Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Catholic Company Book Review: Holy Crocodile

by Caroline Cory

You know I just can't resist a children's book on saints, right?

This is a nice hardcover book with large full-color illustrations for each saint story. Most of the stories are a page or two long (with an additional page for the illustration). Usually they tell of just a brief episode in a saint's life, one which involves (not surprisingly) an animal.

The illustrations are bright, in a "scribble" style (as described by the author and illustrator). They are perhaps not the my favorite style, but the children seem to love them. First Son keeps picking up this book and flipping through it. (I wouldn't let him read it until I'd finished my review because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it when I had a minute to sit down and write something. He'll be very happy when I hand it over to him.)

There is not much biographical information on any of the saints, just enough to tell the story. While I appreciate the pronunciation guides for names within the stories, it would be nice if there were a little more, perhaps an index in the back or a list with their countries or dates. Some of them might be hard to investigate more because names are recorded differently in various sources. For example, the story of St. Jerome and the Lion is here, but Jerome is "Gerasimos (Ju-RAY-zee-mos)" which may very well be more accurate than Jerome, but "Jerome" is the way I've always seen it.

Some of the stories are funny, some are exciting, some are truly miraculous. A few have morals, but many of them are just interesting stories of the saints, such as we might tell if something unusual happened to us. I've read a lot of saint stories in the past few years and there were quite a few here I had not read before, so there's a nice mix of the familiar and the new.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Holy Crocodile!. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith. (Speaking of First Communion gifts, I highly recommend Man to Mangia, the Altar Gang CD on the Eucharist. It's my favorite of the Altar Gang CDs and perfect for sacrament prep or celebration.)

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