Anna Larsen Book Reviews


by Shelley Pituch

Glory to God, An Amazing Pilgrimage, and Life in the Shed are three books in a series of The Adventures of a Little Ringtail.  The books are adapted from The Amazing Story of a Little Hedgehog, originally written in Russian by Monk Lazar.  In the first book, the characters learn a lesson about the importance of prayer and what life is like without it.  They discover how God guides and helps them by working together for the “Glory of God” in prayer.  The second book, the characters set out on a pilgrimage to an Orthodox monastery.  Along the way, they meet obstacles that could tempt them, but they are not worried.  Finally, in book three, the characters learn that good deeds and love can turn old enemies into friends.  This books series would be appropriate for preschoolers through grade 4.  The themes and lessons taught in the stories could be adapted for the multiple age levels and would be excellent for Sunday School, Homeschool, and personal home use. 

Feasts of the Orthodox Church:  an educational coloring book, covers the 12 major feasts of the Orthodox Liturgical calendar.  With each feast, there is a description and information about the feast, as well as a coloring sheet and provided lines for student responses.  Sunday school teachers and homeschool teachers are permitted to copy the sheets for non-commercial use, making it a useful resource in instruction.  This book would be perfect for Kindergarten through Grade 2.

Learn about Vestments is a book that teaches about the vestments worn by the priest and deacon.  New vocabulary words are highlighted in bold print and each article of vestments is described and information on the purpose of the vestments is provided.  Additionally, there are line drawings that are clearly labeled.  In the beginning of the book, children can color the line drawings.  As the book progresses, they can trace the designs on the vestments, and by the end of the book, they are given the opportunity to create the actual design on the vestments.  This book would be an excellent teaching resource in the Sunday School or homeschool classroom. 

My Apple Tree Book (Creative Writing for Beginners), is a book for the early writer, so would be appropriate for Kindergarten and 1st graders.  In the beginning of the book, children can practice writing letters of the alphabet and simple words.  The rest of the book provides many line drawings and a series of words (about 5-12) that are to be used to generate a sentence or a paragraph that is related to the line drawing.  This book would be perfect for the Orthodox Christian homeschool or just for home use in an Orthodox home because the line drawings contain crosses, churches, icons, and other items that indicate that the persons in the drawings are Orthodox Christians, thus, reflecting life in the Orthodox home. 

The Actor and other stories is a book of Russian short stories written by V. Nikiforov-Volgin.  The following description is taken from the back cover of the book:  “V. Nikiforov-Vogin was born in 1904 in Russia.  In 1941 he was arrested by the NKVD and executed ‘for publishing books, brochures and plays of slanderous anti-Soviet content.’  Most of Nikiforov-Vogin’s writings are about the life of simple Russian people, or about the life of the Church.  The stories in this book describe the difficult period from World War I, through the Communist Revolution, to World War II.  Although these stories are fictional, they come from the author’s own experiences of the many hardships of his time.”  In the beginning of the book, a short biography is provided for V. Nikiforov-Volgin. 

For ordering information:  www.e-junkie.com/AnnaLarsenBooks