I am so excited to tell you all about this absolutely delightful new book for young readers! Josiah and Julia Go to Church: A Young Child’s Guide to Church Etiquette was written by Kelly Ramke Lardin and illustrated by Sheena Hisiro. It was just released by Conciliar Press.
The first time I saw this book was on author Melinda Johnson’s blog series Orthodox Writers & Readers and I’d been looking forward to checking it out ever since. The idea of a children’s book on church etiquette is just such a fantastic concept.
And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
Let me tell you a little about what we really loved.
First, I am *thrilled* that it is a board book. There are so many Orthodox books for older children but not many at all for infants and toddlers who tend to tear books apart. So, this is just great! Sprout can read it and I don’t have to worry about it missing pages at the end of the day. I do wish the cover was a little thicker because we’ve been toting it around for a few weeks now and it is already starting to wear and tear a bit.
Even the older kids enjoyed reading it. Ace and Lucky managed to trick Sprout into giving it up and then they sat together and read it during Liturgy. I was surprised that Ace (now 8 1/2) was interested in it but he enjoyed pointing out all the naughty things to Lucky. No surprise there, lol.
The book is excellent in helping children actually see the difference between good and bad behavior. It touches on lots of important parts of attending Liturgy that we as parents are constantly talking to our children about like how to make the sign of the cross and venerate the icons properly. It also shows how to properly light a candle, eat antidoro, and receive communion.
You can certainly tell the author is a mother! I have been raving about this book to all of my friends who run church bookstores and every one I know that has children or godchildren!
An array of Orthodox book releases promise a season of good reading for Orthodox bibliophiles. The following titles have all been published in recent months, and range from children’s literature to theology; many of the authors are clergy or lay members of the Orthodox Church in America.
Josiah and Julia love to go to church. They love to venerate the icons, light candles, and eat the blessed bread. Sometimes they behave very well—but sometimes they make mistakes. Little ones can follow Josiah and Julia through the Liturgy and learn how even the youngest child can honor God by behaving properly in church.
Kelly Lardin attends Holy Trinity Cathedral (OCA) in Chicago, and is the mother of two daughters.