Author: Cathy Gilmore
Illustrator: Jean Schoonover-Egolf
Published: Perpertual Light Publishing
Age Range: 3 – 7
This bright little picture book is the latest release from The Virtue Heroes series. In it, children are intorduced to the story of John the Baptist and Jesus. Beginning with the Visitation, Mary and her cousin Elizabeth embrace and express their Joy at seeing each other and share their news. John the Baptist leaps for Joy inside of Elizabeth’s tummy. Meanwhile, a friendly little bee, Devoree, becomes the narrator of this story.
Devoree describes how John the Baptist is taken by his parents, Elizabeth and Zachariah, out into the wilderness to be safe from the mean King Herod. The family camps out and makes the most of what they have. Elizabeth gathers camel hair and fashions a cape for young John to wear. They eat honey and John discovers that locusts dipped in honey are DE-LICIOUS! I love how Cathy Gilmore takes the small details of what we know about John the Baptist and weaves them into her story. She even includes baby John’s bath time in the local creek, where he LOVES having water poured over his head.
John the Baptist grows in strength, courage and enthusiasm. The story ends as John leaps for joy again one day when he spies the Holy Family returning from Egypt. The virtue that John the Baptist possesses is ‘inspiration’ – he energizes the faith and virtues in others.
The final pages of this brightly illustrated story book include an explanation of the virtue of “inspiration”, plus a page devoted to the story of St Peter Chanel, who is said to have inpsired others to follow Christ during his missionary journeys. I highly recommend this very Catholic series of books, and I believe you and your children will thoroughly enjoy this joyous imagining of the boyhood experiences of John the Baptist.
You can purchase Buzzin’ About Cousins HERE.
Find my reviews of other books in the series HERE