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Posted September 24, 2010
I recently had the pleasure of reading Twenty Tales of Irish Saints by Alice Curtayne. This book is a lovely collection of legends about some of Irelands saints.
I found all of the tales to be well written and quite delightful. My nine year old daughter has been enjoying reading about Ireland's saints. She's used to reading books about saints that are a bit more dry, so she was surprised at the lighter tone of this book. Of course, just because this book is fun doesn't mean your child won't be learning about the saints. Children who read these stories will still learn what makes these twenty saints so special and how they chose to serve our Lord.
This book is best suited to an older child who will happily read a book that isn't illustrated. There are many little illustrations worked into the capital letters that are "illuminated" throughout the book, but there are no full page illustrations found in the book. The lack of illustrations does not detract from the book in my opinion, but I know such things are important to some people when they are looking for a book for their child.
I found the author's storytelling to be very engaging. A child who is interested in reading about saints and Ireland will be sure to delight in reading this book. I liked that my child was able to learn a bit about her Irish heritage while reading this book. I believe the original intended audience of this book was Irish children based on the fact that the author makes many references to regions of Ireland and local customs that she references the reader already knowing about. In those instances, a reader who is not native to the emerald isle may feel like they're out of the loop. I suppose when it comes to references to specific regions, it might not be a bad idea to have a map of Ireland so your child could plot out where in Ireland each saint lived.
Overall, it's a nice book that is sure to captivate and enthrall many young minds.
I was provided with a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher, Sophia Institute Press, in exchange for my honest review.