kids.

I know, I know. I’m a huge and avid reader. I get free samples of books and our home library is what one family member has not-so-jokingly referred to as a complete out-of-control mess, to paraphrase.

But the fact remains: I’m STILL not good at reading to my kids.

So when the fine folks at Catholic Word offered to send me a couple of kids books, I was reluctant. My reading time has been held hostage by a certain vampire baby, so my priority, selfish though it may sound, has been MY OWN reading. (Mom’s sanity sometimes has to trump other things, ya know?)

The books, as it turns out, are rather perfect for my family, and I can’t help but recommend them highly to you. Whether you’re looking at them for your own brood or as great gifts for some kids in your life, here you go:

cover-barnyard bliss

Barnyard Bliss

Story by Ruth Pendergast Sissel; Illustrations by Tina Tolliver Matney

I was flipping through this when my four-year-old mancub came up beside me me and exclaimed, “There’s a TRACTOR!” The tractor is, by no means, the focus of this book, but the whole farm atmosphere definitely endears it to my farmy clan.

This is a sweet story about how the birth of a baby owl is a joy for all the animals on the farm, and it easily translates, at least in our house, to how wonderful it is to have a new life around.

The story rhymes, but it’s not annoying and it has a cadence that makes it actually easier to read if you’re sharing it with kids.

Beatrice Bee moves
As fast as she can go.
Hears the news and cannot wait
To spread it to and fro.

She buzzes to the burrow,
Mrs. Betty Bunny’s home,

A grassy mound filled to the brim
With babies of her own.

Betty bounces with elation,
As she listens to the tale,

Bounding down to Farmer Glenn’s barn,
And resting by a bale.

There’s an alliterative nature to the narrative that made the word nerd in me smile and savor the out loud reading of it. And the names of the animals? Well, let’s just say that they are perfect. They not only match the illustrations but have a quaintness to them that made me smile even more.

The illustrations are engaging and well done, colorful and packed with things that keep you wanting to look long after you’re done reading the words.

While this book is undoubtedly packed with Christian morals and ideals (celebrating a birth!), it’s not overt. I could just as easily give this book to non-Christian family members or friends as I could to my Catholic peeps.

cover-miraculous me

Miraculous Me

Story by Ruth Pendergast Sissel; Illustrations by Tina Tolliver Matney

This book, from what I read, is the debut of the Sissel-Matney team. It’s a tender look at the blessing of a new baby in a couple’s life.

When the picture of me appears,
Momma exclaims with joyful tears,
“Those precious feet, with those wondrous toes!
Where in the world are they destined to go?”

Daddy says, “Look at those fingers!
What perfect design!
I can’t wait ’til they are wrapped around mine.”

Adventures await, as dreams unfold.
What will those precious hands hold?
My finger with the first step you take…

It was a bit hard to read this one without getting teary. (I call this the “Love You Forever effect,” because however creepy that book may be, when you stop to think about it, it gets me every. single. time. I try to read it out loud to one of my kids.)

Maybe it’s that we have a baby in the house and that the kid I was reading this to turned to the baby and oooed and ahhhed as I was reading. Maybe it’s that I can’t help but relate to what this book’s pointing out: a new life is, without question, a miracle and a wonder.

This book would be the perfect gift for new parents, whether they’re on baby number one or baby number four (and beyond!). It would also be a great gift for those young kids in your life, whether they’re your kids or nieces or godchildren or grandkids.

Catholic Word has both of these books available for purchase individually (here and here) and also as a bundle.