January
1st- Solemnity of Our Lady 
Mary the Mother of God – Tomie dePaola 
6th-Epiphany 
The Last Straw – Fredrick Thury 
The Little Drummer Boy – Ezra Jack Keats 


February 
1st – St Brigid 
Brigid’s Cloak – Bryce Milligan 
10th – St Scholastica 
The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica 
11th – St Caedomon 
Caedmon’s Song – Ruth Ashby 
13th – St Modomnoc 
The Saint and his Bees – Dessi Jackson 
14th – St Valentine 
Saint Valentine – Robert Sabuda 

March

5th – St Kieren

St Ciaran The Tale of a Saint of Ireland

St Ciaran of Saigir was a hermit who lived in the 6th Century and was the first Irish born Saint. It is said he had a wonderful influence on wild animals and he traveled far from Ireland. Gentle text and lovely oil illustrations. So little is known of St Kieren that I’m uncertain how accurate this book is, though as I’ve a brother with this name I was particularly excited to find this book.. 

17th – St Patrick

Patrick: Saint of Ireland – Joyce Denham

A new purchase, on the life of St Patrick from his captivity through to his ministry.  Includes his confrontation with King Laogharie, his teaching of the Trinity, and the miracle of the deer. Beautiful illustrations, longer text for the older child.  5 Star!

* Thanks to Jen for the recommendation

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland – Tomie de Paola

Absolutely love Tomie de Paoloa’s depiction of the life of St Patrick. The main events of his life and ministry are covered, including some legends. 5 Star!

 

19th – St Joseph

Father and Son – Geraldine McCaughrean

Absolutely a favourite! Illustrations are warm and inviting. Text creates a sense of wonder.  “How can I teach him his words and letters: he who strung the alphabet together..”  St Joseph was given a huge job, to be the foster father of Jesus, how could he begin to parent The Son of God and yet, humbly, simply he did.  4.5 Star

Jen has a few more recommendations for St Joseph

Song of the Swallows

A story about the swallows returning for Spring to the San Juan mission in Capistrano on the Feast of St Joseph.  The text is long so more for the over 6 crowd, soft illustrations. Catholic Mosaic suggests reading this on the Feast of St Joseph.

 

Fear Not, Joseph – Julie Stiegemeyer

Illustrates how St Joseph was obedient to the will of God, how often an angel appeared and told him to, ‘Fear Not’, from the Annunciation to the Flight into Egypt.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. However I skim several parts when reading to my children, some make me ‘itchy,’ some simply irritate me.

Caveats- when Mary tells Joseph she is to bear a child (they are not yet married) Joseph’s doubts and thoughts are spelt out quite clearly, I heavily censor those two pages, not necessary for children to focus on, and the Birth, Mary gives birth in pain, she was sinless therefore would not have been in pain!! (Catholic worldview) and the presence of woman attending the Birth (no mention of this in any of the Gospels).  What to rate?? without the caveats this would be a 5 Star and with censoring still can be, but with those only a 3 Star.

April

cath mega apr 1

16th – St Bernadette 
Bernadette: The Little Girl From Lourdes
One day in Lourdes during winter a beautiful lady, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, appears to an ordinary girl, Bernadette. At the grotto where she appears Bernadette discovers a spring from which flows miraculous healing water. 

‘Meaty’ and accurate with lovely watercolour illustrations.This is a long picture book divided into small ‘chapters,’ easily readable in a day. One of the Life of a Saint series which really are the best saints series we have seen for younger children.

st george dragon hodges

23rd – St George 
Saint George and the Dragon – Margaret Hodges 

A ‘Golden Legend’ adapted from Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, in which the ‘Red Cross Knight’ slays a dreadful dragon that has been terrorizing the countryside for years, bringing peace and joy back to the land. It’s text is long with beautiful illustrations, well written and interesting but its fairy tale flavour as an introduction for St George is a little disappointing.

 

The Saint Who Fought the Dragon: The Story of Saint George – Cornelia Mary Bilinsky

Saint George and the Dragon – Jim Forest

May 

John Marie Vianney: The Holy Cure of Ars –  Sophie de Mullenheim

John Vianney, from a devout family who attended underground Masses heard a calling to the priesthood as a boy during the French Revolution. He struggled with his studies but persevered, once ordained he was assigned to the poor parish of Ars where the Faith of the people was weak.  He poured himself into saving souls, and it was through his prayers that many souls returned to God.  In the last years of his life he was spending seventeen hours a day in the confessional, John Marie Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests. Our favourite.

