Ever since seeing episode 1 of Brother Francis, Let's Pray, my five year old daughter has been hooked on Brother Francis. For what seemed like an eternity, she asked to watch the DVD every day and then moved on to asking when we could get the next Brother Francis DVD. I can only blame myself for tipping her off that there was another episode in the works. I had heard about a preview of the new episode and I had her watch it. After seeing just the preview she began to ask daily if we could get it.
Pure delight is how I would sum up Ellie's reaction when I informed on one day after school that a review copy of the new Brother Francis had arrived at our house. As soon as she walked in the door she ran to get the DVD player ready. I'm happy to report that Ellie felt the new episode was well worth the wait. Since that eventful day when the new DVD arrived at our house, Brother Francis The Bread of Life has played in our house somewhere between three and five times a week.
As you can probably guess from the title of this episode, Brother Francis teaches young children about the Eucharist. The Bread of Life is packed with plenty of stories and songs to entertain and catechize children. Children will learn Blessed Imelda Lambertini who is the patroness of First Communicants. The story of the Last Supper is presented, along with a rather amusing story about a grape who decides he's going to cut himself off from the vine despite being warned that he needs the vine to live. The grape story is a hit with not only my younger daughter but also my nine and a half year old. The songs "What More Can He Give" and "I am the Bread of Life" are both very beautiful and catchy.
I think this video is great for teaching young children about the Eucharist. In fact, I played several scenes from this DVD for my kindergarten religious education class last week when I presented a chapter on the Mass. The children really enjoyed watching the DVD and some of them even asked if we were going to watch Brother Francis again when they came to class today. I'd say Brother Francis is very well received by five and six year old children.
I would strongly recommend this DVD for children who are preparing for First Holy Communion. In a religious education classroom, this DVD is no doubt a half hour well spent. There's just something about Brother Francis that makes learning the faith fun.
As a mother and a catechist, I highly recommend the Brother Francis series of DVDs. They're fun, they're a great vehicle for teaching children to understand and appreciate their Catholic faith, and they're a treat for the eyes. The animation is fun a bubbly. Some portions are a CGI animation that reminds me of the Backyardigans, and other portions are your standard two dimensional animation.
If I had to say anything negative about this episode, I'd have to say that I didn't like that Brother Francis was jumping on a trampoline while eating an apple. Am I being picky? Maybe. All I know is I cringed as I watched Brother Francis bounce up and down while taking a bite from an apple. I hope in future episodes Brother Francis will not do anything that could lead to choking. Yes, I know he's an animated character, but I worry that his example will lead to a child thinking that he or she can eat an apple while playing on the trampoline, too.
Just like the first episode of Brother Francis, The Bread of Life has downloadable activity pages that you can print from the Brother Francis website. I really like this thoughtful feature. It's a great way to help children remember what they learned about from this episode.
In all, I'd say this DVD was well done and gets two thumbs up from me and my little Brother Francis fan. We're already looking forward to the next episode in this series where Brother Francis will teach us about the Rosary.
To learn more about Brother Francis, The Bread of Life, visit Brother Francis Online. I was provided with a complimentary review copy of this DVD from Herald Entertainment in exchange for my honest review.