Newrome Press offers a beautiful picture book about the Theotokos, Maria the Mother of God, written by Athena Dasiou-Ioannou, and illustrated by Christina Douligeri. This book takes its readers through the earthly life of Mary, the Theotokos. Young children will love it for its beautiful illustrations, and older children will learn much from the text, scriptures, and songs incorporated into its pages.
Author Athena Dasiou-Ioannou’s experience in and love for teaching children is evident in the way that she weaves scripture and the hymns of the church into the book, seamlessly entwining them with the carefully-explained story. In this way, the familiar songs and scriptures that children hear in Church are tied in perfectly with the story, connecting the story of the Theotokos’ life with their own experiences in the Divine services. Mary’s Greek name, Maria, is used for most of the book, and many of the hymns are provided in both English and in Greek, which is beautiful for children who are learning to speak and read both languages. Some vocabulary words are gently introduced in the story line, and a handful are listed in a glossary at the back of the book.
Illustrator Christina Douligeri’s art for this book does more than merely bringing life and color to the story. The pictures are truly beautiful, and include many carefully-chosen details. Each illustration is filled with soul and emotion, while also including so many similarities to icons that it will help young readers to recognize the saints both in the book and in their icon.
This book is a great resource for families and church schools alike. It can be read many times throughout the year, as the Church year passes and we celebrate the many feasts of the Mother of God. May she pray for all of us.
Find your copy of Maria the Mother of God, here: https://www.newromepress.com/youth/SQ0255202.html
Thanks to Newrome Press for supplying us with a copy of this book so that we could write this review.
Reviewed by Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts.