Update: If you have liked my facebook page to enter, please leave a comment on this post. I have discovered that Facebook contests have strict limits and I will have to investigate that more. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please enter the contest by leaving a comment here instead.
CatholicFamilyGifts.com offered me a free first-Communion gift to review and give away to one of my readers. Since my boys are currently interested in hidden picture books, I chose Can You Find Saints?: Introducing Your Child to Holy Men and Women. After the review, I will tell you how can enter to win this book.
Can You Find Saints? is one in a series of four books by Philip D. Gallery. The series also includes Can You Find Jesus?, Can You Find the Followers of Jesus?, and Can You Find Bible Heroes? Janet L. Harlow illustrated all four books. They combine hide-and-seek fun with learning about the faith.
The quality of some of the illustrations will surprise you
Given the cover and the genre, I was prepared for cartoon illustrations similar to the Where’s Waldo? series. Harlow provides more than that. The inside front and back covers contain a parchment-like timeline of saints, beginning with Abraham. “Search 1: Mary Lives a Life of Perfect Virtue” delighted me with its depiction of the mysteries of the Rosary and approved Marian apparitions, encircling a Renaissance Madonna and Child. A version of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam above St. Peter’s Basilica forms the background for “Search 7: Saints Who Were Popes.”
There are 13 searches in all. Each is two pages wide, with a sidebar that teaches about some of the saints and asks children to find specific portraits. Search 2, for example, teaches about angels, martyrs, and saints who lived lives of heroic virtue. Other searches focus on saints of the Bible, saints invoked in the Liturgy, and saints who founded religious orders. Your children will also learn about Justin Martyr, Paul Miki and companions, and Maximilian Kolbe, among others.
Ten of the same items are hidden in each picture, including a child in modern clothes to show “that saints aren’t just from times long ago or only for adults, but that saints’ stories should be a part of our lives, guiding and encouraging us to do what God wants us to do so that we, too, will one day be with him in heaven.”
There are some other great surprises I will let you discover yourself.
Read this book with your child for the best learning experience
Be aware that this book is not perfect. Although all the doctrinal information is correct, I did find a few errors of other types. At least twice in the sidebars, the pictures children are supposed to find don’t match the description. The section on Teresa of Avila says she “wrote books to help people find hope in God’s mercy.” Was she mixed up with St. Faustina? The picture of St. Therese and her sisters shows them in black habits, even though Carmelites wear brown. But if you consider the hundreds of saints depicted in this book, it’s not surprising that there would be some errors. If you read it with your child–as the Parents Guides at the back encourage you to do–there will be plenty of opportunities to correct any mistakes you find. You can have your child do the research on certain saints himself to see if the information is accurate. This could develop into a lesson on how to critique sources.
When I first opened the box Can You Find Saints? arrived in, my son M said, “I love that!” Since there are four books in the series and I have four boys, we might have our first Christmas gifts picked out.
How to enter the giveaway
If you’d like a chance to win Can You Find Saints?, please comment below. I’ll give you one extra entry if you retweet or share this post. You must be 18 or older, and live in the continental U.S. or Canada to enter. I will accept entries until Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen by using Random.org, and announced sometime that weekend. I will ship the book to the winner as soon as I can after that.
Please consider ordering your First Communion gifts from CatholicFamilyGifts.com, so we can do more giveaways in the future.