Board Book Story of Saint Eleazar of Anzersk

I’m so happy to announce that Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups is now available for pre-order! Illustrated by my wonderful friend and board-book partner Kristina Tartara, this is the second in what’s becoming a series of saint stories for the littlest believers. Saint Ia Rides a Leaf was our first. We’re excited that these books are finding a home at SVS Press!

Saint Eleazar was a monk who lived in 17th-century Russia. He began monastic life at Solovetsky Monastery, where he was tonsured by igumen Saint Irenarchus. Saint Eleazar was a gifted wood carver, and you can still see his work in the monastery church today.

Solovetsky Monastery stands on its namesake island, which is part of the Solovki archipelago in the White Sea, in northern Russia. But after a time, Saint Eleazar asked the igumen’s blessing to travel to nearby Anzersk Island, to live alone and pray. The igumen granted his blessing, and Eleazar set off.

Anzersk Island in the 17th century was uninhabited, covered in forest, and surrounded by water. There were no towns with shops and no farms to provide food for Eleazar. How would he feed himself? How could he stay alive alone on the island?

Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups is the simple and lovely story of how the saint answered that question. It’s a story about praying to God and using your gifts. In a way, it’s a story about stewardship, a reminder of the miracles we are sometimes blessed to offer one another.

You will love the illustrations. Once again, Kristina has brought the characters and setting lovingly to life, including some animal friends who might have watched Saint Eleazar as he prayed and worked on Anzersk Island. I never get tired of working with her. I love seeing the life and color and depth of my story grow and blossom as she creates the pictures. In children’s books, the pictures are almost more important than the words.

Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups is available for pre-order from SVSPress HERE. It will release this spring, and thereafter will be available from SVSPress, the Ancient Faith Store, and Amazon.

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