I was so excited when I started this book. It is filled with adorable 40-50s era illustrations that are very similar to the Dick and Jane stories, only the text is much more complex. The story appeared to be about five young children and the adventures they encounter in their neighborhood and on weekend trips with their parents. All in all, it looked adorable.
And on one level it was completely adorable. All of the sibling / familial interaction was superb – the parents encouraged their children to be kind and obedient, while the children only spent a minimal amount of time pursuing differences of opinion. There was even much talk of God and Christian duty.
Unfortunately, the religion of These Are Our Neighbors was thoroughly Catholic. And I’m not talking about calling- random-Christians-saints Catholic. I’m talking regularly-attend-mass-and-recite-the-rosary Catholic. Several illustrations show the children praying before images of Mary and an entire chapter is even given to discussing how each human has been assigned a “beautiful angel” to watch over our soul.
I was saddened by these inclusions – while also totally understanding why a Catholic author would include them – especially since the illustration and text style were so sweet. Oh, well.
Conclusion. Not recommended unless, of course, you are Catholic or you would be willing to do some major editing.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret