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All Saints’ Day is a great opportunity for us parents to introduce our children to different saints as part of sharing our Catholic faith with them. Using children’s books about saints, we can take a peek into the lives of these holy people and talk about how we can emulate them in our own day-to-day activities.
Instead of joining commercial Halloween celebrations, we can choose to focus on the Church’s holy saints. Last year, we joined our homeschool group’s really cool All Saints Day party where the kids came as their favorite saints and all the games were saints-related too. It was such a wonderful experience for the kids and families who attended that we are doing it again this November!
So, since All Saints’ Day is coming up, we would like to share with you the list of our favorite books about saints.
1. Children’s Book of Saints by Amy Welborn
This collection of the lives of the saints is the best that we have seen so far. Each story begins with an introduction to help the children connect with the saint and ends with questions for reflection, making the reader feel that he too can be a saint in his own, simple ways. Published by the Jesuits, this book groups the saints according to their different characteristics, such as “Saints are people who love children” and “Saints are people who come from all over the world”. Each category answers the question “Who is a saint?” (Available at our bookshop! Click here.)
2. The Flying Friar by Joseph V. Landy, SJ
Flying Friar is an interesting anthology of the lives of patron saints. It begins with a foreword about who saints are and how they get dubbed as patron saints. The foreword is a nice reference for us parents for when our kids start asking these questions. It also invites the children to be just like these ordinary people who did extraordinary things for God. Grade schoolers will enjoy reading these amazing life stories. The 2-3 page biography for each saint can also be good as read-alouds to younger children. Our main reason for having this book in our library? It’s that it includes the life of St. Pedro Calungsod, Patron of Filipino youth. (Available at our book shop! Click here.)
3. The Children’s Book of Saints by Louis M. Savary With just one page dedicated to a saint’s story, this book is simple and perfect for introducing saints to very young children. The illustrations also help make children realize that saints were real people like us. Since the book indicates each saint’s feast day, we have fun marking our calendar with all the celebrations for a particular month. We then read a saint’s story on his or her feast day and say a short prayer too.
4. A Gift from Saint Francis by Joanna Cole
Which child will not love the story of St. Francis? Best known for his love for nature and animals, the story also highlights how St. Francis chose to be poor and to help the needy. This book can also be used during Christmas as we see one of St. Francis’ legacies during this happy season. Find out what that gift is here.
5. Patrick, Patron of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
St. Patrick is one of the more popular saints in North America, but I did not know his story until we read this book as a go-along in one of our homeschool lessons. I will forever be grateful to St. Patrick and how he explained the Holy Trinity using a three-leaf clover. This books gives a deeper meaning to the much-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in North America.
6. Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
One of the books in the Catholic literature-based curriculum called Catholic Mosaic, this Caldecott Medal book retells the legend of a young knight, believed to be St. George, who defeated a dreadful dragon and brought peace to his princess’ land. Nothing like an action-packed adventure book like this to inspire heroism and integrity.
7. Bernadette: The Child Who Saw by Gemma Sales
My little girl has been fascinated by Marian apparitions ever since we read this book during the feast of St. Bernadette. This book tells the story of the little girl who saw the Virgin in Lourdes, France. We love how stories like these show our children that saints were once kids like them too.
8. Good Saint Joseph by Lawrence G. Lovasik
Picture books about Jesus’ adoptive father are few, so finding one is truly a gem. This story, written by Father Lovasik, shows us Joseph’s strength, patience and resilience from the time the angel appeared to him in his dream.
9. Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie dePaola
St. Pascual was devoted to the Eucharist even from the young age and is considered a patron saint of Eucharistic Congresses. He is well-known as a patron of cooks because he worked as one in the Franciscan monastery. Tomie de Paoala’s Pascual and the Kitchen Angles is a charming retelling of a legend about the angels who helped him cook… because he could not cook at all in the beginning! As always, Tomie dePaola’s words and illustrations will delight every child.
10. Jacinta’s Story
The story of Fatima has always been fascinating and this beautiful picture book makes it more so. Our Lady appeared to three children, Jacinta and Francisco, who were later beatified, and Lucia who was canonized as a saint. This book tells the story of all the apparitions and how the townsfolk did not believe the children’s story.
What are your kids’ favorite books about saints?
Have fun with your child!