The Ultimate Liturgical Library Post: Saint Books for All Year Long

by | Oct 10, 2019 | Catholic Mom Book Review, December, Liturgical Year | 23 comments

YOU ASKED FOR IT! This is probably my most requested not-yet-posted post ever. So here it is: Every single read aloud we use on saints’ days all year long! (This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Yay!)

Read Aloud Recommendations for Each Month


Advent & Christmas Middle Length Family Read-Alouds (also great as audiobooks). I’ve included the publisher’s recommended age range, but we listen as a whole family, babies to adults.

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas: An Austin Family Story by Madeleine L’Engle  2010 (originally 1964), recommended age range 4-8, illustrated short chapter book

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson 1972, recommended age range 8-12, short chapter book 

Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren 1981, recommended age 7 and up, long picture book

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 1843, recommended age 10 and up, short chapter book

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas 1952, recommended age 7 and up, long picture book

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden 1958, recommended age range 5-8 long picture book

Advent & Christmas Picture Books

Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt 2007

The Donkey’s Dream by Barbara Helen Berger 1985

Christmas in the Manger board book by Nola Buck 1998

An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco  2004

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston 1996

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola  1997

The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story by Tomie dePaola  2017

The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola  1978

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long  2011

December 6—Saint Nicholas

The Miracle of Saint Nicholas (Note: about an Orthodox Parish called St. Nicholas, not about the saint, but a great story!) by Gloria Whelan  1997

The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard  2018

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki 2007

The Legend of Saint Nicholas (An overview of the various and more fantastical St. Nicholas legends) by Demi 2003

Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins (A more detailed version of the money through the window story) by Jim Forest 2015

December 9—Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin / December 12—Our Lady of Guadalupe

Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola  1980

Guadalupe: First Words – Primeras Palabras board book by Patty Rodriguez

Third Sunday of Advent—Gaudete Sunday / Bambinelli Sunday

Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing  by Amy Welborn  2013

December 24—Christmas Eve / Saints Adam and Eve

The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary by Maura Roan McKeegan 2014

December 25—THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas)

The Christmas Story  by The Metropolitan Museum of Art  2017

December 26—Saint Stephen, The First Martyr

Wenceslas (Note: St. Wenceslas’ feast day is actually September 28, but most people associate him with the Feast of St. Stephen) by Geraldine McCaughrean  2007


January 1—Mary, Mother of God 

Mary: The Mother of Jesus  by Tomie dePaola  1995

My First Pictures of Mary board book by Maïte Roche 2011

January 6 (or the Sunday after January 1)—Epiphany

We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin  2007


February 1—Saint Brigid of Ireland

Brigid and the Butter: A Legend about St Brigid by Pamela Love  2017

February 11—Our Lady of Lourdes

Saint Bernadette and the Miracles of Lourdes by Demi 2017

February 23—Saint Isabelle

Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson 1999


March 17—Saint Patrick

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola 1992

Patrick: Saint of Ireland by Diana Mayo 2002

March 25—The Annunciation

Mary Stories from the Bible by Charlotte Grossetête   2018

Holy Week

Margaret’s First Holy Week (The Pope’s Cat) short chapter book by Jon M. Sweeney  2019

The Queen and the Cross (About St. Helena, so also appropriate for her feast day August 18 or Exaltation of the Holy Cross September 14) by Cornelia Bilinsky 2013

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale  by Angela Elwell Hunt 1989



The Easter Story  by Brian Wildsmith  2000

Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus by Maura Roan McKeegan  2016

The Story of the Easter Robin by Dandi Daley Mackall 2010

April 23—Saint George

Saint George and the Dragon (fairytale legend St. George) by Margaret Hodges 1984

Saint George and the Dragon (Catholic legend St. George) by Jim Forest  2011


May 22—Saint Rita

Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All Brother Baseball Team  (we read this for the feast of St. Rita since she’s unofficially the patron saint of baseball) by Audrey Vernick 2012

May 30—Saint Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc  by Demi 2011 

May 31—Visitation

Take It to the Queen: A Tale of Hope by Josephine Nobisso  2008

Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale by San Souci, Robert D 2000


June 29—Saints Peter and Paul

Peter, Apostle of Jesus: The Life of a Saint  by Boris Grebille 2014


July 22—Saint Mary Magdalene 

The Miracle of the Red Egg by Elizabeth Crispina Johnson 2014


August 28—Saint Augustine

Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe  2014

Gus Finds God by Michael P. Foley 2018


September 5—Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa: The Smile of Calcutta (Life of a Saint)  by Charlotte Grossetête 2016

