A clumsy scullery boy finds solace in a place known only to him and his God in this charming story of the ninth-century saint, Euphrosynos, commonly known in Orthodox tradition as “The Cook.” Author Catherine K. Contopoulos easily links the feelings of contemporary children with the feelings of this legendary character’a self-conscious, awkward boy who leaves his loving family and the taunts of his neighbors to find a niche in the kitchen of a monastic community. Readers will hurt when neighbors make fun of a confused Euphrosynos at the local cheese shop, laugh and then tremble when an austere monk slips upon Euphrosynos’ newly mopped floor, and find an oasis of peace as Euphrosynos prays in his solitary cave. They also will learn lessons of perseverance, humility, and dependence upon God as they are naturally drawn into the story. Contopoulos achieves these goals with language that a child will understand.
Her marvelous account is illustrated by Chrissanth Greene-Gross’ soft, yet vibrant, realistic images that will engage children and warm their souls. SVS Press is pleased to welcome this new author and illustrator in this volume, which is most appropriate for children ages six to ten.