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When Mary and the Little Shepherds of Fatima arrived in my mailbox from Pauline Press I couldn’t help but take a minute to think about all the other children’s pictures books about Our Lady of Fatima. Except, there aren’t any!
There are chapter books, and adult books, and movies. But no picture books.
Mary and the Little Shepherds of Fatima, then, fills a much needed gap on the library shelf, and it does so beautifully. Indeed, what else but beauty is worthy of Our Lady?
“Francisco, Jacinta, and their nine-year-old cousin Lucia were shepherds. They led the sheep out to pasture every day.” So begins the book in it’s simple, straight forward manner. Throughout, Marlyn Monge, FSP, remembers that the three shepherd and shepherdesses were children when Our Lady appeared to them.
The kids are portrayed in their simple, childish way. Reciting a Hail Mary in such a way as to allow more time to play a flute; keeping a secret so as not get in trouble; and then disappointment when one of their own leaks the secret. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep our secret.” Lucia admonishes Jacinta. You can almost hear the pout in her voice.
The story goes on to recount the events of the children’s lives through that dreadful day, October 13, 2017 when 70,000 people gathered and witnessed the miracle of the sun.
At the end, you’ll find a picture of a rosary, and instructions on how to pray it. Also included is a “for grown ups” section that goes on to provide some clarity for the older readers.
Mary and the Little Shepherds of Fatima has beautiful illustrations, too. They are done softly, appealing to both children and adults, not cartoonish at all.
As I write this review it is approaching the 100th anniversary of this particular apparition of Our Lady. As such, the book is timely. But, if you are looking for a cute 1st Communion Gift, or a meaningful Easter basket addition, this book most certainly fits the bill.
A lovely book that deserves a place on your children’s bookshelves.
Note: The publisher sent me a complimentary copy of these books with the hope that I would provide (favorable) reviews. Complimentary books don’t necessarily make good books, though. My opinions are my own.