Saint Ia Rides a Leaf

Melinda Johnson
Kristina Tartara
5.5 x 7
Board book
( 13 reviews ) Write a Review

Saint Ia Rides a Leaf is a charming story from the life of Saint Ia, an Irish missionary to England in the fifth or sixth century. The town and parish of St Ives in Cornwall, England, are named for her, and she is commemorated on February 3 in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Join Saint Ia and her animal friends on an adventure to spread the Gospel!

Click here for a free download of sheet music for "Saint Ia's Song" to sing along with your kids.

Other board books by SVS Press: Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups


About the Author and Illustrator:

Melinda Johnson is an Orthodox Christian, wife, and mother. She loves writing for children and has authored several books, including the Sam and Saucer series, and Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups. 

Kristina Tartara is an Orthodox mom, children's book author, and illustrator. She has illustrated several books and also created the board books, What Do You See at Liturgy, What Can I Do at Divine Liturgy, and Saint Eleazar Fills His Cups.


13 Reviews

  • 4

    Posted by Unknown on 8th Apr 2024

    Beautifully written and illustrated. Short, sweet yet still conveys enough about the saint for young children. Love that it's a board book, sturdy.

  • 5

    Posted by Three Hierarchs Wenatchee on 6th Jul 2022

    we love Melinda Johnson's little board books!

  • 5
    The "spark" of miracles!

    Posted by Stephanie on 2nd Mar 2021

    The “spark” that sucks our little ones into falling in love with Disney Magic that usually sticks with them their entire lives isn’t just in Disney movies or books. That “spark” can be found in our church and especially in the lives of the saints. However, we don’t call them “magic”, or “sparks”, but miracles.

    This book playfully introduces the young reader to who St Ia was and the miracle that happened to her in her life. My 4-year-old said her favorite part was, “When the leaf grew!” They can quickly pick out the miracle and hold onto the belief that it’s real and can happen to them, just like they believe Disney Magic is real and can happen to them. So why not fill their minds and imagination with miracles that truly CAN happen to them and not just made-up Disney Magic?

    As a mother, I also like how this book teaches children when faced with disappointment and adversity to first turn to Christ in prayer. It is a simple book, but there are so many fun teaching opportunities that can be utilized from St Ia’s story!

  • 5
    A beautifully illustrated and written book!

    Posted by Nic Hartmann on 25th Jan 2021

    Saint Ia Rides a Leaf takes a classic story, about a saint that more people should know about, and shares it in a visually stunning and fun manner for kids! The story is easy to follow, yet is also very deep, and young children and their grown-ups will delight in this. I'm personally excited to give this book to my godson, who I know will love it.

  • 5
    Lovely and Inspiring

    Posted by Kristina Wenger on 22nd Jan 2021

    I was thrilled to find out that Melinda Johnson and Kristina Tartara were collaborating to make a board book together, and they did not disappoint! I love the lyrical wording, the engaging pictures, and the amazing story. I look forward to sharing this book with little people in my life, and am grateful for St. Ia's example of love for and trust in God.

  • 5
    St. Ia Rides a Leaf

    Posted by Desiree Chapman on 18th Jan 2021

    This book is so cute! We all love the illustrations, and the simplicity of the story for little ones. My son keeps asking to read it. We also learned about a saint we had never heard of. This is a great story for little ones and adults alike if God's mercy.

  • 5
    Darling board book!!

    Posted by Kara Zampetis on 16th Jan 2021

    What a darling little board book full of beautiful illustrations that bring the words alive about a Saint not often written about! This is a must-have board book for Orthodox children! Between Melinda Johnson's easy flow of age appropriate words paired with Kristina Tartara's illustrations that show the emotions Saint Ia went through on her journey, this book will definitely capture your little ones attention. I especially loved that Saint Ia's first reaction to her disappointment and saddness was to pray. That is such a good message to teach our young children who will face many struggles in their lives as they grow. My girls enjoyed seeing all the extra sea life friends that rallied by Saint Ia's side before and after her journey too!

  • 5
    St. Ia Rides a Leaf

    Posted by Sarah Gingrich on 10th Jan 2021

    Bringing an ancient saint's story right into the littlest of hands is beautifully achieved by Melinda Johnsont. The charming illustrations bring St. Ia's story vividly near and easily accessible to even the youngest of children. What a wonderful reminder of God's caretaking of His children, and the miraculous powers He exerts on their behalf. If you're looking for a book to cultivate a child's delight in the saints, begin here!!

  • 5
    What a wonderful Story

    Posted by Liz and Katie Calder on 8th Jan 2021

    What a magical little book. We loved this story about not giving up when faced with disappointment or obstacles!! Saint Ia learned how God can provide a way for us to overcome difficulties. My little one loved looking at the pictures as we read about Saint Ia finding a way across the water to England!