A Little Book about Confession for Children: Review and Giveaway

I’ve already spilled the beans about how I might not be quite unbiased about A Little Book about Confession for Children, seeing as how I hang out with the author once a week and sometimes more.

Case in point:  Kendra’s kids and my kids with some other adorable kids and some nuns.

Is that Catholic enough for ya?

Now that we’ve got that little disclaimer out of the way, here is the truth: Kendra of Catholic All Year did me a great service by writing this book, and if you have a Catholic child, or if you still struggle with understanding the Sacrament of Confession, she can help you too.

Background:  Kevin and I enrolled Gianna in CCD at our parish.  After a month and a half, we pulled her out.  It wasn’t working for us for multiple reasons. I began preparing her in earnest for First Holy Communion, totally forgetting about First Confession. (Well, duh.)  I began scrambling for books and landed upon the Baltimore Catechism, which is super informative but at times frustrating to read.  Gianna’s a pretty good sport about that type of thing, so we slogged along.  But when Kendra mentioned her book, I thought it might be a good supplement for the BC.

I was wrong.  A Little Book about Confession for Children isn’t a supplement for the Baltimore Catechism.  Quite the reverse, actually.  We used this book, with its easy-to-read format as the main formation tool for Gianna’s First Confession, and it was awesome.  Baltimore Catechism answered our questions with slightly more complexity, but really, this book can stand alone.

Things I Like:

-Question-answer format: Gianna would read the question and the answer, and then I asked her the question again and she responded in her own words.  This was an excellent method for us.

-Words to Know at the beginning of the book: This saved a lot of reading time, as each page wasn’t bogged down with definitions.

-Saints: My kids really connect with their faith by reading about the lives of the saints.  They love reading about mischievous kids who still became holy, or kids who struggled in school who went on to be leaders in their faith.  The 5 saints Kendra highlights are great ones for kids, and the way she writes about them allows the kids to see their faults and failings as well as their strengths.

-Examination of Conscience based on the 10 Commandments:  I couldn’t have told you how “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” might apply to children, but Kendra does a great job of this and the 9 other commandments as well.


Things I Love:

-Kendra’s clear writing style: Kendra has a gift for explaining complex ideas in ways that a) don’t overwhelm but also b) don’t dumb it down.

The flaps at the beginning and end of the book:  The beginning gives the format of Confession, listing exactly what the penitent and the priest will say at each point in Confession, along with the Act of Contrition.  (I couldn’t remember that prayer on my own until, like, last year!)  The back flap has a condensed examination of conscience.  Last weekend Gianna took the whole book with her into Confession and it gave her confidence; she knew she wouldn’t get confused or forget anything, and according to her, that helped her make a good Confession.

-The artwork:  I really liked the illustrations. The colorful hand-drawn sketches are inviting and gentle and most importantly, they appeal to my kids.  That’s the whole point of Kendra’s book, I think, to show how the Sacrament of Confession is appealing in both word and in picture.  (If you’d like to see examples of the illustrator’s other works, you can check out her blog at Stella Maris Art.  Note: most of the stuff on her blog is black and white but all the illustrations in LBaCfC are in color.)


My overall take-away:  The writing is clear, the pictures are lovely, and I have no doubt this little book will be a great help to many children. Ignatius Press has them on sale right now, and they’re even cheaper than at Amazon, so make a list of all the Catholic children in your life and then click here to buy the Little Book about Confession for Children for each and every one.

Now for the fun part:

Being friend’s with the author has its benefits, such as being able to hound her for an autograph on your behalf!  If you’d like an autographed copy of this book, for yourself or as a gift, leave a comment below.  Tell me how you found my blog, or perhaps who you plan to give the book to if you win.  I’ll use a random number generator to draw a winner this Friday.  (Make sure your comment links to your email so I can contact you!)


Kendra is my friend and I did get a free book in order to review it, but the opinions are all my own.  I wouldn’t lead you astray, dear readers.  Cross my heart.  XOXOXO


  1. I don’t know how I found your blog in the first place? From one of the link-ups, I’m sure. Anyway, I love it and I read it faithfully!

