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Our family is on whatever unknown day of social distancing. Last week was Spring Break, but this week has seen us eyeball deep in our new (and hopefully temporary) normal. While my seven year old has had the opportunity to learn some fantastic new ways of staying in touch with his friends and teacher, we have also found ourselves using technology a lot more than I ever imagined. As the stress level has been a little elevated the past two weeks, I found myself turning quickly to the tried-and-true stress relief of my faith.
As a bibliophile, I pride myself in not teaching my children to read books via a screen. And, this has extended to teaching my children about the Faith. I try to give them tangible books, with the ability to curl up into a corner on the couch and tuck deeply into the spine of their latest and greatest reads.
However, when I was sent a link to Our Lady’s Wardrobe, I knew just from the cover that I would have to introduce them to the lovely book, and the contents contained within, from my computer. The publisher, Sophia Institute Press, asked me to evaluate whether or not this would make a good addition to an Easter basket.
Written by Catholic author, Anthony DeStefano and illustrated by Juliana Kolesova, Our Lady’s Wardrobe entices readers of all ages into the story by following the image of a young Blessed Virgin.
Inside the pages, the story comes to life through stunning illustrations, vibrant use of colors, and language meant to capture imagination of all its readers. The language is simple for the younger readers, and written with the use of rhymes to continue to grasp the attention of even the smallest listeners. As a mother, the imagery of all the pictures caught my breath, and I was pleased to see many variations of approved apparitions of our Blessed Mother featured within.
The author features many well-known apparitions of Our Lady in Our Lady’s Wardrobe. Yet, he also highlights some lesser-known apparitions. There is just enough information for each apparition that the readers are drawn into further discussion at the close of the book.
As a parent, I don’t ever think I had considered the wardrobe of Our Lady, but my four year old continuously gasped in excitement as she saw the various images and the dresses imagined and illustrated by the artist. My seven year old, drawn into the stories, asked questions about the apparitions which seemed to be more captivating to his imagination. And, perhaps drawing upon the excitement of his siblings, the youngest kept eagerly pointing and babbling at the bright pictures on the screen.