Catholic Faith Formation and Education
Children's Stories

Close Encounters with Mary and the Rosary (Grades 3-5)
During a classroom exercise wherein Fr. Brendan guides young students in making a rosary out of string and beads, young Alex finds he just doesn't get what the rosary is all about. Luckily for him, our helpful angel appears to clear things up. The rosary is all about major events in the life of Jesus, so the angel compares the Mysteries to a photo album. When it's made visual and Alex sees what the rosary represents, it all becomes real to him. All four mysteries are presented and explained in age-appropriate language so that young audiences will undertand that the rosary is a very special way to get in touch with Jesus and Mary.

Clay Classics: The Velveteen Rabbit (Children)
This clay-animated adaptation of beloved children's classic by Margery Williams tells the tale of favorite toy, and of its very special place in a young boy's life. At first neglected, the velveteen rabbit becomes the child's constant companion as the "nursery magic" makes it real to the boy. But then, the boy becomes ill, and out of fear that the rabbit might be contaminated, the doctor orders it destroyed with the rest of his things. It takes the magical intervention of the Nursery Fairy to show the rabbit that what is truly loved will live forever, and that even an old toy can finally achieve its greatest wish.

Clay Classics: God's Trombones (Children)
This trilogy of poems:, based on the book in which James Weldon Johnson set down the inspirational sermons of old-time black preachers, includes Will Vinton's The Creation narrated by James Earl Jones and The Prodigal Son, as well as Go Down Death.

Clay Classics: Michael the Visitor (Children)
This wonderful folktale, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's "Truths We Live By" is narrated by Stockard Channing. On his way home after trying to collect the money he is owed, Simon the shoemaker finds a man who says God is punishing him, naked and freezing behind a shrine along the road. His wife is furious when he brings another mouth to feed, instead of the money, but Simon insists on showing the stranger pity, and Michael tells them God will reward them. Styaing on as Simon's apprentice, he learns to be a fine shoemaker, but speaks rarely and smiles only three times, becoming brighter each time, as if a light shines from within him.

Clay Classics: The First Christmas and Other Stories (Children)
"The First Christmas": a reverent retelling of the Nativity story, as Mary and Joseph make a long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Brought o life with the uniquely textured realism offered by stop-motion animation, and scored with a selection of classic Christmas carols, this is holiday treat for every family. "The Chimes": A heartwarming Charles Dickens tale about Toby Veck, a poor porter who takes special joy at the sound of bells. With so much misfortune surrounding him, Toby feels he had "no business being born," but the chimes speak to him in a dream, offering a message of new hope for the new year. "A Christmas Gift" : a claymation version of the Peter, Paul, and Mary ballad "Christmas Dinner".

Clay Classics: Rip Van Winkle (children)
Based on the classic by Washington Irving, this retelling of the beloved fairytale is set in the Catskill Mountains. Rip is a lazy spinner of yarns, foolish yet generous; unfortunately, his generosity backfires when a kind gesture leads him to lose the crop he desperately needs to sell to pay his rent. But no tall tale told by Rip can equal his own experiences, as he shares a drink with some little men he meets in the mountains--and ends up sleeping it off with a 20 year nap.

Clay Classics: Martin the Cobbler (Children)
This folktale from Leo Tolstoy's story is narrated by his daughter Alexandra. Tolstoy regarded this tale as one of his best works, referring to it as "sotries that give you something for your soul, for your mind." Having lost his wife and son, and finding it hard to work because of his age, Martin feels he has nothing left to live for, and blames the Lord for this hopeless and lonely existence. When a pilgrim leaves him with an ancient holy book that needs new binding, Martin at first feels unworthy, and then he finds peace by learning to think of others beside himself.

