Are you an animal lover? Do you love a new perspective on stories you’ve heard and an interesting story over listed facts? This new children’s book by Ignatius and Magnificat, The Hound of the Lord, is a keeper from the start! We decided to take it one chapter every other day and really bask in this book over tea and cocoa. The story of St. Dominic, as told by his dog, Torch, had us all interested and excited to learn. This loyal pup tells the story of this well known saint starting with his mother’s dream of a hound setting the world on fire, which, spoilers, is where he got his name, Torch!
Following St. Dominic growing up, Torch tells of St. Dominic’s interests, education, and how he became the founder of a new religious order. Going to two different popes to request the right to found the order, their only request was that he first present a rule for the order to live by. The popes were so enthusiastic for the Order of Preachers, that they wanted to ensure it had a solid ground to be built upon.
Watching his master preach, teach, give up worldly goods, passionately pray, Torch is a good and loyal dog, ready to go with his master wherever he might lead. He protects St. Dominic’s path as he walked barefoot; was careful at first but then welcomes in and loves all those who St. Dominic befriends, cares for, and brings into the order.
Torch talks about how Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic in the most lovely way, giving him the rosary and the promises she made him for those who pray it. Somehow, seeing it from Torch’s point of view, was a big moment for my five and seven year olds. They were so excited to pull out their rosary’s for our decade of the day.
Asking my kids which was their favorite moments from the book, one mentioned when Torch befriended St. Francis—I highly suggest pausing here and asking kids to guess who might the man dressed in rags be. Two of mine guessed correct and were so thrilled to correctly identify the patron of Assisi!
One said he learned a lot about the importance of the rosary and why we take it seriously as a devotion. They have heard the stories of the rosary so many times, but you just never know when that lightbulb will go off! Another talked only about how much they want a dog to be friends with who is loyal and loving . . . which I totally used as a jumping point to character we all can learn from as aspire to as human friends and family. Maybe we will get a dog someday, kiddo! Until then, his stuffy has been renamed “Torch” which I couldn’t love more!
I highly, highly suggest this sweet and informational chapter book. It kept all of our attention, is packed full of great facts on St. Dominic as well as fun stories, and I bet every adult and child will learn something while reading it! I hope to see many many more of these kinds of books on the saints to enjoy with my kids in the future. Facts are wonderful, but story’s capture the heart and mind. This would be a perfect book with a little stuffed animal to give as a Christmas Gift. My five year old all the way up to my eleven year old truly enjoyed this read aloud, and we are already thinking of who else we know who might enjoy it this holiday season. Grab your copy of, The Hound of the Lord, here and snuggle up for a few fun readings with cocoa in front of the Christmas tree!