All art © Christopher Tupa/Tan Books
I have read a few children’s books that deal with anger, but The Monks Make Amends by Sylvia Dorham, illustrated by Christopher Tupa, has been my favorite so far. My little guy often has big feelings, so when I saw this book on sale last month, I threw it in my online cart and was grateful that I did. Little H. is not quite old enough for this book, having just turned two, but he soon will be and I can see it being a big help for him.
The Monks Make Amends paints a realistic scene that anyone who has been in a quarrel could immediately recognize. Feelings are hurt, backs are turned, arguing ensues. I like that the author only obliquely refers to what the problem was, as that is not the important part. What really matters is how the monks are treating each other and what is to be done to rectify the situation. The wise Father Abbot helps to bring peace back to the monastery through prayer, counsel, confession and adoration. Not a bad plan for any argument! He helps the monks remember to be humble, follow Jesus’ example, and helps to lead them toward forgiving each other. It does all of this through simple rhyme- “Father Abbot taps his chin. ‘You can be angry, just don’t sin.’”
The illustrations in The Monks Make Amends are lively and animated. You can really tell the feelings behind the expressions and postures of all of the monks. The layout and perspectives are well done, and sharp eyes will find a fun little squirrel or two on most pages. And all of the monks have this little tonsure ring around their heads which is pretty darn cute!
If you have a kiddo or two who squabble, this might be the book for you. Find it today at your local Catholic bookstore or over at Tan Books!
Author: Sylvia Dorham
Illustrator: Christopher Tupa
My Suggested Age Range: 3-7 years