Every little one who is growing up in the Orthodox Church needs a copy of The Story of Mary the Mother of God.

This picture book by Dorrie Papademetriou retells the story of Mary’s early life. You won’t find the story in the Bible, of course. The Bible doesn’t tell Mary’s story. But in the second century, a follower of the Apostle James wrote Mary’s story in a text we know as the Protoevangelium, the First Good News.

The Story of Mary starts with the elderly Joachim and Anna’s longing for a child. We learn of the angel that visited each of them, to tell them that their prayers would be answered. Then Mary’s birth, her life in the temple, her betrothal to Joseph.

Then comes the Annunciation. The Protoevangelium continues on. It includes Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, the birth of Jesus, the murder of Zacharius in the temple.

But those events aren’t part of the story that Papademetriou has chosen to tell. After the Annunciation, The Story of Mary concludes with these words: Throughout her life, Mary walked in the Light of God. Because of her great faith and devotion she became the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and she marveled at her son Jesus all the days of her life.

The Story of Mary is the book to read to your child on September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos. And on November 21, the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple. Again on December 9, when we celebrate the Conception of the Theotokos. And, of course, on March 25.

And any other time when your child wants to hear about the Theotokos. Which could be any day, or every day.

The story is sweetly and simply told. And although the illustrations were inspired by the mosaic icons in the Monastry of Chora in Istanbul, Turkey, they don’t look like icons. They are warm and natural, perfect for this story.

Read More

17 essential picture books for Orthodox Christian kids: If you’re looking for picture books that include stories about Orthodox Christian people and traditions, you’ll find them on this list.

Disabilities and Special Needs in the Church: Some people are uncomfortable around people with disabilities. They don’t know what to do or say. You can get some advice here, from people with disabilities, to make it easier.

Justinian and Theodora: A Love Story: St. Theodora, the wife and co-ruler with St. Justinian the Great, is one of my very favorite saints.

Buy the Books!

Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
These delightfully diverse books will give Orthodox Christian children the chance to see themselves in books. And they’ll give other children the chance to see books that feature cultural practices they may not be familiar with.

Catherine’s Pascha

Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.

Celebrate the joy of Pascha through the magic of a book: Catherine’s Pascha. Available on Amazon, Bookshop.org, and my webstore.

The Saint Nicholas Day Snow

Shoes or stockings? Horse or sleigh? Does St. Nicholas visit on December 6 or on Christmas Eve? Will a little girl’s prayer be answered? When Elizabeth has to stay at Catherine’s house, she’s worried about her grandmother, and worried that St. Nicholas won’t find her. The grownups, though, are worried about snow.

Celebrate the wonder of St. Nicholas Day through the magic of a book: The Saint Nicholas Day Snow. Available on Amazon, Bookshop.org, or my webstore.

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