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SAINTS by Ruth Sanderson


Lives and Illuminations

by Ruth Sanderson & illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8028-5220-3
Publisher: Eerdmans

Forty stories of Christian saints from the first millennium are illustrated with appropriately gorgeous, pencil-and-oils-on-paper art. Sanderson’s (Cinderella, 2002, etc.) writing style, usually graceful, suffers a bit from the format—each saint gets one page, with illustration, so sometimes the biographies, meant to be brief, seem oddly truncated. There are no sources given, either, so the lives of these splendid and colorful characters read almost like folktales. Each image is set in a frame (the frames repeat) that sometimes evokes stained glass, or manuscript illumination, or sculpture. The saints are usually in repose, full- or half-figure, often pictured with their attributes. The twin saints, Benedict and Scholastica; the mother-and-son dyads of Augustine and Monica, Constantine and Helen; and the married saints Maud and Theodora balance the many virgin/martyrs like Catherine, Stephen, Barbara, and Dorothy. Sanderson doesn’t always say how the martyrs died (a point young people are always interested in) but she usually notes what each is patron saint of. She includes both Eastern Orthodox and Western Roman Catholic saints in her litany. Young people might be particularly drawn to Catherine, pictured with both a book and a sword, and portrayed almost as a princess on the striking cover. (index) (Collective biography. 9-12)