Fenestrae Fidei, by Sean Fitzpatrick
2007, Hillside Education, 54 pages.
Reviewed by Ana Braga-Henebry, M.A.
I am so excited to post a review on this new coloring book! My girls and I spent a great part of the last weekend working on these beautiful pictures to color! Sean Fitzpatrick, the artist, knows very well what gets young artists to want to grab those colored pencils...
The illustrations are fairly simple for young hands and yet a more experienced artist can have a lot of fun with it. Hillside Education's site offers the suggestion of brushing th finished pictures with vegetable oil for a stained glass effect, and we did that! These were colored by me, and by daughters age 12 and 8.
Fenestrae Fidei is a companion book to Catholic Mosaic, also by Hillside Education, yet may be perfectly well used alone. For each of the illustrations, which are depicted in calendar (and liturgical) year order, there is a brief explanatory paragraph.
If you want to do it with Catholic Mosaic, a great idea would be to occupy the readers with the coloring activity while the picture book is read aloud. (Catholic Mosaic is a compendium of study/activity guides on numerous Catholic-theme picture books one can find in the library).
Fenestrae Fidei (or, in English, Windows of Faith) comes in a spiral bound format, with a large black & white drawing on each page. There are lots of them, as Catholic Mosaic author Cay Gibson lists four picture books per month. The drawings are all in a stylized iconic style, varying somewhat in intensity of detail. And they are just beautiful!
I would have liked to see a heavier stock paper in the pages, but what we have been doing is scanning and printing copies for home use. This allows for several children, for instance, to work on the same pictures at any time. Hillside Publications allows for coying within one family, which is of course a wonderful advantage.
Fenestrae Fidei is a very Catholic book, reflecting events of the life of Our Lord, the tradition of our Church and the holiness of the saints.
Families today are fortunate to have a product such as this!
Available from Hillside Education.