From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-Forty brief biographies, opulently illustrated. The pencil-and-oil portraits are done in the manner of Renaissance art, with deep but bright colors, stylized frames, and the saints' faces delineated by halos. Saints, almost by definition, lived lives of sacrifice, and many were tortured or killed because of their faith. Sanderson includes those aspects in the text, but does not engage in extended or gory descriptions. All of the figures included are from the first millennium, almost half are women, they come from both the Western and Eastern Orthodox traditions, and lived in a variety of countries. The collection includes well-known saints, such as Patrick, Nicholas, and Christopher, as well as the less familiar. No sources are listed, so the line between legend and fact is somewhat fuzzy. However, for those interested in sharing inspiring stories of Christian devotion with children, this volume is well designed, attractive, and easy to use.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-6. This compilation of saints almost feels like a throwback to another era. Forty saints are introduced, two to a spread. Each saint gets a lovely oil-and-pencil portrait that takes up a third of the page and an overview of his or her life. Although not sensationalized, the descriptions clearly relate how many of these people were martyred. In the profile of Saint Barbara, the text notes, "When a shepherd betrayed her to her father, she was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death. Her father struck her down with his own sword." In Saint Cecilia's case, Sanderson writes that "she was arrested, tortured and beheaded." This sentence is rather jauntily followed by the statement, "Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and singers." Some names are familiar (Saint Christopher is included, although he has been removed from some official lists of saints), but many are not, perhaps because Sanderson has chosen saints from the Eastern Orthodox tradition as well as from the Roman Catholic Church. The lives of saints continue to be a source of inspiration for many children; buy this handsome book where there will be an audience. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved