The Molly McBride series of picture books by Jean Schoonover-Egolf are a delightful addition to the world of Catholic children’s literature, combining the realities of life as a little girl with the promotion of vocations to the religious life.
In Molly McBride and the Purple Habit, five-year-old Molly loves to wear the purple habit her mother made her so that she could look like the members of her favorite religious order: The Children of Mary Sisters. For her big sister Terry’s first communion, her parents want her to wear a fancy dress, but she wants nothing to do with it. All she wants to wear is her favorite purple outfit. When it’s time to leave and Molly still hasn’t changed, she ends up getting her wish. As it turns out, the Children of Mary Sisters are at the First Communion and Molly fits right in.
Molly is getting ready for Kindergarten in Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper. Molly does not want to give up her favorite purple jumper in order to wear the plaid school uniform. When she goes to orientation, she wears the purple dress since it is not officially school. Most of the other children are wearing their uniforms, however, except for a one little boy who is wearing a priest outfit. The two quickly become best friends and united in their belief that their outfits are better than a school uniform, at least until Fr. Matt arrives to talk to them. The priest has just arrived from vacation and is still in his beachwear. Fr. Matt explains that uniforms are important, but not as important as what is inside. “God knows who we are and loves us no matter what we are wearing. He sees who we really are inside, and what we are meant to be.”
In the third book in the series, Molly McBride and the Party Invitation, Molly is turning six. Her mother says she has to invite everyone in her class, but Molly does not want to invite the class bully. Fr. Matt preaches about Jesus going to a party with people nobody liked and how Jesus would talk with outcasts such as lepers and the Samaritan woman. Molly learns a valuable lesson about being kind to those who nobody wants to associate with.
You can read preview versions by clicking on the books’ titles at https://www.gracewatch.media/product-category/picture-books/
My only caveat is that if you have a homeschooled child who suffers from fear of missing out as her friends go to traditional school, you might not want to read the two school-related books. Otherwise, all three Molly McBride books are highly recommended!