Thursday 9 May 2024

Saint Nicholas The Man Who Became the Patron Saint of Children - Melissa Cleeman - 15-Minute Books Book 617

Saint Nicholas: The Man Who Became the Patron Saint of Children
15-Minute Books 620
Melissa Cleeman 
Learning Island
eISBN 9781310873478
eISBN 9781311668349

Saint Nicholas The Man Who Became the Patron Saint of Children - Melissa Cleeman - 15-Minute Books Book 617

This is the fifth volume I have read in this series but the first by this author. The first was excellent, the second was meh, the third one was the middle and is a pretty good read, This one was back to excellent. I picked this up to read after reading Mary MacKillop: Australia's First Saint, from the same author in the same series. I enjoyed that first one so much, I picked up the eight volumes in the series about saints. Prior to reading this I have read a number of volumes about Saint Nicholas. 

Melissa Cleeman has 9 distinct works according to Goodreads. Seven of them are from this series but this is the only one about saints, and 2 that are co-written with Jeannie Meekins who wrote the rest of the books in this series that are about Saints. This is part of a series tagged as 15-Minute Books, which are geared to get children reading for 15 minutes a day. 

The description of this volume is:

“Have you ever wondered where the legend of Santa Claus or Father Christmas came from? Maybe you’ve heard of the Saint Nicholas who is a patron saint and known as the Guardian of Children. He is one of the most popular and celebrated saints throughout the world.

Many years ago there really was a man named Nicholas who became a saint. In this story, we discover how a rich orphan became one of the most generous and widely-accepted saints today.

Find out more about this man who became the patron saint of children and sailors, and inspired Christmas in this 15-Minute biography.

Ages 8 and up.”

The website is now defunct, but Learning Island when I checked the internet archive machine appears to have been a site with contributors from around the world. The oldest archived versions show books available for download in PDF format and exercises to go with the books. Later iterations of the site show link to purchase cheap eBook and later even print editions of the works. There are some numbered even into the1000’s. With the most recent being from early 2013 and numbered at 1014. But I only find 163 when I search Kindle. The description of the Series is:

“ believes in the value of children practicing reading for 15 minutes every day. Our 15-Minute Books give children lots of fun, exciting choices to read, from classic stories, to mysteries, to books of knowledge. Many books are appropriate for hi-lo readers. Open the world of reading to a child by having them read for 15 minutes a day.”

The sections in this booklet are:

A Saint to Many
Early Life and Becoming Bishop Nicholas
Nicholas and the Storm
Nicholas and the Poor Man's Daughters
Nicholas and the Innocent Men
Nicholas, Rescuer of Children
And the Stories Continue
Nicholas’ Death, Mysterious Healing Powers and the Case of the Bone Snatchers
Saint Nicholas Throughout the World
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
Saint Nicholas Today

This little booklet provided a wide range of information. It is a good introduction to the Saint or as a source of additional information about him. It is a quick read. One warning to Catholic parents, the about the author section right after the text starts with the fact that she lives with her boyfriend.  

Based on my other readings there are a couple of possibilities for the saint that translated to modern day Santa Claus, This volume looks at Nicholas or Myra. I enjoyed this book. I have picked up a number in the series and will continue to read and review them. This was a good little introduction and for the intended audience would be a good read. But even in my 50’s I appreciated the book. I can recommend this book as a starting point for exploration of Saint Nicholas, the man and the legends around his life, with the parental warning above. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books in the 15-Minute Books Series about Saints:

Joan of Arc: The Girl Who Fought For France - Jeannie Meekins

Mary MacKillop: Australia's First Saint - Jeannie Meekins

Saint Francis of Assisi: The Patron Saint of Animals - Jeannie Meekins

Saint George: Dragon Slayer - Jeannie Meekins

Saint Patrick Ireland Beloved Saint - Jeannie Meekins

Saint Valentine: The Man Who Became the Patron Saint of Love - Jeannie Meekins

The Lives of Seven Saints - Jeannie Meekins

Saint Nicholas The Man Who Became the Patron Saint of Children - Melissa Cleeman - 15-Minute Books Book 617

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