When you teach your children about the saints, do you present them as models of unattainable perfection? The saints are wonderful role models for children, but we must be sure to emphasize that the saints are people, and that they are models of faith because of the struggles they endured and overcame.

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Pauline Books and Media recently released two captivating books about Irish saints that are perfect read-alouds for children age 4 through 8. These books highlight St. Patrick's commitment to serving and teaching about the one true God, and St. Brigid's gift of generosity to others even though she had little for herself.

Patrick and the Fire: A Legend about Saint Patrick portrays the saint as a charismatic and courageous man who is undaunted by the threat of imprisonment after he steals the king's thunder and lights a glorious bonfire on the same day as a pagan festival. Patrick seizes the opportunity to teach the king about God, using the shamrock to illustrate the idea of the Trinity.

A young St. Brigid internalizes the Gospel story of the boy who gave up his own meal so Jesus could feed the multitudes in Brigid and the Butter. The young slave girl admired the boy in that Gospel story, but wavered when she had only a small dish of butter for her own meal and a stranger arrived at the door requesting food.

These books drive home the lesson that saints were ordinary people who chose to live in extraordinary ways.

Cute illustrations complement the stories, and each book contains a prayer and a 2-page biography of the saint. These 25-page stories will make excellent classroom books or bedtime read-alouds.

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I received free review copies of these books from Pauline Books & Media in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS