7 Faith-Filled Books to Add to Your Children’s Reading List

CHILDREN’S BOOK PICKS: Fall 2021

Good reads for fall 2021 include this selection.
Good reads for fall 2021 include this selection. (photo: Compilation of book covers)

Looking for new reading choices this fall? Here are good choices for young readers.


“E” Is for Eucharist: A Catholic ABC

Written by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Illustrated by Anna-Maria Crum

TAN, 2021

36 pages, $16.95

From “Ashes” to “Zucchetto,” this colorful alphabet book is jam-packed with what makes us who we are as Catholic Christians. The everyday (N for Narthex) to the sublime (E for Eucharist) finds a home between its covers. Rhyming text makes it especially appealing to young readers (“Incense – Sweet scents lift pleas to God above / Jesus – Redeemer King who died for love”). There’s a richness and intricacy to the homemade art papers that are digitized and refashioned into bold, realistic illustrations of what and who we cherish in our faith. Ages 3-6.

 

Brother Lorenzo’s Pretzels: Prayer and the Holy Trinity

Written by Cornelia Mary Bilinsky

Illustrated by John Joseph

Pauline, 2019

40 pages, $12.95

Brother Lorenzo finds a fun way to teach children about the Holy Trinity. Using leftover bread dough, he rolls it into a long thin rope and makes a circle. Twisting and pulling the ends, he shapes the dough into special baked treats that we know today as pretzels. Holding up one of the pretzels and tracing each of its holes, Brother Lorenzo explains there is one God but three persons in God. A tasty treat and memorable lesson, complete with a recipe. Ages 4-8.

 

Grandma Taught Me to Love Mary (Mi Abuela Me Enseñó a Amar a la Virgen Maria)

Written and illustrated by Jennifer Marte Molina and Vanessa Garrido Mansilla

Magnificat/Ignatius, 2019

32 pages, $4.99

Faith is powerful when it is shared across generations. In this straightforward book, a child tells the many ways in which her grandmother taught her to love Mary. From prayers to pilgrimages and May crownings to Mary gardens, this little book shows tangible ways to show faith and love. The brief text is presented in both English and Spanish, adding to its appeal. Ages 3-7.

 

The Monks’ Stormy Night

Written by Sylvia Dorham

Illustrated by Christopher Tupa

TAN, 2017

34 pages, $14.95

The monks of Archangel Monastery have made all the necessary preparations for the coming storm. What can go wrong? Everything! Things turn from bad to worse as the furnace dies, the pipes freeze, the phone doesn’t work, and the electricity goes out. What will they do? The lyrical text chronicles the monks’ initial patience, which wanes as their life becomes more cold and uncomfortable: “Monks listen./ Monks eat./ Monks wiggle their frozen feet.” “Monks chop. Monks haul./ Monks don’t feel God’s love at all.” But, through it all, Father Abbot is there to encourage them and urge them forward with a kind and inspirational tone. The story of the monks’ perseverance and reminders of God’s abiding love are powerful themes. The engaging illustrations and fun, rhythmic text make for a well-told story. Ages 3-8.

 

St. Joseph Watch Over My Family

Written by Sabine du Mesnil

Illustrated by Hengjing Zang

Magnificat, 2021

56 pages, $13.99

Children will become better friends with St. Joseph by knowing who he is, what they can learn from him, and prayers and stories about this holy guardian of Jesus. The three parts of this book aim to do just that. Readers are encouraged to take their intentions, worries and joys through prayer to St. Joseph. Practical ways for children to follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph are given. For example, make a pilgrimage to a church dedicated to St. Joseph, help their family in small ways, and take moments of silence to hear the Lord better. Stories of miracles realized through the intercession of this holy saint will inspire children (and their grown-ups). Great choice as we celebrate the Year of St. Joseph. Ages 7 and up.

 

Jesus, Savior of the World

Written by Mary Evangelina Monge, FSP

Illustrated by Mary Rojas, FSP

Pauline, 2019

14 pages, $12.95

Jesus, Savior of the World, the final board book in the trilogy of the Holy Family, joins Mary, Mother of Jesus and Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family. In simple and loving language, the story begins with the Presentation (“This is the child who will save us.”) and ends with the Ascension and conclusion (“Jesus saved us from our sins. He loves us very much.”).  Children learn of the love Jesus had for his parents, followers and those he healed. “Jesus’ heart is full of love for everyone” is the perfect message for little ones. Ages 1-5.

 

This Is the Church

Written by Katie Warner

Illustrated by Meg Whalen

TAN, 2020

24 pages, $16.95

On a visit to a cathedral, a little girl encounters the story of God’s saving love through its majestic stained-glass windows. More than just assembled pieces of jewel-toned glass, each tells a story, beginning with the rose window depicting Christ the King (“This is Christ Jesus, our Savior and king, who died and then rose and founded the Church, the Catholic Church, to share God’s love with the world.”). Sun streaming through the remaining tall windows trace salvation history from the apostles to Adam. The little girl learns that she, too, plays a part in sharing God’s love with the world. Ages 3-6. 

The Crawford sisters write from Pittsburgh. All books available at Amazon.