Author: Kristina Lahr
Illustrator: Virginia de la Lastra
Publisher: Luminare Press
Age Range: 3 – 7
Kristina Lahr reportedly received inspiration for this story while sitting in Adoration, gazing at the Monstrance. It is a sweet story that children will enjoy – the story of a forgotten candle who sits at the back of a cupboard, waiting.
The book has a classic style about it – the illustrations bring a timeless quality to the story with an old-style candle store and lady shoppers who wear elegant feathers in their hats. Children will relate to the pomp and self-importance of the most elegant and decorated candles. Meanwhile, the ordinary candles shoved together in the lower shelves murmur and poke fun at the more ostentatious candles who are being bought ahead of them.
The darkness of the cupboard in which the little candle sits is well portrayed – and I particularly loved the countdown which builds excitement and anticipation. Will the little candle be bought? Oh No! For a moment we think the little candle has missed out – but luckily a kindly old priest notices the candle sitting there alone and decides to take that one too.
This book is Catholic in orientation. The little candle is placed on the altar and lit for Mass. Kristina Lahr cleverly uses words spoken by the priest to help the little candle understand what is happening, and what an important occasion it is. The final words spoken by little candle are moving:
“Be patient and don’t despair. You too will light the greatest of feasts. It is a feast celebrating Our Lord Jesus, a feast for kings, queens and servants alike. All are invited and the music and singing will never end”
This charming story book can be used to help young children understand the significance of the Mass. They will love the story of the little candle, and they will learn that the Mass is a celebration and a feast. There is surprising depth to the way that the meaning of the Mass as a feast is revealed to the little candle (and young readers). This would be a great story book for younger children who will soon be learning about the Eucharist.
Author, Kristina Lahr.
I found the ending sad – the little candle is melting away. I recall my daughter wept when I read her a story about a friendly snowflake that melted, so beware if your child is super sensitive. On the other hand, the story is uplifting and has a great message about being patient and fulfilling God’s purpose for you.
There is a handy review here from National Catholic Register about Kristina Lahr’s inspiration for this story.
You can buy the book HERE
Homeschool and Teacher Ideas
Pair with Molly McBride and The night Before My First Communion. These stories are best used to orient young children towards the reverence and meaning of Mass and the Eucharist.
Some craft and explanations for why Catholics use candles: https://www.mercyhome.org/blog/sunday-mass/why-are-prayer-candles-used-in-the-catholic-church/