Looking to incorporate more specifically Catholic books into your preschoolers and kindergartners’ reading? Here are some of my favorite books for gently introducing the basics of the Catholic faith to our children.
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For an introduction to the Bible, I like to use Maite Roche’s The Beautiful Story of the Bible. It is a greatly abbreviated and shortened picture Bible which covers some of the major Old Testament stories and the major events of Jesus’ life.
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I also use The Illustrated Gospel for Children to provide a more detailed account of the Gospel story. My kids are always enthralled by the comic strip style illustrations, which are tastefully executed.
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For general Catholic faith formation with 3-4 year olds, I use Little Acts of Grace. It’s a very gentle and basic introduction to prayer and growing a relationship with God.
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For an introduction to the Ten Commandments, I use Living the 10 Commandments for Children from the same author, which has great practical examples for little children.
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For an introduction to Mary and Marian devotions, we read Just Like Mary.
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I also love reading Take It to the Queen: A Tale of Hope by Josephine Nobisso as an opening to discuss how Mary intercedes for us to God.
Our Lady’s Wardrobe is a beautiful new book that introduces little children to Mary’s love and her many appearances to her earthly children. Full review here!
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For praying the rosary with preschoolers, I find it helpful to use a book with illustrations for each mystery they can examine, and meditations to read if you can with their attention span. Praying the Rosary with Mary is by a contemporary Italian artist and works well. If you prefer more classical art like I do, then try The Rosary in Art for Children, which is written in the first person as from Mary to the child.
My three year old actually asks to pray the Stations of the Cross thanks to this simplified version. Stations of the Cross for Children has the traditional antiphon, then a short kid-friendly meditation on the station with a picture to look at.
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For more of my favorite Stations of the Cross resources check out my post Good Picture Books about Lent and Easter for Catholic Kids
We read The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith by Josephine Nobisso to introduce our children to the importance of the Mass. The baker in the story is awakened to the value of a Mass when all the goods in his shop prove to weigh less than a scrap of paper with “1 Mass” scribbled on it.
For more formal instruction about the Mass, and for learning the basic traditional Catholic prayers, we read Manners in God’s House: First Prayers and First Missal. This is a great book for a preschooler to take to church, with illustrations to help them follow along.
For a more modern Novus Ordo style Mass book, My First Interactive Mass Book is a good choice. There are a few interactive pages to help the child follow along. This second edition has a sturdy board book style construction to hold up to little hands using it every week!
For a kindergarten introduction to the saints, I like Ethel Pochocki’s Once upon a Time Saints. These are stories of less famous saints told in a fairy tale style which interests preschoolers. The lesson to be learned is that the saints were real people with real feelings, just like us.
Another good introduction to the lives of the saints, Saints for Boys: A First Book for Little Catholic Boys and Saints for Girls: A First Book for Little Catholic Girls are beautiful, hard cover books that make great gifts and are a favorite with my five year old. They include short, simple stories and illustrations of the lives of famous saints such as St. Elizabeth of Hungry and St. Dominic Savio.
For a saint book for even preschoolers, Girl Saints for Little Ones and Boy Saints for Little Ones offer wonderful, short introductions to famous saints complete with a quote, beautiful picture, and symbol for each saint. Check out my full review here!
I love the concept of Day-by-Day Coloring Book of Saints! There’s a one page story about the saint of the day and a coloring page. Great for engaging young ones! Full review here.
We also loved Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times, a creative rhyming book that features modern saints such as Maximilian Kolbe, John Paul II, Chiara Badano, and Gianna Molla.
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Honorable mention for books about saints should be given to Fr. Lovasik’s series. Picture Book of Saints and its sequels provide biographies and pictures of a large number of saints. Fr. Lovasik also has short paperback books on the rosary, Mass, and many other topics.
For general character formation, Devotional Stories for Little Folks from Catholic Heritage Curricula is wonderful. This book is a collection of short stories with lessons featuring a modern day family, the Peterson’s. There are even discussion questions included! Also check out the sequel, Devotional Stories for Little Folks Too. Cheapest to buy these directly from the publisher.
Aquinas Kids Little Books for Catholic Kids Box Set is an adorable little set of board books with simple text explaining topics like the spiritual works of mercy, corporal works of mercy, angels, and so on.
What Can I Give God?, Will You Bless Me?, and Can God See Me in the Dark? are three charming Catholic books by Neil Lozano which answer common children’s questions about God through simple retellings of parts of the Gospels. The sense of love and closeness emanating from the family in the stories is like a warm blanket wrapping around you and your child as you read.
The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted is a parable retelling that has quickly become a family favorite. Full review here! We also enjoy Anthony DeStefano’s other parable re-tellings such as The Sheep That No One Could Find.
Before I Was Me is the story of a baby discussing his purpose in life with God, who guides the little one to see his own importance.
Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman is the perfect book to nourish a love for unborn babies in your child. This is a sweet story about an unborn baby’s experience in the womb and chats with its guardian angel.