Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review: Saints and Their Stories

I'm a sucker for children's books so when I saw Saints and Their Stories available for review from The Catholic Company, I knew I had to review it.  When I read the product description I noticed that the book is geared to children between the ages of 7-10.  My older daughter is almost nine so I figured I'd hand the book off to her and see what she thought of it.  She likes to read about saints and has a few other saint books in which she has been known to lose herself.  While reading through the book, Madeline kept excitedly coming to me and showing me random illustrations or telling me about a new favorite saint, or just sharing an interesting tid bit that she picked up in a story.  In the first half hour that she spent with the book she read about three or four saints and happily buzzed about each one.

So what's so exciting about this hardcover book? For one, it has gorgeous color illustrations and lots of 'em.  If the book had nothing but illustrations it would be a good book--the illustrations are that beautiful.  But there's more to this book than beautiful and brightly colored illustrations.

For each of the 18 saints there is a story that ranges from about four to six pages of text.  That text is separated by multiple full color illustrations that bring the story to life and capture the imagination.  The stories offer a biography of the saint and in many cases the young reader is introduced to a tale or legend that is associated with that particular saint.  One thing I really appreciated about this book is it did more than just tell the story of the saint.  I particularly liked that this book tells the young reader what the saint is the patron of (my pal St. Anthony and his amazing abilities to help scatterbrains like me find things is mentioned) and also tells them what symbols are often associated with each saint and why.  The feast days for most of the saints are also included in the stories as well.

After I had read through the book my mind was racing with all the ways this book could be used.  For one, it's a great way to introduce your children to the saints.  The targeted age range of 7 to 10 is spot on if you're looking for a book that can be read independently.  The book should not be much of a challenge for kids who read on a 2nd-3rd grade level.  If I had to compare the reading level to a series of books, I'd say it's comparable to a Magic Tree House book in terms of difficulty.  Because each saint story is short, a child who maybe isn't all that into reading about saints could pick this up and not feel daunted.  A child like my daughter who does like to read about the saints could pick up this book and happily read about several saints in a short period of time.  Back to the books other uses.  Because of the way the stories are written, this book makes for a wonderful read aloud story book.  And thanks to all the beautiful illustrations, this book will be sure to hold the interest of small children.  The stories can be read in under five minutes so little ones will not grow tired of the story before it is over.  These stories are the perfect length for sharing in a religious education class.  I'll be using this book with my kindergarten class this year.  My younger daughter enjoyed the saint stories I read her from this book, so I'd say that's a pretty good indicator that her peers will like it as well.  If you are living the liturgical year at home this book could be used to celebrate the feast days of the saints.

Overall, this book is a lovely introduction to the saints that far exceeded my expectations.  You can't go wrong in adding this book to your child's library.  This book is suitable for gift giving and would be a lovely gift idea for a baptism, first penance or first communion.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company.  Visit The Catholic Company for more information on Saints and Their Stories and be sure to check out their great selection of Mary Statues while you're there.

While looking at the publisher's website I discovered they have a preview of the book available.


  1. Thank you, Karen, for the lovely review! I've posted a link on our facebook page at

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Pauline Books & Media. It's always a pleasure to review your children's books.


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