In the world of Christian children's literature, few authors have captured the hearts of both young and old as masterfully as Tomie dePaola. His stories and illustrations are a treasure trove of faith and whimsy that have become beloved classics in countless households. De Paola's unique ability to blend storytelling with the Christian faith is what sets him apart as an author and illustrator. He has an extraordinary gift for taking the saints and presenting them in a way that is accessible and engaging for young readers.
I was so sad to hear of his death in 2020 but recently learned that Ignatius Press had taken his illustrations and compiled them into a new book. "Through the Year With Tomie dePaola," is a delightful compilation of his illustrations and short passages, guiding you through the Liturgical Year. The Liturgical Year is broken down by month, featuring every special day such as feast days for saints or special events in Jesus' life. The book gives a very easy way to incorporate the Liturgical Year in your home.
A few of my other favorites of Tomie dePaola:
"Brother Francis of Assisi": This beloved tale introduces readers to the St. Francis of Assisi, a man whose life was radically changed by Christ and who embraced a life of poverty and a love of nature and his fellow man.
"The Clown of God": In this heartwarming story, readers follow the journey of a young juggler named Giovanni who finds his true purpose in life through the gift of selfless love. It's a poignant reminder of the power of using our talents to bring joy to others.
"The Legend of the Poinsettia": This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child.
"Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland": Through the life story of St. Patrick, dePaola invites readers to explore the importance of faith, perseverance, and forgiveness. It's a wonderful introduction to the life of this beloved saint.