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Collecting new books about saints is Kathryn Pasker Ineck’s mission and Saintly Rhymes Through the Year by Meghan Bausch does not disappoint! 

Knowledge of random facts about saints seems to be my superpower. I often remark that I don’t know where this quirky body of knowledge comes from since I’ve never set about researching the lives of saints, but as I read Saintly Rhymes Through the Year, written and illustrated by Meghan Bausch, it occurred to me that my depth of knowledge comes from books. 

Of course. 


Saintly Rhymes


Growing up a decade before the dawn of the Internet, I had a children’s saint book at my disposal—gifted for my First Communion and promptly forgotten until it was time to choose a Confirmation saint. My mom had a lovely saint book on the family book shelf, as well: I pored over both as I began looking for my patron saint and continued to read them long after. When I left home, I pilfered Mom’s book because it had become a staple in my reference repertoire. I have since made it my mission to fill my home not just with saint books, but with saint books that present saints in a way that kids of all ages can access and relate to, instead of the usual pictorial-dictionary fare available in my childhood. 

I recently heard about Saintly Rhymes Through the Year as I read a Christmas gift guide and immediately put it on my list for my sweet goddaughter Lynette, sight unseen. When it arrived, it exceeded my expectations. Roughly 8 by 10 inches and hardcovered, it was larger than I expected. Turning to the first two-page spread of St. Agnes of Rome and St. Thomas Aquinas, I was hooked. 

The pages are depicted in a way that I can only describe as an “illuminated manuscript for today.” The rich colors, the combination of textures, photographs, and illustrations, and the presentation of the text is both eye-pleasing and respectful.  


This book does not dumb down the story of each saint. Readers are offered a book with illustrations that are more mature than the usual picture book. While cartoonish illustrations are fun and even necessary for young children, they are often over-used and have the tendency to give children the idea that the story is fantastical or make-believe. Saintly Rhymes Through the Year lends a sense of truth and gravity to the stories that children will appreciate.  

As far as the text is concerned, Saintly Rhymes Through the Year offers two, four-line stanzas per saint. The rhyme pattern is pleasing to the ear without being too “sing-songy” and the words are thoughtful and filled with information. Limited to just eight lines per saint, Bausch remarkably captures the story of each holy man and woman. 

Organized by feast day, 22 saints are in order from St. Agnes in January to St. Lucy in December. The cast of our saintly friends is varied: many saints near-and-dear to my own heart are present and accounted for—saints like Philip Neri, John Vianney, and Martin of Porres, as well as Brigid of Ireland, Margaret of Castello, and Rose of Lima. At the end of the book, readers will find a saint calendar of sorts that features each saints’ picture and feast date. 

With many littles in my life, it is of note that I thought of Lynette specifically as I read Saintly Rhymes Through the Year: at nearly four, she is the youngest of five kids and her eldest sibling is 18. Like a lot of children in Lynette’s position, she is highly critical of being treated like a “baby.” This is the perfect book for her—and anyone interested in learning more about our shared family in heaven—to enjoy! 

Ask for Saintly Rhymes Through the Year at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, OSV Kids.




Copyright 2023 Kathryn Pasker Ineck
Images: Canva