HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their History and Meaning
Author: Amy Welborn
Illustrator: Marina Seoane
Publisher: Loyola Press, 2018
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 6 – 12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Welborn, Amy. Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their History and Meaning (published in 2018 by Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657). For centuries people have learned about the Catholic faith through paintings, sculptures, objects, and gestures. These images are intended to convey deep messages to those who wish to learn about and understand them. Award-winning children’s author Amy Welborn has created a fascinating sourcebook on the signs and symbols of the Catholic faith, which are divided into seven categories, with exquisite illustrations throughout. The sections are God, the Nativity of Jesus, the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, Mary, the Saints, the Old Testament Story of God’s People, In Church, At Home, and In the Sacraments. Do you know what a trefoil and a triquata are? Why are palms used to symbolize the Passion of Christ? How do a rainbow and a dove represent an Old Testament event?
Welborn, who is also the author of Loyola Kids Book of Saints, Loyola Kids Book of Heroes, Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories, and more than twenty other books for Catholic children, teens, and adults, discusses each image, from the sign of the fish to the Stations of the Cross, from the palm branch to Our Lady of Guadalupe, with a brief, child-friendly explanation coupled with a more detailed description on the opposite page. Some of the signs and symbols are drawn from the Bible, while others come from later traditions. As you can imagine, there are several references to Catholic theology, such as Peter as the first Pope, the role of Mary, the prayers of the saints, and the bread and wine becoming the actual body and blood of Christ, with which Protestants will not agree. But Catholics and those interested in learning more about Catholicism will find it instructive. Did you know that, “Every altar in a Catholic church must have relics of a saint embedded into the altar stone”?