Author: Cathy Gilmore
Illustrator: Jean Schoonover-Egolf
Publisher: Perpetual Light Publishing
Age Range: 3 – 7
Cathy Gilmore and Jean Schoonover-Egolf have combined their remarkable talents to produce Tiny Virtue Heroes. This is a series of books for children that explore Christian virtues. Each book features an animal character who represents a particular virtue. In this first book, Little Moshe the mouse discovers the power of ‘humility’.
Perpetual Light Publishing has produced a high quality and beautiful picture book that retells the story of the Annunciation through the eyes of Mary’s little friend – Moshe the Mouse. Mary is presented as a humble, hard working young maiden who works in the temple and dreams of one day serving the mother of the Messiah. Little does she know that God has plans of His own. Mary, of course, is chosen by God to be the mother of the Messiah herself.
The Annunciation is delightfully depicted in this story. Mary and Moshe dance for joy and Moshe explains that Mary is a virtue hero of HUMILITY. As Cathy Gilmour said in an interview, these virtue books give children a language to describe virtuous behaviour and stories from the Bible to help them understand the virtues on a more meaningful level.
This little book has so much more to offer. Moshe is given his own ‘character card’ that describes his favourite Bible hero, his virtue team and his favourite colour. There has been so much thought and planning put into this series of books! Finally, children are invited to pray for Asia and learn about Justo Takayamo Ukon who is a missionary to Japan.
There are many strengths to this book. The bright, lush, clever illustrations are a real highlight – Jeannie Schoonover-Egolf is a talented Catholic illustrator who has captured Mary and Moshe brilliantly. Cute little Moshe is a gorgeously drawn little guy that children will love – he is friendly, bright and enthusiastic.
Cathy Gilmore is the founder of Virtue Works Media which promotes ‘virtue literacy’ in all forms of media. Proceeds from the sale of each book are used to further the work of Virtue Works Media, which promotes the knowledge and practice of virtue to teens, children and families.
I recommend this book to you and urge you to purchase the whole series as it is released. Children will love perusing these bright, colourful, sturdy and high-quality books. The stories are fun and engaging, the illustrations are stunning. Why not buy these story books for your students, children and grandchildren and help the good work of Virtue Works Media.
Listen to Lisa Hendey interview Cathy Gilmore HERE
You can purchase A Mouse and a Miracle HERE.
Teacher and Homeschool Ideas.
After using the resources provided in this book, I would ask children to draw Moshe and Mary as they go about their daily tasks and prayers.
Help students to identify Asia and Japan on a map or globe. What can you find out about Japan? Here’s a great website packed full of ideas to help students learn about the lives of Japanese kids: https://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/schools/
Maybe devise a character card for yourself: help children to think about their own favourite virtue and then think of ways children can demonstrate that virtue. How do we show humility, patience, kindness, courage etc.