I've been a fan of the board books for toddlers and preschoolers from the Magnificat and Ignatius Press line of books for the past few years. We have just about all of the Magnificat board books for our almost three year old and they've all been well loved by her, so I was pretty sure that Little Life of Jesus by Ann Gravier would likely be another great addition to the Magnificat line of books.
As with any picture book, the illustrations are just as important to the little ones as the words are to the parents reading the book. Even the best story will fall flat if the pictures aren't interesting enough to captivate young children. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. They have a sweetness about them that remind me a bit of the Precious Moments drawings with more saturated colors and both adults and children rather than just little children. I particularly like how with many of the pictures you get the impression that you're sort of peeking in on the scene. It adds interest and I think will help to draw the attention of little ones as they listen to the story. There's enough going on in the pictures that little ones, like my toddler who spends a lot of time pondering illustrations will find things to talk about.
The story is sweet. It follows the Gospel accounts of Our Lord's life and is retold in simple language that make it easy for little ones to understand. Ideally, I'd say this book is best suited to toddlers and preschoolers, but I also think my kindergarten religous education students would enjoy listening to this book. The story takes a very gentle approach with regards to Our Lord's Passion.
Overall, I think this is a nice book for introducing the youngest children to the life of Jesus. The illustrations are sweet and the story is perfectly geared to little ones. It's a good book for toddlers and preschoolers.