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Pauline Books and Media are really on a roll with their children’s publishing line. Children’s stories can be so didactic these days. I hate opening a children’s storybook only to find the author preaching via short words and so-so pictures. I trust that God speaks to my child’s heart. I’ve learned to not try to reach in and tune their hearts to the message I want them to hear and I appreciate it when an author can let the story speak, too.
Case in point, these two books arrived in mailbox not too long ago.
Brigid and the Butter is the book I opened first as I really don’t know too much about St. Brigid and the picture of that adorable 10 year old Brigid was staring at me.
April Stott’s illustrations are sweet, not too cartoonish, but still modern.
The story, as retold by Pamela Love, is that young Brigid was a poor but happy girl who sometimes got to hear the Bishop Patrick speak. Little does she know that even a poor slave girl will have the opportunity to put into practice the corporal work of mercy Bishop Patrick speaks of. You know the story?
I didn’t. But it’s lovely as it’s told here.
Patrick and the Fire is a nice tale, too. Though it’s not my preferred book of the two.
This book was illustrated by Maggie Coburn. While the pictures are modern, they aren’t garish and I liked them just fine. This is St. Patrick with his goatherd friend, Bevan.
Patrick and the Fire covers the legend of St. Patrick challenging, in essence anyway, the Irish god Balor. It’s not a legend that I had heard before and I was eager to read it. In the end I found myself wishing that the actual story of the challenge had been brought more to the forefront. Instead, the story seemed second to narrative. I hope I’m making sense.
I know St. Brigid’s feast day has past this year, already. But March is just around the corner with it’s secular celebration of all things Irish on St. Patrick’s feast day. Both books would surely fit right inside an “Irish book basket,” but I think St. Brigid would be picked up and read more often. There just wasn’t enough “fire” in St. Patrick’s and the Fire for my taste.
Note: The publisher sent me a complimentary copy of these books with the hope that I would provide (favorable) reviews. Complimentary books don’t necessarily make good books, though. My opinions are my own.