I'm sure I'll be posting a lot here about the books that my kids and I are reading, so consider this a "first" of many literature reviews to come!
Yesterday, I visited the Carmelite Chapel at one of our local malls (yeah, you read that correctly) for mass and stopped in the gift shop to pick up a visor clip after I inadvertently left ours in another car. Whenever I'm in such a shop, I can't help but poke around in the books section-- specifically, I like to look at the children's books. I ended up purchasing a couple of Lives of Saints books.
I can already hear the groans.
Another book about the saints?! How many can you possibly have? Aren't they all the same holy roller drivel with dated images where all the girls look like porcelain dolls and all the guys look like gladiators?
So I thought. But the answer is apparently 'no.'
I stumbled upon a series by Aquinas Kids (love 'em already...)
These are the two books I picked out for the girls. The first thing you may notice is that the features of these faces are remarkably beautiful-- and DIFFERENT. Michael Adams' illustration work is simply gorgeous. I could gush all day. I mean, look at his depiction of Mary:
Each book features sixteen saints and a cost of only $1.50 each, I'm pretty sure the buyer comes out the winner. Big time.
The mini biographies are not as strikingly beautiful as the images, but they are nonetheless very well-written and I don't mind reading them-- which is more than I can say for some other saint books. And while there are other collections that I think rival this one in illustration and perhaps surpass it in text (Ruth Sanderson's "Saints: Lives and Illuminations" comes springing to mind), the portable 5.5" x 7.5" size makes it very easy to tuck in a diaper bag or let the kids bring along in the stroller. THAT'S a huge plus.
To top it all off, my girls are simply enchanted with them. Even now, they are carrying them around the apartment. S has latched on to Saint Lucy in particular and E loves Saint Kateri. These are already a "favorite" book for mass and I cannot recommend them enough.
Other titles in the series: