Counting on Faith

Author: Maurice Prater

Illustrator: Jason Koltuniak
Publisher: Divine Providence Press
Age Range: 3 – 6

This is a great read aloud book that follows the conventional format of a counting book. On each page Maurice Prater has chosen something numerical from scripture, e.g., the TEN commandments, or the FOUR writers of the gospels. This is such a fun way to learn some basic facts about our Catholic Faith. I was impressed with the close references to scripture like the SEVEN gifts of the holy spirit, or the EIGHT requests of the Our Father. Even though this is a counting book aimed at younger readers, the content is actually quite theologically rich and ripe as a conversation starter.

Time has been taken to align the content of this picture book closely with the Catholic faith, as evidenced by the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur signed by The Most Reverend David D. Kagan, Bishop of Bismarck. Children will learn about the FIVE wounds of Jesus and the NINE different types of angels that God has working for Him. This is indeed a different type of counting book!

The book comes alive with the glorious illustrations of Jason Koltuniak. His full page, colour drawings are bright, engaging and thoughtfully crafted. I particularly liked the colourful depiction of Noah’s ark with TWO of every animal, complete with rainbows adorning the sky.

Every number from one through to ten has scriptural references included, which adds to the authenticity of this book, and will also help teachers and homeschoolers to find and read the relevant passages from the Bible. There is really a lot of material in this book that can be used in Religious Education classes. A handy glossary is included at the end.

So I recommend you purchase this book for the children in your home or classroom. It is a fun, bright and interesting counting book that can also be used quite fruitfully as a teaching aide. And why not buy the other two books by Maurice Prater – What Colour is Heaven? and Saved by the Alphabet. You can purchase Counting on Faith at amazon HERE. 

Homeschool and Teaching Ideas

Every single page in this book could have a lesson plan built around it.

Given the young age of the intended readers, you could have children work independently or in groups to create a large ‘Noah’s Ark’ or ‘Ten Commandments’.

I would prompt conversation by commenting on how Noah was obedient to God and asking children to think about what it means to be obedient.  There is plenty to talk about with the ten commandments, and I would set aside a different activity and conversation for each of the ten commandments – a very rich topic!

  • Here are some links for ideas and activities for the Ten Commandments:

Lap books from the wonderful Shower of Roses: https://www.showerofrosesblog.com/2015/03/the-ten-commandments-lap-book-catechism.html

For a few dollars, this Catholic Ten Commandments game from Teachers pay Teachers. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ten-Commandments-Catholic-Faith-Game-1311766?st=7f4b61ca86e5c3081685d4190ea87db5

Here’s a relatively easy activity from Today’s Catholic Teacher.  I would probably use the words as they are written in Counting on Faith. https://www.catholicteacher.com/activity-printable-ten-commandments-craft/

As you’re working through each of the commandments you can talk to your children about how this commandment relates to them in their own lives.  Some prompting questions might be “How do you show your love for God each day?”; “How do we honour God’s name?”; “How do we keep Sunday holy?”; “When was a time that you really wanted to have something that belonged to someone else?” etc.

  • Here are some ideas for Number Six (God created the World in Six days)

A lot of ideas and templates here from DLTK: https://www.dltk-kids.com/bible/genesis/chapter1-index.htm

A cute creation wheel here:

Some great questions to ask kids here, as you make your own animals:

https://www.kidsofintegrity.com/lessons/responsibility/hands-options/caring-creation

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