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My Picnic Basket

My Picnic Basket

Summer picnics are all about food and fun. But there’s something else in this picnic basket: a reminder that God is always near.

Mary says:"Fear is a predictable emotion during early childhood. Thunderstorms, darkness, clowns, and even big dogs can scare young children. Yet as they cope with these recurring issues, a reminder that ‘God’s always with me’ comforts a parent and reassures a child."



Six age-appropriate biblical concepts are woven around this recurring theme:

  • God watches over me.
  • God provides for me.
  • God cares for me.
  • God is with me.
  • God protects me.
  • God hears me pray.

Click here to see sample pages.

 

First Virtues

First Virtues

First Virtues highlights adorable animals who showcase core beliefs in child-friendly situations.

This new edition features 12 complete stories written in a light, rhythmic text. Playful illustrations show how a child might experience virtues in everyday situations. Parent pages, which provide practical suggestions to help a young child remember and practice the virtues, follow each story.

Mary says:
"We make the mistake of thinking that children will simply 'catch' a virtue when they see us opening a door for someone or sharing with a friend. Virtues are caught but they are also taught. Because so much cultural clutter floats around children today, we must be intentional, not just incidental about teaching core beliefs."

After all, a young child has an easier time learning about forgiveness or obedience when he's looking at a cute, colorful animal, not seeing himself in a mirror. However, virtues modeled by these non-threatening little creatures are great conversation starters.

Click here to see sample pages.
Read the story behind First Virtues.

 

The Hear Me Read Bible

My March to the Manger

My March to the Manger is a glittery die-cut board book which describes an action-oriented holiday tradition.

Dr. Mary Manz Simon says:"Like many parents, I struggled during December. How could I help our children focus on Jesus' birth in a month overflowing with commercialism? My husband and I looked diligently for traditions that could grow up with our children. That's how the annual "march to the manger" became a family focal point. Our children moved individual creche figures from windowsill to windowsill throughout the house during the weeks before Christmas. By December 24, the shepherds, sheep, cows, donkey and the Holy Family had been positioned in the manger under the tree. Appropriately, Baby Jesus was the last to arrive.

Even when very young, our children could safely participate, a fact I especially appreciated with three under the age of four. Through the years, this march to the manger was especially effective in focusing attention on the real meaning of Christmas.

"I am delighted to share our family tradition, and hope that God will bless your march to the manger this year."

 

The Hear Me Read Bible

The Hear Me Read Bible

With more than one million copies sold in English, thousands of children have learned to read with titles in the Hear Me Read series.

Using less than 25 words to tell a complete Bible story, the eighteen books in Level One of this series feature natural language, repetition and prediction. Now, these best-selling stories have been compiled in a single volume, The Hear Me Read Bible. Parent notes and vocabulary lists are included for every story.

"Learning to read is a lengthy, challenging process," says educator and author Dr. Mary Manz Simon. "Many elements need to come together before a child actually can de-code the scribbles on a page."

"Although we appropriately emphasize skill development, confidence in those abilities is also important," she says. "With less than 25 different words in each story, a child's confidence soars as he successfully moves from page to page."

"Of course, a huge bonus is that a child not only learns to read, but learns to read about Jesus," says the early childhood educator. "What a joy when a child says, 'Hear me read.'"

Click here to see sample pages.

 

My Basket of Blessings

My Basket of Blessings

Invite young children to see God's goodness through My Basket of Blessings. Using rhymed verses in a glittery, board book format, children are encouraged to thank God for his many gifts.

Dr. Mary Manz Simon says,
"A young child is a concrete thinker. That means he understands what he can touch and see and smell. This is the reason My Basket of Blessings highlights God's real-time blessings from a child's perspective. A child sniffs a pie baking, pets the soft fur of a kitty and crunches a juicy apple. God promised the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel, 'I will send showers, showers of blessings.' For our children today, those "showers" come in multi-sensory experiences, as seen in My Basket of Blessings."

 

 

Countdown to Christmas

Countdown to Christmas

Fly through the days of December with My First Read and Learn Countdown to Christmas.

Parents will appreciate the creative ways in which children's energy is re-directed into simple activities that focus on the true meaning of the holiday. And children will delight in the daily fun as they come ever closer to December 25. Each day, family members can join in the Countdown rhyme:

I'm ready and I'm waiting, to shout "It's Christmas Day!"
It's almost Jesus' birthday. I'm counting down each day.

Click here to see sample pages.

 

Realtime Parenting DayBrightener

Realtime Parenting DayBrightener

Inspiration and encouragement on a kitchen windowsill. That’s what Dr. Mary Manz Simon offers in Realtime Parenting.

“We parent in real, not virtual time,” says Simon. “Things happen every minute of the day (and often at night, too) so tips are short and focused.”

Realtime Parenting is in a flip calendar format, ideal for setting on a windowsill. Scripture verses, seasonal suggestions and parenting tips reflect the wide range of issues that families face everyday.

““I had three children in 31/2 years,” recalls Simon. “I often couldn’t remember what month it was, much less the date. Helping moms target a single idea might be just what they need to get through the day.”

The perpetual format, without a year assigned, makes the calendar usable year after year. It’s an ideal gift that keeps giving.

“On this date one year from today, both you and your children will be at a different point of life. An idea that is a little ahead of your children now will give you a glimpse of the future and be a perfect match next year,” Simon adds.

 

The Anytime Bible

The Anytime Bible

"Anytime" is a good time to connect with God. That's the message of The Anytime Bible.

