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Children’s Books: Angel in the Waters

Children’s Books: Angel in the Waters

We just received the lovely picture book Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman and it’s quickly become a favorite with Bella. I love it too, though I’m having a hard time getting through it without bawling. Partly the pregnancy hormones, I’m sure, but also because it is such a beautifully told, gorgeously illustrated story. The story itself is beyond Bella right now, but she loves the pictures of the baby and it will be a book that she can grow into. It’s not just a kid’s book, either. As with the best picture books, it’s got something for adults too: a profound meditation on life in the womb and God’s loving care which accompanies us from the moment of our conception and throughout life in this world.

When I was pregnant for the first time, expecting my sweet Isabella, I tried to imagine what life in the womb must be like. I wrote in my journal:

Sometimes I fancy that she hears the angels sing and that she sings with them. The music of the spheres, the perpetual hosannas that all creation sings if only we could hear them. I fancy she sees the stars dance and moves with them. Her leaps and kicks are her joyful celebrations of life and motion. When she sleeps she is rocked by a celestial lullaby.

Regina Doman’s book captures something of the same idea as the baby converses with a guardian angel. Regina recounts that the inspiration for the book, written when she was expecting her first child, was a conversation with her youngest sister who when asked was able to recall impressions of life in the womb: “It was warm and dark and there was an angel there.”

I’ve heard another story of a child who asked her baby sibling “Tell me, what is heaven like. I’m starting to forget.” It seems entirely probable to me that infants in the womb, not being as encumbered by their five senses, have a more immediate sensation of the presence of God. Certainly John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb at the nearness of the fetal Christ child. In any case, this book is a lovely way to introduce young children to the baby in mommy’s tummy, to their guardian angel who is always with them, and the the miracle of unborn life.

 

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5 comments
  • Hi Melanie,
    Thank you for letting me know about this. I recently read the three novels myself. They sounded so good that I couldn’t wait for my 5th grade daughter to get to high school to read them along with her. grin  And they are good! As soon as I finished reading them, I wanted to go back and read the whole series again. I just wanted to spend more time with these characters.

    I’m planning on giving The Shadow of the Bear to my 15-year-old to read over Christmas break. I suspect that my 18-year-old, who will be home on Christmas break, will pick it up too. As he is a fan of Jane Austen, I don’t think he will have as much of a problem with the romantic parts as his younger brother.

    It will be another month or more, but I’ll let you know what they think, if it will be helpful.

  • I enjoyed all three- partly because of the sense of “Catholic culture” they represent. When I started Waking Rose I couldn’t put it down and read right through until 1:30am. A problem my daughters also had so be sure to start the book when you have time to keep reading. Sleep optional.

  • From now on when asked I’ll pass on the information that they’re a hit with teenaged boys as well as girls.

    I’m still waiting to read the first two myself. New books haven’t been in the budget yet (and I like to buy them straight from the author when I know how so gift certificates haven’t been useful). When I read them, I’ll be sure to post my own reviews.

    Interesting that both Mary and Judy have mentioned Catholic culture as a positive aspect of the books. That was something I noticed; but didn’t really dwell on.

  • Just wanted to let you know that my sons (ages 16-now and 18) read and enjoyed all three books in the series over Christmas break. The younger teen read them first and found them to be original, exciting, and addicting. He liked the idea of the modernized fairy tales. They weren’t too   -ish for him after all. He mentioned that he appreciated the way the main character boys were portrayed—as intelligent and gentlemanly, but not wimpy, and he liked how they stood up for truth and justice.

    When his older brother got home and noticed what he was reading, he asked about the books. When told they were modern fairy tales, set in New York City, he was skeptical. He even gave his little brother a bit of a hard time about reading them…until he started reading them himself. He raced through the books, asking for the next as soon as the first was finished, and then my husband picked them up. (We were on vacation, so he had time to read that he doesn’t usually have at home. It led to some neat discussions—a side benefit I hadn’t anticipated.)

    Both boys especially enjoyed the picture of college life portrayed in Waking Rose. (My 18 year old is headed to UD in the fall, but hasn’t really had a college experience yet.)

    My husband thought the books would be a good read for someone who was exploring the Catholic faith because they present Catholic culture in such an engaging way.

    Thank you again for the recommendation, Melanie.

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