Clay Classics: The Star Child (Children)
In this animated adaptation of Oscar Wilde's story, woodsmen Sven and Gustav watch a shooting star fall one winter night, and Gustav believes they will find gold where it lands. Instead, they find a bundle containing an infant, wrapped in a golden cloak with an amber chain around his neck, so Sven takes pity on the child and brings him home to his family. Believing that he is royal and will one day be a great leader, the townsfolk treat him with such deference that he grows arrogant and spoiled, until one day his real mother appears. She cxplains that robbers stole him long ago, and an evil spell was cast on her that turned her into a beggar woman, forcing her to travel the world in search of true beauty and love.

Clay Classics: The Little Prince (Children)
This is the story of a pilot forced down far in the desert, where he makes the acquaintance of the Little Prince. During the days it takes him to repair his engine, the pilot learnes about the Little Prince's own planet, his visits to others, and his longing for a flower that is unique in all the world. After he has tamed a fox, the Little Prince learns this simple secret from an ordinary rose: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Animated Stories from the Bible: Moses (Family)
Except for a mother's desperate plan, the strong will of an Egyptian princess, and the mighty hand of God, Israel's most honored leader may never have seen his first birthday. This story recounts the early years of Moses' life, from his dreary days of tending sheep in the Minidan desert to his privileged youth in Pharaoh's household. Watch God's hand as a tiny baby, found in the bulrushes, is reared to be a powerful Egyptian ruler, yet is called through a burning bush to deliver Israel.

Animated Stories from the Bible: David and Goliath (Family)
One of the most famous stories in the Bible comes to life in this incredible tale of courage, faith and daring. David, a young shepherd boy who likes poetry and music, sems an unlikely candidate to save his nation from ruin. But when nine-foot Goliath defies Israel and blasphemes God, young David leaps into action, earning his place as one of the greatest heroes in the Bible. This dramatic story will transport you to the battlefield as you watch God at work through a humble boy.

Animated Stories from the New Testament: John the Baptist (Family)
John the Baptist is a story of courage and conviction seen through the life of one of God's greatest prophets who gave everything to prepare the way for Lord. It begins with the blessing John's birth was to his aged parents. John grows in strength and integrity as he stands against political and spiritual adversity to preach about the coming of the Lord. Finally, John beholds and baptizes Jesus, the Lamb of God.

Animated Stories from the Bible: Esther (Family)
Would you risk your life to save the lives of your countrymen? That was the deadly dilemma confronting the young Queen Esther, one of the Bible's most courageous women. The adopted daughter of Mordecai, Esther becomes Queen of Persia because of her beauty. When Haman, chief at the king's court, learns of Esther's true birthright, he plot to murder the Jews. Queen Esther's courage and widom helps her to turn a tragedy into a victory that is celebrated today with the feast of Purim.

Animated Stories from the New Testament: The Good Samaritan (Family)
The Good Samaritan is perhaps the most touching parable that Jesus ever taught. The story begins with the lawyer's trick question, "What is the greatest commandment?" As Jesus answers with the story of the robbers, the Rabbi, the Levite and the wounded traveler become real. Imagine the traveler's emotion as his own countrymen pass by while his enemy, a Samaritan, stops to help him. Jesus teaches us to love and serve one another no matter how we differ in appearance or beliefs.

Celebrating the Seasons of Advent and Lent (Grades 3-8)
Advent: Celebrating the Season discusses the customs of Advent such as the wreath, Jesse Tree, Advent Friend, Straw for a Crib, and Advent House. Lent: Celebrating the Season explores customs, traditions, prayers, and ways we can keep Lent as we walk together on the path to Jerusalem.

Animated Stories from the Bible: Ruth (Audience not specified)
When the Israelite Naomi and her two Gentile daughters-in-law are left as widows in a foreign land, Naomi begs them to care for themselves by returning to their own people. One agrees--but Ruth declares she will never forsake Naomi and accompanies her back to Israel. Ruth's faithfulness is rewarded when Naomi's near kinsman, Boaz, falls in love and marries her. One of the greatest stories in human history is recreated for the entire family to enjoy.

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Audience Codes: PK = Preschool, EL = Elementary, JH = Junior High, HS = HighSchool, Adult

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