Author: Lisa Hendey
Illustrator: Katie Broussard
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Age Range: 3 – 8
The wonderful Lisa Hendey has written another winner here. I’m a Saint in the Making is a bright and entertaining picture book that is packed full of information and ideas. Each time I read through this book, I discover something new and interesting that I didn’t notice before. Paraclete Press has produced this impressive book that is sure to be a favourite for children, teachers and parents. There are so many details to discover and discuss with children.
Firstly, I was impressed with the actual book itself – from the sturdy cardboard cover to the thick, glossy pages I can see this book surviving the school year in a busy classroom. The illustrations take the reader from familiar modern-day classrooms and gardens to historical times where the Saints reside. Illustrator Katie Broussard’s friendly wide-eyed characters actively inhabit the pages in bright water colours. Children will easily engage with the ideas in the book brought to life so cleverly by Broussard.
On first reading, I noticed small details in the illustrations such as pictures of saints on the walls of the classroom and kitchen, or the crucifix hanging from Mom’s necklace. The stained-glass windows of the church portray stories from Jesus’ life and there are saints on the wall of the nursing home. Children will love looking at these busy illustrations that provide added information about different saints – like the stake in the vegetable garden declaring this to be ‘St Isidore’s Garden.”
I found I was absorbed by the book – from a teacher’s or homeschooler’s point of view, there is SO MUCH to work with. It is surprisingly rich with theology. Lisa Hendey has made reference to Theology of the Body on page 22 as she describes how we must keep our bodies “pure and strong” to be a Saint in the making. Then there is reference to Pope Francis’s ‘Laudete Si’ as children are encouraged to ‘care for God’s creation’. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are featured in the illustration on page 18 which provides another opportunity for discussion and engagement.
You will be doing your children, grandchildren or students a favour by giving them this wonderfully Catholic picture book. It is beautifully presented, reassuringly sturdy and full to the brim with interesting details.
You can see Lisa Hendey talk about the book:
Homeschool and Teacher Ideas.
All the hard work is done! Lisa Hendey has provided two pages of questions and ideas for parents, grandparents and teachers to support and encourage their use of this book. In her beautiful, selfless way, Lisa Hendey begins this section with the words:
“Thank you for walking the ongoing path to Sainthood with the children in your care. “
Lisa provides a range of ideas for researching Saints and prompting children to think about how they can be more like our favourite Saints.