Jesse Tree in Picture Books

With Advent fast approaching my thoughts are turning toward preparations and celebrations.  It’s been several years since we’ve celebrated with a Jesse Tree, but after reading Ellie’s Jesse Tree in Picture Books I’ve felt re-inspired. Can’t promise we’ll manage making and hanging symbols but readings I can easily manage. Pulling our books off the shelves I realised we have a serious lack of Bible picture books, a situation which I immediately addressed by purchasing a couple of new books for St Nicholas presents;) (included in this list).

By no means is this a ‘definitive’ list, Sara’s list and Ellie’s retain that honour, as I know Jenn’s will too (list coming). This list is really for me to keep myself accountable to my reading plans. There are various Jesse Tree lists and I was confused and unsure of which Bible figure to read on what day, in the end I decided to just ‘run with’ Ellie’s patriarch’s for now. The books pictured above and marked with an * are really the ‘cream of the crop’, the Lion’s Story Bible books and My Bible Friends are ‘gap filler’s’ from my childhood. The My Bible Friends is a ten book set published by the Seventh Day Adventists, the pictures and text are rather ‘nice’, I’m fond of them as they are part of my childhood memories. The Lion’s Bible Stories aren’t particularly exciting but they are solid. I have plans to build our library in this area, ‘one day’.

There may well be other Jesse Tree picture book lists I’m unaware of please do tell me about them or any must have books you feel I should have.  I also have no idea of what to read over the O Antiphon days, would love suggestions.


Day 1: The Story of Creation
*The Story of the Creation – Jane Ray (are a few pages of frontal nudity)
In the Beginning – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)


Day 2: Adam and Eve and the Fall
Adam and Eve – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)


Day 3: Noah 
*Noah’s Ark – Jerry Pinkney
*Noah’s Ark – Jane Ray
*Noah’s Ark – Peter Spier (wordless)
Noah and the Great Flood – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 4: The Tower of Babel
*The Tower of Babel – William Wiesner

Day 5: The Promise to Abraham
Abraham, Friend of God – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 6: Isaac and Abraham
Isaac Finds a Wife – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)


Day 7: Jacob and Esau
Jacob & Esau – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 8: Joseph
*Joseph – Brian Wildsmith
Joseph the Dream Teller – Catherine Storr (People of the Bible series)
Joseph’s New Coat – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Joseph and His Brothers – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Joseph the Dreamer – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)
Joseph and the King of Egypt – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 9 & 10: Moses
*Exodus – Brian Wildsmith
*Moses: The Long Road to Freedom – Anne Keay Beneduce, Illust- Gennady Spirin
Baby Moses – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
The Princess and the Baby – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 11: Ruth
Ruth’s New Family – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 12: Samuel
Samuel the Little Priest – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
God Speaks to Samuel – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 13: David and Goliath
David and Goliath – Barbara Shook Hazen (Golden Book)
David, The Youngest Boy – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
A King for Israel – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)
A King for Israel – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)
David and Goliath – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)
King David – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 14: Esther
Esther the Brave Queen – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Queen Esther Saves Her People – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 15: Solomon
Solomon’s Golden Temple – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 16: Elijah
Elijah and the Time of No Rain – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
A Room and A Boy – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Elijah asks for Bread – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)


Day 17: Jonah
**The Book of Jonah – Peter Spier
*The Hard to Swallow Tale of Jonah and the Whale – Joyce Denham
Jonah Runs Away – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)

Day 18: King Belshazzar and the Writing on the Wall
Catholic Children’s Bible in Colour


Day 19: Daniel in the Lion’s Den
The Trials of Daniel – Catherine Storr (People of the Bible series)
Daniel and His Friends – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Daniel and the Lions – Etta B Degering (My Bible Friends Series)
Daniel in the Lion’s Den – Penny Frank (The Lion Story Bible)


Day 20: The Annunciation and the Visitation
*Mary the Mother of Jesus – Tomie dePaola

Days 21-27: The O Antiphons
Day 21: O Wisdom
Day 22:O Lord
Day 23: O Flower
Day 24: O Key
Day 25: O Radiant Dawn
Day 26: O King
Day 27: O Emmanuel


Day 28: The Nativity (Christmas Eve)
*The Story of Christmas – Jane Ray
*The Nativity – Francesca Crespi
More Nativity books

2 Responses

  1. What a wonderful idea! We love the Jesse Tree tradition, but it's never occurred to me to use picture books and picture Bible stories to enhance it. Thanks so much for posting this idea and list 🙂

  2. Theresa
    Can't take the credit for the idea, that goes to Sara, Ellie and Jenn. But glad you liked the list, hoping to see your list when done;)

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