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BROTHER JEROME — “The Spirituality of Bread”

December 5, 2010

Brother Jerome and Angels in the Bakery

by Dominic Garramone, O.S.B.

Illustrated by Richard Bernal 

Reedy Press

$16.95 (hardback), 30 pages

The challenge of a great children’s book is that it has to appeal to kids and it has to appeal to parents and grandparents who are going to buy it. This one succeeds on the second count, but I’m afraid while the adult is reading it out loud the youngster will be squirming out of his or her lap to play with Dora the Explorer or Bob the Builder on the floor.  Older readers will like the array of baked goods, the lesson of perseverance and perhaps the comforting belief in those protective angels of Christianity.

But all of this will probably seem alien to the TV generation, who want surprise, immediate gratification and a story line that they can participate in directly. Even the full page illustrations— which are beautiful in a monochromatic way—seem as distancing as stained glass windows. My advice, take the child to a real bakery and let them experience “the place that smells most like heaven” for themselves. We can’t fault Father Dominic for writing about what he knows and loves, but no one needs to tell us he doesn’t have children.  

Buy  this book directly from amazon. Click here: Brother Jerome and the Angels in the Bakery

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