Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall Book Giveaway: "A Gift For Matthew" Could Be A Gift for YOU

Today I'm excited to offer a review and giveaway for a very special picture book (about heavenly pictures) recently out from Ancient Faith Publishing:  A Gift for Matthew by Nick Muzekari.

"Reminders of heaven."

"Visual sermons."

"Theology in color."

Icons have been called all these things. Most of us are familiar with the Gospel verses where Jesus says,

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Iconography as God's Word in art is a "window to heaven" that helps us to experience the mystery of God and his truths in the way children do:  through our eyes and hearts.

Sacred images have long played a part in teaching Christians about their faith. In the earliest days, icons of the Church were a means of depicting Gospel events to Christians who may not have been able to read the Gospel themselves.

In A Gift for Matthew, a boy visits a peaceful monastery with his mother.  He meets the monastery cat, and learns from a kind monk, Brother Justin, what actually goes into painting - or "writing" - an icon.

As he helps the monk, Matthew discovers the symbolism behind the thin sheets of gold leaf and the egg tempera paints that are used; how prayer and layers of color are an integral part of icon painting; and that we can accomplish much with a quiet heart and patience.

I learned a lot about iconography from this book, and so will your child!  It's great for any age, but it will become a special treasure for children between the ages of 4-8 who love to draw, sketch, or paint, and for anyone who is drawn to the beauty of holy icons.

Masha Lobastov's warm and rich illustrations are a lovely accompaniment to Nick Muzekari's thoughtful and engaging story.  Kids will love the monastery cat, and enjoy the satisfying ending when Matthew receives a surprise gift from the monk!

To enter my giveaway for this unique book, A Gift For Matthew, please leave a comment at the end of this post by midnight (PST) Friday, October 2, 2015.  A winner will be chosen from a random drawing (I use list randomizer from random.org) on Saturday, October 3, 2015.

Go here to see a digital preview and trailer of A Gift For Matthew.  You can read more about icons and iconography in this article.


  1. This book looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This book looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  3. oohh...I've never seen this. Looks interesting. I'd love to get my girls intrigued about writing icons cause I think they could actually do it eventually if they wanted to...Ruth R

  4. This looks lovely. I would love to get a copy for my girls.

    1. You and your girls won the book! I know you will enjoy it! Email me your mailing address (my email/contact information is in my profile on the sidebar.)

  5. This looks lovely. I would love to get a copy for my girls.

  6. What a neat book with beautiful illustrations! Looks like a great addition to any Orthodox Christian family's library!!!

  7. This is a beautiful book and giveaway. Thank You

  8. We would love to add this book to our Orthodox book collection. Thank you for sponsoring this wonderful giveaway.

  9. A lovely book. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  10. I'm always on the lookout for new Orthodox children's books, and this one looks lovely!

  11. Looks beautiful, a good gift for a child or a church library.

  12. Looks like a wonderful book. Can't wait to read it with my godson!

  13. I don't have any young children in my home anymore, but I love children's books and I do have a 1 year old grandson. It looks beautiful.

  14. I love to read children's books. Wonderful giveaway.

  15. I am looking forward to this book as well! The illustrations look lovely!

  16. This book looks wonderful! My boys would certainly love a copy.

  17. My family is always looking to expand our little Orthodox children's library. This looks like it would be a great addition.