September 11

Fourteen Cows for America  (not a saint story, but a beautiful book for September 11th) by Carmen Agra Deedy 2009

September 29—Michaelmas

The Bearskinner: A Tale of the Brothers Grimm Hardcover by Laura Amy Schlitz  2007 (we read this for Michaelmas, because it’s about triumphing over the devil, it’s my all-time favorite picture book)


October 1—Saint Thérèse

Therese: The Little Flower of Lisieux (Life of a Saint) by Sioux Berger 2011

The Little Flower: A Parable of Saint Therese of Lisieux by Becky B. Arganbright 2015

October 2—The Holy Guardian Angels

Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman 2005

God Bless the Gargoyles by Dav Pilkey 2016

October 4—Saint Francis

Saint Francis and the Wolf by Richard Egielski 2005

Saint Francis by Brian Wildsmith  1996

Brother Sun, Sister Moon  by Katherine Paterson 2011

October 7—Our Lady of the Rosary

Let’s Pray the Rosary by Mauricette Vial-Andru 2015

Mysteries of the Rosary board book set by Catholic Sprouts 2019

Hail Mary board book/ Our Father board book by Maïte Roche 2017

October 22—Saint Pope John Paul II

The Story of Saint John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope by Fabiola Garza 2014

Lolek – The Boy Who Became Pope John Paul II by Mary Hramiec Hoffman 2008 (the two JPII books are both well-written and illustrated, but this one has more historical information)

October 31—All Hallow’s Eve

Cautionary Tales for Children Hardcover by Hilaire Belloc  2002 (originally 1907) We like these as spooky Memento Mori poems for Halloween!


A Story of St. Catherine of Alexandria by Brother Flavius C.S.C 2013 (originally 1965)

So that’s it, our entire picture book liturgical library! If you’ve read these, I’d love to know which are your family’s favorites, and if you love a saint picture book that’s not on the list, please let me know in the comments. I’m always looking to add good books to our collection. Check back in on this post, I’ll update it as we get new books!

And please pray for all of us at the Fiat Conference, and consider joining us!


  1. Jasmin Avalos

    Great list! I’ve read many of these authors and didn’t know they had written some of these book.

  2. jackie

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful list! Families at our cathedral received your book to compliment their families journey through first sacramental prep and this book list will be a great resource for them as well!

  3. Claire

    Thanks for this list! How do you store all these books? Are they all together on one shelf – your liturgical library? Or do you have Christmas books with Christmas decorations, Easter with Easter, etc and everything else mixed in?

    • Kendra

      The Advent and Christmas books go in our Christmas boxes. The rest are on one bookshelf together and they’re the only books in that room, so that there’s at least some chance of keeping them separate and me being able to find them on the day I want them!

  4. Danielle

    Roses in the Snow by Dessi Jackson is a beautiful book about St. Elizabeth of Hungary! It’s one of my girls’ favorites! And Brigid’s Cloak by Bryce Milligan is another good one on St. Brigid.

  5. Danielle

    We also love the picture books: The Squire and the Scroll and The Princess’s Kiss on purity! Not sure where in the Liturgical Season to read them, but they’re great!

    • Lizzie Ater

      Lucia Morning in Sweden for St. Lucy Day.
      I also love the parable series! There is the parable of the pumpkin (Halloween), The Pine Tree Parable (Christmas), The parable of the Lily (Easter), and the parable of the sunflower.

    • Tess

      Great list! Another good one for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi is “Francis: Poor man of Assisi” by Tomie DePaola

  6. Lisa Frecker

    Great books! A few additional ones that I love:

    An Early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola

    Father Philip Tells a Ghost Story: A Story of Divine Mercy (good for Allhallowtide)

    Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi by Tomie dePaola

  7. Marion

    Thank You Kendra for this list of books for the entire year. We have several books on St.Joan Of Arc. I love reading books on Saints and have a nice collection . My favorite are the ones on St.Bernadette. I am going to keep this list for reference.
    Happy Autumn

  8. Cat

    Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times by Meghan Bausch would be a great one for All Saints Day

    Also my biggest surprise reading this list was seeing something by Dav Pilkey…is the creator of Captain Underpants and Dogman Catholic??

    • Kendra

      Hah! I didn’t know he wrote Captain Underpants! God Bless the Gargoyles is super sweet and the rhyming text is really well done, which is hard to find!

