- Perfect Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Joseph's Heartprint; 2nd edition (March 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978703510
- ISBN-13: 978-0978703516
- Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Alphabet of Catholic Saints Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2007
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I think it would be great for a 4 or 5 yr old. Book itself is very nice.
As librarian in a small PreK-8 Catholic school, I just added this book to our library, a wonderful addition to our nice collection of saints' books. Our second grade prepares individual saints' projects: they study, report orally to the class dressed as the saint, then go to Mass (as well as the rest of the school) on one Wednesday morning dressed as their saint. (We go weekly to Mass.) It is a big annual event. "An Alphabet of Catholic Saints" will provide great information, including costume ideas, for these children.
Here is why this book is so fabulous:
1. The alphabet letter is not just the beginning letter of the saint's known name, but also a prop of that saint. Look at the cover using "A." Saint Anne, Mary's mother, is sitting on the bar of A, teaching little Mary.
2. For each saint, there is a quatrain of verse, then at the bottom a short paragraph adding to the verse.
Example: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the namesake of one of the Catholic churches in our city. Here's the verse:
"Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
was first a wife and mother.
Then she taught kids just like you
to have love for one another."
And the paragraph: "After Elizabeth's husband died, she became Catholic and started a school for girls. She founded the Daughters of Charity and is the first American saint born in the United States."
And the use of the letter "E":
"E" is a bit taller than Elizabeth. Tacked to the long stem of the E is a sign that says--God is Love on a little chalkboard framed in wood. On the middle arm of E is a stack of books being used to Elizabeth facing the class, smiling and looking at the book in her hands. Elizabeth is dressed in black with a white collar and the E is black. On the verse page between the verse and the paragraph is a book with an apple on top.
My school is located in a complex of elementary school, then parish cathedral, then high school which initially was called Jesuit.
St. Ignatius: "As a wounded knight, Ignatius read about the Saints. Their stories led him to a strong, deep faith by which he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who teach and preach all over the world."
Ignatius' best friend was Francis Xavier: "One of the first members of the Jesuit Order, Francis Xavier was a missionary who traveled to India and Japan, and brought the faith to thousands."
Francis is sitting on a chest (travel) in front of the X. He is holding a book in his lap and a crucifixion in his hand. On the floor is a map. It's just a perfect illustration of his life and work.
Without even thinking about it, I noticed fairly soon that the book includes as many women saints as men, and not only Europeans, but also Americans, Native Americans (Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha), Latino (Martin de Porres), Chinese (Joseph Yuen), Arab (Sharbel Makhlouf), mythical (St. George), and of course Roman/early Christian (Cecilia)
Not only a must-have for Catholic libraries, but also for the individual child. What a great early teaching tool!
On the upside, it is indeed sweet to see so many examples of good Christians corresponding to each letter. You learn a wee bit with each rhyme.
I'm only giving it 4 stars because it seems like this book has so much more POTENTIAL. For example, why isn't it offered in hardcover? A gem like Catholic ABCs should have the option to be a keeper that'll last through many little hands of many big families.
Secondly, the illustrations disappointed me. And I admit this is fully a personal preference thing. But for one thing, the saints are all hanging onto the letter in some way that a child can't actually get a clear view of the letter... which kind of defeats the purpose of an ABC book. But the biggest turn-off for me was just how cartoony it was. All the saints have perfect, Hollywood-pearly white smiles. There is so much rich art out there with all the saints, it would have been nice to expose some of that to little ones. Not everything needs to be sugary sweet in children's world; it'd do them good to see some vibrant, non-Saturday-morning-cartoonish artwork every now and again.
But the book did inspire me to make my own little saint ABC book: it was fun to choose the saints that are our family's patrons or namesakes or just 'favorites'... found some lovely, RICH, pictures online to print off and glue to cardstock. I'm including little facts like feast day, patronage of ___, and so on. Bind it all up at a local office store and you have a darling homemade treasure to cherish or give as a gift.
That said, art is subjective... so take my opinion with a grain of salt!