Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review – Celebrating Saints and Seasons, by Jeanne Hunt


Late last year, as I began to plan out some faith-based activities for this year, I was given the opportunity to read and review this book.

This book is divided into the 12 months of the year, beginning with January (to me it would have made more sense to begin with Advent, as does the liturgical year, so it would not begin in the middle of Christmas; however, I do understand that in many ways perhaps beginning in January was just easier).  There is an additional section at the end for “Special Occasions Throughout the Year”, such as birthdays, deaths, etc.

Each month is divided into sections: major celebrations, saints and heroes, and prayers.  Each individual activity is marked with (F) or (S) to indicate whether it is appropriate for Family or School use.

I expected this book to have activities appropriate for the various seasons, saint’s days, feasts, and other celebrations of the Church.  I did not realize that a good portion of each month’s section would relate to things like Groundhog Day, April Fool’s Day, First Moon Landing, National Ice Cream Day; or that there would be items like a Leap Year Day Prayer, and a Tomato Psalm.  I agree with making the ordinary extraordinary and finding God in simple everyday occasions, but finding these sections seemingly on par with sections about holy days and canonized saints was a bit disconcerting and distracting.  Some of the “prayers”, apparently written by the author, for a variety of occasions were a bit… cheesy (in my opinion).

The subtitle of this book is, “Hundreds of Activities for Catholic Children”.  Many of the suggested ideas for saints’ days and special feasts are great - for example, making Hawaiian leis on May 10th, in honor of Saint Damien of Molokai, a missionary to lepers in Hawaii.  An idea for the 12 days of Christmas is to have each family member give one another a small gift each evening, and then something long-desired on the evening of Epiphany.  More of this type of idea would have made this a great resource book for Catholic families, but as it is, one might be better off searching the internet for ideas, or simply getting a book about saints and using the stories to come up with extension activities.

Thank you to the Catholic Company for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book to review.  All opinions stated are solely mine.

1 comment:

  1. Now that my oldest is 3 1/2 I have started putting more emphasis on prayer, Jesus, and Saints. I had never heard of this book and will go get a copy! Thanks for the review!!


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