“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:14) I'd like to highlight two wonderful picture books that you will want to share with your young ones this Lent.
The first is Pictures of God: A Child's Guide to Understanding Icons, by John Kosmas Skinas.
This delightful 32-page book is a visual feast, full of early Christian images, or icons - which are also sometimes called "windows to heaven". Each two-page spread contains an icon, a devotional text related to the subject of the image, and a "Notice This" section, explaining in simple terms a unique feature about the icon. One appeal of this book is that it is perfect for families with children of different ages, since the littlest ones will be drawn to the pictures, and the older ones will be interested in the explanations given in the text (ages 4 and up).
Some of the featured icons you'll find in this beautiful book:
Christ the Pantocrator (the Holder of All Creation); Christ Walking on the Water; The Annunciation; The Hospitality of Abraham; Noah and the Ark; Guardian Angel; All Saints of America; Christ Blessing the Children.
The second picture book I'd like to recommend today is THE JESUS PRAYER AND ME, by Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, illustrated by Joanne Dallis.
Book Description: This book will help introduce children to one of Orthodox Christianity's shortest prayers. Illustrated with beautiful watercolors, it takes a child through the actions of a typical day by emphasizing the opportunities for repeating the "Jesus Prayer".
Written to reflect the spiritual reality of God's perpetual presence that children often times experience, The Jesus Prayer and Me is perfect for ages 5-8. Children encounter the Lord in simple ways. We, too, need to refresh that encounter. What better way than through the eyes and heart of a child of God and the Jesus Prayer? (read my past post about Princess Ileana and the Jesus Prayer here).
If you liked this post...
You might want to read my other Lenten posts, found here, as well as a past post highlighting these picture books by Claire Brandenburg, about monks and prayer.