"Today's fast track families need a resource to remind them that God goes where we go," says parenting expert Dr. Mary Manz Simon. "Because families are so busy, it's easy to lock God into a Sunday morning box. Our God is bigger than that!"

"'Anytime'" is a good time to connect with God," she emphasizes. Designed as a flexible, lifestyle product, families can use The Anytime Bible for two minutes or twenty.

Fast facts and reader responses trigger family discussion based on more than 50 Bible stories. A parent note for each story connects the Biblical truth to real-time situations. Content is written on various levels of knowledge, from clear-cut facts (Adam lived to be an old man: 930 years) to practical application ("How do you feel when someone says, 'Don't touch?'") These multiple layers connect with family members of all ages.

Simon says, "Research consistently shows that children, even teens, want to spend time with their family. The Anytime Bible promises and delivers God's truths in a format that's fun and flexible for family togethering, anytime."

Click here to see sample pages.

 

My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers

My First Read and Learn Book of Bible Verses

My First Read and Learn Favorite Bible Verses offers timeless truths which focus on God, our Father. The verses, including some with as few as five words, are developmentally appropriate for young children to repeat, learn and embrace.

"God tells us to imprint His words on the heart of a child," says Dr. Mary Manz Simon. "That might sound difficult for parents and boring for kids, but this book makes it easy and fun."

Verses reflect ways in which a young child experiences God in daily life. A child is reminded of God's loving care in the section on fears and His blessings in the verses about friends. Parent notes throughout the book suggest ways to incorporate Scripture into everyday activities.

With a soft-padded cover and stiff board pages, it makes an excellent companion to My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers.

Click here to see sample pages.

 

Noah and the Big Boat

Noah Builds a Boat

Noah Builds a Boat offers a fresh-retelling of the beloved Bible story. Highlighting three important virtues, readers focus on obedience, patience and gratitude as they read about the old man and the ark.

“We often focus on learning facts about familiar Bible stories but forget to take away valuable lessons,” says author Dr. Mary Manz Simon. “Noah models three virtues that contribute to building strong character.”

With flowing illustrations and limited text from the Golden Books imprint of Random House, it is an ideal lap book to share with a child.

Click here to see sample pages.

 

My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers

My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers

"Fold your hands, bow your head and close your eyes." With these simple actions, a young child can begin a lifelong conversation with God.

That's the purpose of My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers: to help a child experience God in new ways. The tone is conversational, so that a child learns to talk with God like he talks with a best friend. The content is concrete, not abstract, because a young child thinks about what he can touch and feel. And the prayers reflect the real world: because a child waiting to eat is hungry, one mealtime prayer has only eight words!

My First Read and Learn Book of Prayers will help your child learn to talk with God anytime, anywhere.

With a soft, padded cover and stiff board pages, this is an ideal volume to keep handy on a bedroom dresser or child's book shelf.

Click here to see sample pages.

 

Trend Savvy Parenting


Trend Savvy Parenting identifies 34 key trends that impact children and families. Three questions are answered for each trend: What is it? Why should I care? What should I do?

Mary says:
"The mom who told me, 'I feel like I'm drowning,' wasn't caught in a rip tide. She was trying to cope with 'outside influences' that impact her family. Today, it's not just the landscape that is changing: the mindscape is changing. Parents are raising the first generation of digital natives and sometimes those challenges are overwhelming. Use this handbook to go beyond mere trend tracking to get a grasp of the changes that shape your child's world. "

Trend Savvy Parenting

The Pumpkin Gospel


The Pumpkin Gospel

This die-cut novelty board book tells the story about a family who scoops out a pumpkin and then applies that to a faith-based concept.

For extra fun reading: fan open the book so the pages absorb light. Then in a dark room, start reading: the text and illustrations glow in the dark.

The illustrator, Matt Whitlock, is a former Disney animator.

 

 

My Happy Birthday


My Happy Birthday

Following in the tradition of the award-winning My Easter Basket, My Happy Birthday is a die-cut board book with sparkling glitter "that won't come off on your hands."

The theme of the book touches everyone: My birthday is special, but every day is special because God loves me.

 

 

 

My Easter Basket Gold Medallion Award finalist

My Easter Basket
(a Gold Medallion Award finalist)


This sparkling award winning, best seller, uses the holiday colors to help children learn the real meaning of Easter.

Mary says,
"This book is a personal favorite. Adults are challenged to understand the miracle of Jesus' Resurrection. Sharing the meaning of Easter with children is even more difficult. My Easter Basket tells the Bible story using a child-friendly approach. Children love the glittery sparkles on every page and adults enjoy sharing the rhythmic text. This is a book you'll read again and again, long beyond the Easter season."

 

 

My Basket of Blessings

Advent Booklet

This Advent booklet offers family devotions and activities during the four weeks before Christmas.

Dr. Mary Manz Simon says,
"Christmas tree ornaments typically tell stories. On our tree, I see smiling faces of our children in decorated paper plate frames, vacation souvenirs and heirlooms from previous generations. But other ornaments relate to the first Christmas, Biblical truths or holiday legends. This devotional booklet tells the stories behind popular Christmas tree ornaments and includes a fun and easy family activity for each day."

Priced and printed for distribution to large groups and congregations, the booklet is very inexpensive, and can be ordered directly from Creative Communications for the Parish.

Creative Communications for the Parish Phone: 800-325-9414
Creative Communications for the Parish Website

 

Mary connects with thousands of people every year through speaking and media appearances, but even more people know her through her books. She's always working on something new, so check this section for updates.

 

 

All text © Copyright 2014 by Dr. Mary Manz Simon.