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This summer explore nature, poetry, saints with new children's books


This is the cover of "How to Be a Hero: Train with the Saints" by Julia Harrell. The book is reviewed by Regina Lordan. (CNS)

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The following books are suitable for summer reading:

"How to be a Hero: Train with the Saints" by Julia Harrell, illustrated by Chad Thompson. Pauline Kids (Boston, 2017). 176 pp., $14.95.

This summer elementary-school readers can take a timeout from preparing for the next grade or athletic event, and train to become a saint by using the virtues as a guide. Organized by mini-biographies, reflections and questions, "How to be a Hero" explores the virtuous lives of St. John Paul II, St. Josephine Bakhita and St. Charbel Makhlouf among many others. The book includes discussions on the cardinal, theological and "little" virtues, and can be read daily or weekly as a part of a summer religious curriculum. Ages 9-11.

"The Blue Hour" by Isabelle Simler. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2017). 42 pp., $19.

Rarely does a book so beautifully capture with images and prose the majesty that is God's creation of nature. "The Blue Hour" journeys through dusk when all is still and quiet. Animals of all shades of blue are cloaked in the blue shade of night as they creep through forests, climb amid trees and dive into the ocean. The illustrations are stunning, and the language is calming. The animals featured, such as the blue-tailed damselfly, indigo bunting and blue racer snake, highlight the gorgeous shades of just one color that appear in nature. Ages 4-8.

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