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Saint Spotting
(Or How to Read a Church)
Written and illustrated by Chris Raschka

Ages 4-8
HARDCOVER; Published: 4/20/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5521-3
Price: $ 17.99
44 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 11
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A church is a weighty thing, isn’t it? Its doors are heavy and hard to budge. Its walls are made of stone. And there may be strange or even scary pictures inside. How can a small person make sense of these intimidating places? Two-time Caldecott medalist Chris Raschka shares his mother’s wonderful way of visiting a church: what they would call saint spotting. Each visit to a church becomes an adventure, a trip through the stories that have shaped centuries of faith.

Playful and poignant, this beautifully illustrated book introduces readers to saints and symbols through the warm bond between a mother and son. From bookish Paul to faithful Mary Magdalene, from musical Cecilia to animal-loving Francis, there’s a fascinating saint to discover in every corner.   

Junior Library Guild Selection 
Publishers Weekly
“This personal iconography, presented with honesty about the emotions some of the images elicit, offers a gift to families who want to know more about the renderings and stories of saints.”
“In his signature watercolors, Raschka depicts himself as a child, walking through a church with his mother as they examine the paintings of saints that line the walls. . . . Thirty-five saints are introduced along with a short description of how to identify them. Words such as martyr, nun, Christ, and Protestant are simply defined for youngsters. The colorful illustrations feature plenty of gold, and the paintings vary in size and shape, adding to their interest. A map of the inside of a church shows where each picture is located, and a legend lists the name of each corresponding saint.”
Kirkus Reviews
“A charming, light, and personal introduction to saints and their symbolism.”
School Library Journal
“Useful for those wanting to understand church imagery or as an introduction to some of the stories of the early history of Christianity. For churches with stained glass windows or other art with this type of imagery, this would make an ideal book to have in the pews or church library for young people who might find saint spotting an interesting entry point to their visit.”
The Horn Book Magazine
“Respectful, agreeably idiosyncratic, and conveys much of the mystery of a space deemed sacred.”