Story time is one of my favorite parts of the day. Every night I try to cuddle with each kiddo and read a few books before bedtime. Right now I usually read board books with Little Brother, alphabet and color books with Sister, and The Magic Tree House books with Big Brother. For the past few years I have also been adding more Orthodox children’s books to our library. (See my Top 5 Favorite Orthodox Children’s Books!)
I was beyond thrilled when I learned that Ancient Faith publishing had just released a new children’s book–H is for Holy by Nika Boyd. A book that combined two of our favorite genres (alphabet books and Orthodox books)–yes, please!
The book contains one page for each letter of the alphabet, represented by a certain item in the Orthodox faith. A is for altar, U is for holy unction, etc. The item is then explained in a few sentences, many of which contain questions that you can ask your child. Finally, each page contains a beautiful illustration of the item.
I love this book for many reasons.
There is a true Orthodox flavor about this book. It is not a generic faith-filled alphabet book that could be found in any church or place of worship. The examples are distinctively Orthodox, and as such they help teach our children key elements of our faith. Children learn of vestments, saints, and making the sign of the cross.
I love that children are challenged to think of the way the alphabet applies to things they see at church, not merely to the apples and umbrellas around them.
I brought H is for Holy along with us to church on Sunday. It became an instant magnet for the four and under population at our church (of which we have a large number!). They all crowded around and gazed at the illustrations. I even noticed a few looking from the pictures in the book to find the item in our church. They were fascinated by the illustrations and their connection to church.
My daughter loved answering the questions posed by the book. “Where do you see an icon of Jesus?” She pointed to both the picture in the book and the icon in our icon corner. When the book asked if she could make the sign of the cross, she quickly crossed herself. As we read it together, I could tell she enjoyed being a part of the book.
As I’ve said, we are in the alphabet book phase of life right now. Sister is two and a half, so we are introducing her to letters and the sounds they make. We have a good selection of alphabet books at home and often borrow some from the library, but I am really excited about having an Orthodox option now.
There are only a couple of things that I wish were different about the book. First, X is for ICXC. I honestly don’t know another option for X, but it is fairly awkward in the flow of the book. Finally, I would love for this to be a board book. Many children at this age can accidently rip or bend pages, so a board book would minimize damage.
Altogether, we are very excited about the newest addition to our Orthodox children’s library. I have been recommending the book to all of my friends, and I wanted to do the same with my wonderful blog readers!
H is for Holy (written by Nika Boyd, illustrated by Heather Hayward, published by Ancient Faith Publishing) would be a great:
-present for a godchild
-baby shower gift
-addition to your church’s library
-gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, or any other child aged 2-7
We are looking forward to many nights cuddled up on the couch reading H is for Holy.
What are your favorite Orthodox children’s books?
(Linked to Faith Filled Fridays.)