  9. Nicole

    Another St Michael option that we really like is Sasha and the Dragon. My sister/son’s godmother found it when he formed a great attachment to St Michael after we got him a peg doll of him to keep in his room when my son was dealing with nightmares and night terrors. Also, I am totally avoiding doing more than scanning this list until after Christmas because I don’t want to kill my Christmas budget…

  10. Leigh

    Thanks for this great list!

    I was going to mention several more we like and realized they’re all by Tomie dePaola:

    The Holy Twins, for Sts. Scholastica (February 10) and Benedict (July 11)

    For Christmas, The Night of Las Posadas

    For Epiphany, The Story of the Three Wise Kings

  11. Amy A.

    My very favorite Advent book (recommended by Rosie Hill of A Blog for My Mom) is An Angel Came to Nazareth by Anthony Knott and illustrated by Maggie Kneen. It is a lovely rhyme, beautifully illustrated, and while not a “board book” it has sturdy pages that can hold up to little hands. We also love Brian Wildsmith – the only “liturgical” one we own is probably The Easter Story, but we also have Exodus and Joseph, and Google tells me that he also illustrated several Christmas books, so maybe we’ll look into those. In our house St. Nicholas usually gives a book and puts coins in your shoes, so I’m sure I’ll return to this list in a month or so when it’s time to order those books. Thank you Kendra!

    • Abigail Soejoto

      Love these. One of my all-time favorites (but maybe out of print) is St. Jerome and the Lion by Margaret Hodges.

      The Blackbird’s Nest: St. Kevin of Ireland is great for Lent – spoiler: he holds a birds nest in his hand for 40 days until the eggs hatch. And we’re big de Paola fans: others are St. Christopher, The Holy Twins (written by Kathleen Norris), and St. Francis.

  12. AnneMarie Miller

    Thank you for sharing this list! This is so helpful and amazing and I am grateful for your hard work in putting this together.

    In case anyone else likes getting these types of books from the public library, I want to mention something that I recently discovered-in our public library system, once you put a book on hold you can “suspend the hold.” I am HORRIBLE at remembering to request certain books from the library before feast days or liturgical seasons; so this feature is a game-changer for me. A week or so before the feast of St. Francis, the Tomie de Paola book showed up on the hold shelf for me-because months ago, I requested it and suspended the hold until the end of September. I never knew that this whole “suspend a hold” thing existed until last spring or so, and it’s wonderful!

  13. Viki

    Love this list! Last year for advent we read The Advent of Christmas by Matt Maher as part of our nightly advent reflection and my kids (5 and under) loved it – it’s beautifully written and illustrated.

    My favorite Christmas book is The Very Best Christmas Pageant Ever – I’ve been known to walk around at Christmas time shouting “HEY! Unto you, a child is born!” =)

  14. Emily Kennedy

    This list is phenomenal!
    I looooooove storybooks, but with my youngest turning 11 this December… it’s becoming harder and harder to convince everyone to sit down for another story!

  15. Karla Sotomayor

    Oh boy…this is a great list and I’m hoping to not go on a crazy shopping spree. I bet most of these are not at my local library. lol

    • Kendra

      Some are, especially the Tomie dePaola ones, but mostly not. I wonder if they’d get them if we all start requesting them?!

  16. Katie Wilson

    Hi Kendra! I just wanted to thank you for all of the time and energy you put into The Catholic All Year book and your blog posts. You have made liturgical living so accessible to us stay at home moms that don’t have a ton of time to research and come up with our own ideas for every feast day. Your book was presented by a friend at one of our moms’ meetings at church last year, and there were several of us that purchased the book and bounce ideas off of each other (even getting together with our kiddos during the day to celebrate feast days with little parties!).

    Three of us have created a “Liturgical Living” team to implement different ideas to our whole group to introduce different ways to celebrate saints and special days in our liturgical calendar. We are a part of a small group with three other families from our parish, and we celebrated St JPII with a campfire and smores after our meeting on his feast day- something we never would have thought of last year before reading your book!

    In short, THANK YOU for writing such an inspirational book. As a new season/month approaches I love sitting down with your book and my calendar and plan things out! We have grown so much as a family because of your ideas, and my little kids are really learning and cultivating a love of their faith.

    Praying for you, your family, and all of your continued work igniting a love for our Catholic faith is so many of us!


    • Kendra

      This is lovely to hear! Thank you and you’re welcome! 🙂

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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