    And if I win this book, I’m keeping it for myself. (well for my kids), because I’m selfish like that. 🙂

  2. That book looks darling! Our oldest just participated in her first confession less than a month ago (as part of sacrament prep for first communion after Easter), but I am constantly looking for ways to supplement her catechism class and add to our family faith library. I suppose I’ll try to hold out until Friday to see if I somehow win a lovely copy, but truth be told I was sold on getting a copy before I finished the things you like portion, to say nothing of the things you love, so I’ll be getting a copy soon regardless! Thanks for the rec!
    Cate recently posted…Seven in SevenMy Profile

  3. Yes please!

    I believe I found your blog through your comments on other blogs I read.
    Will likely keep this for our library as Lisbeth will be coming up on this in a couple of years.
    Joy recently posted…And your name shall be; A link-upMy Profile

  4. Would love to have this on hand for my kids. We are one year away from my eldest having his First Reconciliation. I love your blog, and Kendras, both wonderful blogs that I came across through Haley at Carrots!

  5. I’d love to win a copy! I am planning to get one for home and one as a gift for the 2nd grade teachers at our school as they help prepare our little ones for First Reconciliation 🙂
    Heather recently posted…2013 Our Year in ReviewMy Profile

  6. I found your blog through Catholic All Year. If I win I am keeping the book for my son who can make his first confession next year.

  7. I found you because we both use Mater Amabilis. The book looks great! I’d use it with my daughter who just made her first reconciliation to solidify her understanding and review, and with by four sons coming up when they turn 7.

  8. Mary Ann Weicher says:

    Hi, I found your blog thru Catholic All Year. I love that you used the BC too. It’s a go to for us and teaching my 2nd grader, preschooler and two other babes. Like you though I find it too much at times and am very interested in checking out Kendra’s book. I love her blog so I imagine I will love and use her book! My daughter just made her first reconciliation but it is all such a vexing process to explain to a child. Any help would greatly appreciated and your review sealed the deal that this book would be great to have for our family! Thanks! Mary Ann

  9. I found your blog through comments on Conversion Diary, I think. My son will be making his 1st confession in one month and the book would go to him!
    Catherine recently posted…Moms’ Tips for PertussisMy Profile

  10. I don’t know that I should have this book yet, considering John Paul’s obsession with trying to grow up and go to confession too quickly so that he can receive communion… He actually reset the date on a clock to his 7th birthday the other day, and was pretty sure that would convince us that it was time for his first communion. So… Maybe I could hide it for a while? But I’m pretty sure he would love it!
    Rosie recently posted…A Very Awkward (but still cute) RefashionMy Profile

  11. This would be great for the one I’m going to be preparing next year, and as review for the ones who are already going to confession! Then I need Kendra to write one about the Mass/Eucharist as well 🙂

  12. I came over from Theme Thursday and stayed because I like you! If I won I would save it for someday when C is prepping. It sounds like a great book!
    Madeline recently posted…7 in 7: #1My Profile

  13. I first came across your blog from 7quick takes, and I clicked on it because I too have gone from California to Korea (in Pre-kids days of yore) and it was fun to experience it with new eyes. But now I have a 6 year old and need the book for him.

  14. I think I found you, if I recollect correctly, via Twitter when I was looking for some more Catholic bloggers last year. I’d love a copy of Kendra’s book!
    Sarah O @ Two Os Plus more recently posted…Walking Through Lent with Small ChildrenMy Profile

  15. Thank you for your kind words about the illustrations. Your review is thorough and spot-on, I think. The book really is good, and I think it will be helpful to many.
    Maria recently posted…A lit major walks into a bar. . .My Profile

  16. Hi, I would love to have a copy of this book (and if I’m not lucky enough to win a signed one…I’ll definitely put it on my need list!). I would love to have this book for my baby when she is ready for her first confession (not for many years thank goodness). Really though my oldest two children could also use a refresher…my third child loves confession and begs to go (a calling maybe!?) but the oldest two need to be dragged kicking and screaming-well not quite but you get the picture =)

  17. I’ve got a couple of godchildren who might like this! I found you via Jen’s 7×7. Three down, four to go!!! 🙂
    Jenn @ Vita Carminis recently posted…A Year and a DayMy Profile

  18. Megan is our winner! Thanks for playing everyone, and make sure you buy a copy of the book. 🙂
    Micaela recently posted…Invitation to Non-Practicing Catholics: Join Us for LentMy Profile


  1. […]  (unless I win Kendra’s new book today!) […]