Saturday, April 9, 2011

CD Reviews: Cat.Chat Productions

Before Christmas, I purchased the complete set of Cat.Chat CDs. Now that we've had them for a few months, I feel like I can give some short reviews of them.

Cat.Chat Volume 1: Mary Leads Me Closer to Jesus  - We join Papa, Josh and Hannah on the Nativity of the Blessed Version Mary. Talking about the sacrifices and sorrows of Mary helps Josh and Hannah understand more about how much they should love Jesus. Josh and Hannah's mother died years earlier of an illness. Though I was at first disturbed at the death of an important family member, they do incorporate it into this volume (and others) to remind us of the glories of Heaven and how our earthly sorrows can benefit our relationship with God.

Cat.Chat Volume 2: Jesus in My Heart (the cover shown in the link is incorrect) - In this volume, Papa, Josh, Hannah and their cousins are on a camping trip. Papa uses the opportunity (of course, being the good Catholic school teacher he is) to share how the love of Jesus changed his life. The writers are not afraid to bring big ideas to the table. The cousins' family is suffering the effects of a divorce. Though I think the point could have been made with a smaller problem, the writers are not afraid to show how Jesus can heal our hearts even from the deepest hurts.

Cat.Chat Volume 3: Amazing Angels and Super Saints - This was one of the first Cat.Chat CDs we heard and I have to admit, it's still my personal favorite. Josh and Hannah are hosting an All Saint's Day party. Friends have arrived in costume and everyone shares the stories of their saint or angel. It includes First Son's first favorite saint, St. Francis, and the ever-popular St. Michael the Archangel.

Cat.Chat Volume 4: The Mass Comes Alive - Papa is one of the leaders at a Catholic conference on the Mass. The songs are much too upbeat for Mass, but luckily they're only singing about Mass.  Though the children sometimes are silly on the CD, the writers seem to do a good job emphasizing the importance of the Mass and the glory of the Eucharist.

Cat.Chat Vol. 5: A Christmas to Remember (Amazon link) - Josh and Hannah visit their grandparents during Advent for a family gathering. Everyone shares a Christmas memory. Grandpa's memory is particularly touching - how an anonymous gift touched his life one Christmas during the Great Depression. I think this one is First Son and First Daughter's favorite Cat Chat CD, not least because they like the interaction between Moses and a "sneaky little mouse."

Cat.Chat Volume 6: An Extra Special Easter Vacation - Papa, Josh, Hannah and other family members travel to Israel for Easter. It's a powerful CD for my children as they really think about Jesus walking the Via Dolorosa. It's very weird that they would take Moses with them to the Holy Land, but I suppose it wouldn't really be Cat Chat without him. (Warning: This CD has sounds of traffic that always make me think someone is honking at me if we're listening to it in the car.)

In all the episodes, Moses the Talking Cat opens the CD and wraps things up at the end. He usually includes a few cheesy (pun intended) jokes, which my children adore and repeat, even though they're often not as humorous out of context. The songs are catchy and definitely for children but they are not unbearable for adults. Some of them are even quite good. (I personally like the one on St. Francis the best.) Each CD includes the episode, all of the songs with vocals, then all of the songs without vocals (including the theme song). The kids often ask for a different CD as soon as the episode ends, but I usually don't mind listening to the vocals again myself.

Overall, I recommend the CDs. They are entertaining, solidly Catholic with sound teaching, and the children adore them. Even Second Daughter will ask for Moses and Cat.Chat.

I received nothing in exchange for these objective reviews. I purchased the CDs myself (directly from the Cat.Chat website, where you can also listen to samples of all the CDs). You can also find them on Facebook.

You can find many of these CDs at your local Catholic bookstore or online at St. George Catholic Books and Gifts. If you decide to order from St. George, please consider putting my name in the comments box for a referral (first time customers only). You can read more about their referral program here. (If you don't know my real name, please feel free to email me. If I'm convinced you're not a stalker, I'd be happy to share it with you.)

Though Amazon does not carry all of the CDs, you should be able to find all of them as mp3 downloads. I do receive a small commission if you follow the link to Amazon and make a purchase, even if it's something else.

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