Saturday, October 21, 2017

"The Illuminated Catechism" Coloring Book by Tony Cook and Susan Spellman

It is HIGH time I reviewed another coloring book, don't you think?  Today I shall highlight The Illuminated Catechism, which pairs words from Martin Luther's Small Catechism with Bible verses and additional explanations by Tony Cook, devotional writing prompts, and gorgeous illustrations by Susan Spellman.  Of course, this is part of my on-going series on both my blogs about things related to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation beginning.

You know what an "illumination" is, right?  A very intricate, detailed drawing used to illustrate the Bible or other book, generally done back in the Middle Ages, but there are much older examples too.  If you want to learn more, this Wikipedia article might be helpful.  

So anyway, this coloring book takes that idea and kind of does a modern version.  The book is split into sections like the Small Catechism.  It begins with the Ten Commandments.

Each two-page spread pairs text and pictures -- the one above is for the third commandment, and in the picture above, you can see that it has the commandment, then Luther's explanation, then some more pondering, then a Bible verse.  Cut off in that picture is an area on the far left for you to write some of your own thoughts, kind of a mediational journal:

There's a huge variety of pictures, and not all of them are "church-related" at first glance.  But they all make sense with what the opposite page is talking about once you read through it.

After the Ten Commandments, we have the Apostle's Creed and an explanation thereof.

Then comes the Lord's Prayer.

I can't wait to color this illustration for the fourth petition, "Give us this day our daily bread."  Aren't those sheep cute?

This is the first picture I colored in this book.  I used colored pencils for this one, though the other pages I've colored are done with some new gel pens I got for my kids.  

After the Lord's Prayer comes a section on the Sacraments, and then this cool part on all sorts of different prayers.  They have Martin Luther's morning and evening prayers, but then space to write down some things of your own. 

There's also a page about vocation that talks about our duties as children of God.  I really want to color this illustration soon too.

And at the end, there's a section about the three main "solas" of the Reformation:  Sola Gratia (by grace alone), Sola Fide (by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (by scripture alone).  I'm hoping to post more about these another day, probably on my Soliloquy blog instead.


  1. What a neat book! And you are doing a lovely job of coloring!

    1. Thanks, MC! I really like that this one includes some journaling options.

  2. Lovely review! This looks like an amazing colouring book! :)

  3. I'm really impressed the coloring book industry is big enough to make a catechism coloring book; that's so cool! Very nice coloring by the way. :)

    1. Abby, it might help that it was published by Concordia Publishing House ;-)

      Thanks! I have a lot of fun with these. And they're a great way to hang out with my kids on a rainy day or a tired afternoon.


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