Alexis Dallara-Marsh evaluates a coloring book that can bring all families closer to Christ through learning the stories of the saints.
I am thankful to the author, Anna Maria Mendell, and illustrator, Mary MacArthur, for creating The Day-by-Day Coloring Book of Saints, an adaptable resource that can bring all families closer to Christ through learning the stories of His dear friends, the saints. From a quick Google search, I found that the author received her M.St. in Early Modern Literature from Oxford University and is managing editor for the Sophia Institute for Teachers, which offers instructional plans for children's learning in grades K - 8. The illustrator graduated from The University of St. Thomas, Houston and the Glassell School of Art, having studied Theology, Life Drawing, English and Painting.
As a 36-year-old Catholic mom, even I have learned so much just reading through a few of the July passages of this very special book. In July, the book discusses the origins of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as well as a few saints who died martyrs in the early ages after Christ's death. There are so many lessons that apply to our lives as Christians today. One of these saints was St. Camillus de Lellis, who sacrificed his life to care for the sick, reminding me of our present time and the sacrifices made by others during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The illustrations are true to the characters of the saints described, basic enough for my young children to easily color, yet detailed enough to capture the accompanying passage. I have been enjoying the one-page lengths of the accompanying text, as it is just enough to intrigue me to want to go and learn more later, without being overwhelming or intimidating. The vocabulary used is clear and informative.
I think The Day-by-Day Coloring Book of Saints would be a great text for homeschooling as well as for supplemental instruction for children of all ages. Younger children could concentrate on describing what they see in the pictures, whereas older ones could take notes on readings and compare and contrast saints throughout history.
Hopefully the creators continue to make even more products in the future. One thought might be producing shorter texts with more specific themes, for example, maybe providing a book that is Advent or Lent themed, or that on the apparitions of Mary. All in all, I am so happy to have this comprehensive reference that I can repeatedly study with my children for years to come.
Copyright 2020 Alexis Dallara-Marsh
Image: Ketut Subiyanto (2020), Pexels
About the Author
Dr. Alexis Dallara-Marsh is a board-certified neurologist who practices in Bergen County, NJ. She is a wife to her best friend, Akeem, and a mother of two little ones on Earth, plus two others in Heaven above.