September
28th – St Wencelslas
Good King Wenceslas- John M Neale
The Eternal Christmas Story- Geraldine McCaughrean

October
1st St Therese

Therese: The Little Flower Of Lisieux

Therese was raised in a loving and devout family, and at a young age she felt called to the religious life. Therese had a sensitive nature and tremendous confidence in the love of God. She wrote a spiritual classic, the Story of a Soul which guides us to the ‘Little Way’ to God.

 

St Therese A First Book for Little Catholics – Father GaleTherese
The Little Flower of Lisieux – Sioux Berger
2nd – Feast of the Guardian Angels
Angels Everywhere – Tomie dePaola
Angel of God What’s your name? – Rebecca McNall
My Guardian Dear-Susan Andrews Brindle 
4th – St Francis
Saint Francis – Brian Wildsmith
Francis the Poor Man of Assisi – Tomie De Paola 

Francis the Poor Man of Assisi – Juliette Levivier

The story opens with Francis’ birth and youth, following his military service, imprisonment and illness he encounters God.  Francis then gives up everything including the clothes on his back to follow Our Lady of Poverty and humility. We meet St Clare, see Francis love for lepers, watch him deal with the wolf of Gubbio and create the first nativity scene. Our second favourite.

 

Saint Francis and the Nativity – Myrna Strasser 
Francis The Poor Man of Assisi – Juliette Levivier
6th – St Kendreas
Under the Grapevine – Chrissi Hart

November
2nd –
All Souls Day

Father Phillip Tells a Ghost Story:A story of Divine Mercy-Susan Andrews Brindle
The Spirit of Tio Fernando-Janice Levy
3rd – St Martin de Porres
Saint Martin De Porres and the Mice- Eva K Betz
11th- November St Martin Tours
The Life of St Martin – Verena Smith

December
6th – St Nicholas
Country Angel Christmas-Tomie dePaola
Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend -Julie Stiegemeyer
The Baker’s Dozen A Saint Nicholas Tale – Aaron Shepherd
The Legend of Saint Nicholas- Demi
13th- Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Lady of Guadalupe-Tomie De Paola
The Legend of the Poinsettia – Tomie De Paola
Our Lady of Guadalupe – Carmen T Bernier – Grand

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Board

The Saving Name of God – Jean Ann Sharpe

The Saving Name of God the Son introduces the very small child to the titles of Christ. Using text taken directly from the Bible, illustrated with the gorgeous and stunning art of Fra Angelico, the life of our Lord is depicted from conception to the promise of his final return. It’s rare to find a board book that immerses the small child in rich text and art. Highly recommend.

 

Baby Come to Church! – Virginia Esquinaldo

This board book explores sensory experiences a very young child will have during the Mass. Daddy genuflecting, mummy praying, music playing, helpful to keep your little one engaged during the Holy Sacrifice. I find it a struggle to find Mass books for this age group that meet my ‘bar’, so was pleased to find this one. Basic text, sweet illustrations.

 

The Bible for Little Ones – Maite Roche

From Creation to Pentecost, the main stories from the Old and New Testaments: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Moses and David, Mary and Joseph, Jesus and his apostles are lovingly told and illustrated for very young children. To be honest I haven’t seen this in person but purchased (and shipped direct) for our niece after scouring illustrations and text on Amazon in many books. I note the author also has another, The Gospel for Little Ones – Maite Roche

 



Monasticism
Brother Joseph: The Painter of Icons- Fr Augustine DeNoble
Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove- Jan Cheripko
The Monk Who Grew Prayer – Claire Brandenburg
The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane – CM Millen
Brother Juniper – Diane Gibfried

Mass/Sacraments
The Weight of a Mass – Josephine Nobisso
A Peek into My Church – Wendy Goody & Veronica Kelly (have edited parts)
Jesus Welcome You to the Mass – Angela M Burrin
The Mass Book for Children- Rosemarie Gortler & Donna Piscitelli
The Most Beautiful Thing in the World – Susan Andrews Brindle
First Holy Communion – Father Demetrius Manousos (For Little Catholics)

Miscellaneous
Old Testament Rhymes – Robert Hugh Benson
An Alphabet of Saints – Robert Hugh Benson
A Child’s Rule of Life – Robert Hugh Benson
If Jesus Came to My House – Joan Gale Thomas
Angel in the Waters – Regina Doman
Take it to the Queen – Josephine Nobisso
The Princess and the Kiss – Jennie Bishop
The Squire and the Scroll – Jennie Bishop
Sister Anne’s Hands – Marybeth Lorbiecki
Little Acts of Grace – Rosemarie Gortler & Donna Piscitelli

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