Josh and Ruth have found a mysterious satchel full of ancient scrolls. They turn to their old, wise friend, Ananias, to learn all about the old city of Damascus, the story of St Paul and how he unexpectedly came to be a follower of Jesus.
Eleanor Gormally’s wonderful story is illuminated by the original drawings of the first-and second-year students of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Kings Inn Street, Dublin. This one-of-a-kind endeavour brings together the students’ artistic interpretations of the story, resulting in a unique and beautiful publication for children, by children.
Eleanor Gormally lives in County Limerick with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Little Flower Bulb, The Little One Asks and Bernadette and the Lady of Lourdes, all published by Veritas.
Here is the story of Paul and how his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road changed his life, retold in simple enough form, by author Eleanor Gormally, but illustrated with drawings by the 1st and 2nd Year students of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Kings Inn Street in Dublin. Their lively naivety is just right. A lovely book, and one to match the authors earlier titles Little Lucys Family, a story about adoption; and Christmas with Auntie Mary.
- The Irish Catholic, November 2009
Eleanor Gormallys wonderful story is illuminated by the original drawings of the first-and second year students of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Dublin. This one-of-a-kind endeavour brings together the students artistic interpretations of the story, resulting in a unique and beautiful publication for children, by children. The story is based on two children, Josh and Ruth, who have found a mysterious satchel full of ancient scrolls. They turn to their old, wise friend, Ananias, to learn all about the old city of Damascus, the story of St Paul and how he unexpectedly came to be a follower of Jesus. This book is an excellent resource for any primary school teacher or facilitator of childrens groups who would like a different perspective on the biblical story of St Paul.
- Intercom, March 2010
Based on the biblical story of St Paul and his road to Damascus moment , Ms Eleanor Gormallys story takes a highly original route. Two young children, josh and Ruth, call upon the wise Ananias with a satchel they have found full of mysterious scrolls. Recognising these as being the original anti-Jesus propaganda touted by Saul, Ananias explains the events of his conversion to St Paul in a way that both the children ad todays young reader could understand.
While the text of the tale is interesting and original, it is the illustrations that make this book really special. No less than twenty-five individual artists have worked to produce a book that in its own way is a work of art. All by pupils of the Mount Carmel secondary school in Dublin, each illustration displays its creators unique style and vision.
- Books Ireland, May 2010
Eleanor Gormally lives in Limerick and her book, written for younger children, is appealingly illustrated by the first and second-year students of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Kings Inn St, Dublin.
The story is set in the well-known city of Damascus many years after the conversion of St Paul. Two youngsters, finding some very old scrolls, take them to their elderly friend Ananias, and so unfolds the story of how Saul became Paul.
Along the way the young reader will get a sense of the sights and smells, the noise and bustle of ancient city life and of the sumptuous caravan trails transporting exotic goods and spices from place to place. Sauls persecution of Christians and his eventual realisation that Jesus is calling him to a new way of being is told in a way that is easily grasped by the very young mind. The children in the story are allowed to consider the difficulties and dangers of being a follower of Jesus.
An unusual aspect of this short story is realised through the various illustrative styles of the students engaged in the artwork: the visual interpretation of the main characters is different on every page with the colour of their clothing being the recognisable constant. Throughout, the young reader will notice how biblical landscapes and households looked at the time of St Paul.
Altogether, this is an unstuffy account of an important event in the life of one of our great saints. It is entirely free from the sanctimoniousness that often characterises the lives of the saints in books for children. The message to be absorbed here is that strange and wonderful things can happen to us when we trust in God.
- Kate Barrance, Reality Magazine, July/August 2010
- In the ancient city of Damascus, there once lived
a man called Ananias. Everything about his native
city filled him with joy! He loved its narrow
winding streets and its high Roman pillars.
He loved the noise and chatter that came from
the boats on the great river Barada. He loved
the busy markets with their lively stalls. But more
than anything Ananias loved God.
One warm, summers day, Josh and Ruth
stood at his door. Josh, tall and serious,
clutched an old leather satchel close to
his chest. Ruth, small and rather giddy,
raised little clouds of dust around her
feet as she hopped about.
A smile lit up Ananiass lined face
when he saw them. Shalom! he said,
greeting his young friends warmly. My
goodness, Ruth, how you have grown!
She beamed with delight as he patted
her curly head.
Then the old man noticed the satchel in
Joshs arms. He noticed pieces of faded
parchment poking out through the top,
and he began to remember But it
couldnt be the same satchel, he thought