H is for Holy

H is for Holy cover

Okay, friends. You’re really important to me, so I would never peddle or promote anything I didn’t find to be genuinely exciting on a personal level. So, that in mind, I want to tell you about a new childrens’ book that shut. my. house. down.

Nika Boyd’s “H is for Holy: An Orthodox Christian Alphabet” takes the old “A is for Apple” reader format, and makes it Orthodox. You’ll see “B is for Bread” with a close-up illustration of the Prosphora, simple and tactile explanations of the bread, and a question: “Can you think of a Bible story with bread?” Each letter highlights a recognizable liturgical item, and connects it to a child’s experience.

The best part for me? My autistic son, my son whose attention is unreliable, my son who only sits still for a very select number of favorite books, was mesmerized. How could he not be?

  • The alphabet format provides an inner timer, a built-in expectation for the rhythm and length of our sit-still time.
  • All the items are familiar to a child who’s been in the church. He loved pointing out and labeling what he recognized.
  • The illustrations are realistic, but fun and vibrant (provided by Heather Hayward).
  • It allows him to engage at various levels, as his sensory tolerance allows in the moment. He can simply label the items and move on, or he can listen to and answer the questions.

And this wasn’t even written specifically for special needs children. My other kids loved it. Nora loved identifying familiar liturgical items like William did, and Sammy loved the colors, the letters, and the sweet inclusion of a little Corgi in the characters’ home life. (“Dod!”)

“H is for Holy” shows a deep, meaningful understanding of our Orthodox life by presenting it in its wonderful vibrancy. We’ve decided it won’t just serve as a bookshelf staple for us–we plan to get it for all our Orthodox baby gifts in the future.

You’re going to love it: http://store.ancientfaith.com/h-is-for-holy

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