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In Breathe, a new book from Paraclete Press, children are guided to understand the mysteries of Ascension and Pentecost.

How can Jesus go away, yet promise to be with us always? Can we trust someone who comes and goes so mysteriously? Bestselling author Laura Alary answers these questions and more in Breathe: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost and the Growing Time.


In the style of Alary’s popular Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter and Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas, Breathe explores the comings and goings of Jesus and the Spirit through retellings of the biblical stories of Ascension and Pentecost, interwoven with contemporary reflections from the point of view of a child. Moving beyond long ago and far away events, Breathe guides children to wonder about and watch for the presence and work of the Spirit here and now, in practices of prayer and mindfulness, and through acts of justice, generosity, and the sweet taste of kindness. In the end, the young narrator learns the Spirit that was in Jesus is in us too. We are his body now, his way of being in the world. Whenever we choose the way of love, Jesus is there. Always.

Breathe is distinctive in its format and combines narrative of biblical stories with modern reflections and observations from the perspective of a child. Breathe stands out among the very few Pentecost books on the market for children, with its combination of mindfulness and social justice, all embraced by a spacious — even universal — theology.

The gentle style of the book invites children to wonder, observe, and see for themselves the ways we are connected to Christ, to one another, and to the marvelous world of which we are part.

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Guides children to wonder about and watch for the presence and work of the Spirit here and now. #catholicmom

Laura Alary is a writer, storyteller, and religious educator. When she was a little girl she used to make her own books out of manila paper, crayons, and mucilage. These early efforts at writing eventually gave way to academic papers and theses, as she earned degrees in Classics (B.A., Dalhousie), Theology (M.Div., Knox College, University of Toronto) and New Testament (Ph.D., University of St. Michael’s College). She leads workshops on everything from storytelling to biblical interpretation, teaches the occasional university course, and works with children at a local congregation. She has also returned to her early love of creating her own books, including Is That Story True? and Mira and the Big Story. Laura lives in Toronto, Canada.

Cathrin Peterslund is an illustrator, visual artist, and cartoonist. She studied at The Animation Workshop (Denmark), and graduated with a BA in Graphic Storytelling in 2017. She now works as a freelance illustrator in Copenhagen.

Copyright 2021 Rachel McKendree for Paraclete Press
Images courtesy of Paraclete Press. All rights reserved.