Happy Book Review Wednesday!
Happy Feast Day of St. Teresa of the Andes. I love this picture of her. Read her story because she is inspiring!
Growing up in Chile, she always loved St. Therese of Lisieux and she took the name St. Teresa in her honor, when she became a nun at 19 years old. HERE is her story!
The thing that strikes me the most is, it's lovely for young people to know that you don't have to have lived a long time or be old in order to be Saintly. We need our young people to know this.
I hope your HOLY WEEK is going well. Now onto the book review.
One of the most beautiful things about being a writer is that you can take any given person, historical or fictional, and you can give them whatever personality or life that you want them to have.
Growing up, we all knew Simon of Cyrene as the man who helped carry Jesus' cross to Calvary. In the stories I've read or heard through The Gospels, it never sounded like it was something he wanted to do... like he was just a random person chosen by the guards. I had never heard that he was an egg merchant. And to be honest, I never even contemplated what he must have been thinking. Did he know that the man who's cross he carried was Jesus, his Lord and Savior? What did he think afterwards? You have to wonder what was going through his mind.
The book is called Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg, by Terri DeGezelle. Before I go into the review, I want to draw your attention to the Illustrator, Gabhor Utomo. He really brings the Simon to life, for me. If you want to see more of his illustrations, click on his name, above. I've provided the link to his website.
Like many Jewish people of the time period, Simon had heard of Jesus. So when he left his home in the countryside to go into the city to sell his eggs, I'm sure he never thought he would play a pivotal roll in the Passion of Our Lord. The soldiers selected Simon, at random, to carry Jesus' cross. I love the way that Ms. DeGezelle colorfully and in detail expresses how hard this was for Simon "the road to Calvary was long, and splinters from the wooden beam dug painfully into Simon's shoulder." This is such a great relatable phrase for children. Simon stayed on and interacted with John and Mary (our Blessed Mother), and listened to the stories the apostles told. He was there to witness that Jesus had intact risen from the dead.
The moment Simon met Jesus, his life changed. As he left, he picked up his eggs and returned home to his family, to tell them all about Jesus, and discovered his eggs were no longer white. He knew it was a gift from Jesus. The last page of the story tells the meaning of the colors of the eggs. I love that part. It gives a parent the tools to speak about Jesus as we color our eggs.
I could not be more excited that this lovely book moves us away from The Easter Bunny and gives us such great tools for enjoying Easter in the right way, in our little Domestic Churches. Thank you Ms. DeGezelle for such an imaginative and relevant book to share with my son!
Pauline Books and Media provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. By now you all know that I always seem to love their books. All must-haves for every Catholic home!
I hope you enjoyed this review.
Hugs & Blessings,