Saint Spotting, Or How to Read a Church

  • Type: Books
  • By: Chris Raschka
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780802855213
  • Check Catalog

A picture book primer on Catholic Christian iconography

Author and illustrator Chris Raschka recalls his childhood memories of visiting big, ornate churches accompanied by his mother, who taught him to recognize the saints and appreciate their stories.  The young Raschka learned many things from his visits, including the reason St. Peter is shown holding a key, the symbols of the Four Evangelists, and why St. Catherine is often depicted with a wheel.

The book itself is tall and narrow, reflecting the verticality of the churches Raschka visited.  “If the ceiling is very high,” says the author, “you may feel very small.”  The book’s watercolor illustrations feature creamy yellows and luminous blues that add warmth to subject matter that can, at times, be quite brutal.  (Raschka says that his favorite was always St. Sebastian, who was martyred by being shot through with arrows.)

This is another cool picture book by an always-surprising author.