Lenten and Easter Reading Recommendations for Kids


An array of book offerings will inform and intrigue young readers.
An array of book offerings will inform and intrigue young readers. (photo: Courtesy photos)

Looking for good reads for the rest of Lent and to fill Easter baskets? 

Here are nine suggestions that highlight our Catholic faith and practice, as well as the beauty of the Blessed Mother and the lives of the saints.

Louie’s Lent

Written by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Illustrated by Michael Rogers

Ascension Kids, 2022

32 pages, $11.95

It’s Ash Wednesday, and Louie’s classmates talk excitedly about what they are giving up for Lent. Goodbye candy, goodbye video games, goodbye so much more! Louie is stumped about what he should sacrifice. As Lent unfolds, Louie comes alongside each of his classmates to help them make it their best Lent ever. Louie — and his appreciative friends in Sister Mary Lawrence’s class — come to understand that in helping others and giving of ourselves, we please the Lord. Ages 4-8.


Stations of the Cross for Kids

Written by Regina Doman

Illustrated by Chris Lewis

TAN Books, 2021 

40 pages, $16.95

This beautiful companion for Lent will touch the hearts of young readers as they journey with Jesus. Each station presents the familiar (the opening responsorial, St. Alphonsus Liguori’s prayer to Jesus, and a verse of Stabat Mater) and a short reflection that both explains the event and encourages children to draw closer to Jesus. The street scene shown changes as Jesus travels the sorrowful way, with many visual details that tell a story of their own. A sidebar for each station reveals more about Jesus’ suffering and death. Ages 5-10.


The Real Presence

Written by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Illustrated by Gina Capaldi

Ascension Kids, 2022

32 pages, $11.95

Zedekiah and Abigail, young cousins who know Jesus, can’t agree on anything. They argue about what Jesus meant in saying that he was the Living Bread come down from heaven. They even argue about which of their families’ crops — grain or grapes — is better. Asked to take bread and wine to the Upper Room for Passover, the cousins want Jesus to judge who has brought the finer gift. As they see him raise the bread and the cup and listen to his words, they realize that Jesus was giving them himself. This is a timely story for this holy season and for first Communion celebrations. Ages 6-10.


Divine Mercy for Children

Written by Vinny Flynn with Brian Kennelly

Illustrated by Michael Corsini

TAN Books, 2021

113 pages, $16.95

The feast of Divine Mercy is right around the corner. This book invites middle-level readers to learn about the feast by walking through an imaginative Museum of Mercy. There, they’ll find out about St. Faustina, the Divine Mercy image and the prayers of the chaplet. Best of all, they will be introduced to the amazing love and mercy that God extends to his children. Ages 10-14.


Carlo Acutis: God’s Computer Genius

Written by Ellen Labrecque

Illustrated by Dan Wegendt

Pauline Books and Media, 2021

80 pages, $21.95

 “He is what holy looks like in the twenty-first century,” the author writes. Fifteen-year-old Carlo loved soccer, video games, coding and his dogs. He wore jeans and Nike sneakers. In his free time, the millennial volunteered in a soup kitchen and taught kids about Jesus. Carlo’s great love for the Eucharist, his “highway to heaven,” encouraged him to create a website for all the world to see about Eucharistic miracles. In 2006, after being hospitalized for only four days, Carlo died of leukemia. This inspiring story concludes with Carlo’s beatification in 2020. Ages 8-11.


Our Lady’s Picture Book

Written by Anthony DeStefano

Illustrated by Juliana Kolesova

Sophia Institute Press, 2020

32 pages, $16.95

In this sequel to Our Lady’s Wardrobe, Mary shows how deeply she desires to lead children to her Son (“Her heart in heaven beats with love / for boys and girls like you. / She’s mother to Our Lord above / but she’s your mother too!”). Rhymed verse pairs with full-page illustrations of Mary, as known by her many different titles of honor. “Our Lady, Queen of Peace” is particularly comforting during these times (“When all the world is plagued by wars and hatred fills the air / Mary prays to God for peace and friendship everywhere.”). Ages 8-12.


Maria von Trapp and Her Musical Family

Written by Cheri Blomquist

Illustrated by John Herreid

Ignatius Press, 2021

285 pages, $12.95  

The Sound of Music introduced the singing von Trapp family to the world and chronicled their heroic escape from Nazi-occupied Austria. This biography introduces the story behind the much-loved musical. Challenges began early for Maria, the family matriarch. She was born on a train, orphaned early, and nearly lost her faith — all this before she walked through the doors of the convent to try religious life on for size. Her trust in God guided Maria for what was ahead: her marriage to Baron von Trapp, their rejection of the atheist regime, leaving everything behind in Austria, and beginning anew — nearly penniless — in America. Ages 10 and up.


Louis and Zélie: The Holy Parents of St. Thérèse

Written and illustrated by GinaMarie Tennant 

Ignatius Press, 2021

268 pages, $12.95

He hoped to be a priest; and, she, hoped to be a religious sister. When those doors failed to open, Louis became a watchmaker, and Zélie became an accomplished lacemaker. Then they met and knew God had a special plan for them. Married in 1858, Louis and Zélie Martin, the first married couple ever canonized together, would welcome nine children. Five reached adulthood, including the youngest, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The author’s insights gained from Zélie and Louis’ letters give readers a glimpse of daily life in the Martin family: its joys and trials, and the deep trust in God as its foundation. Ages 10 and up.


Thérèse of Lisieux: Loving Is Giving Everything Away

Written by Coline Dupuy

Illustrated by Davide Perconti and Francesco Rizzato

Sophia Institute Press, $17.95

48 pages, 2022

In this colorful graphic novel, readers follow Thérèse of Lisieux from her birth to her death, 24 years later as a Carmelite sister. Stops along the way reveal a young woman on fire with love for Jesus, devotion to the Blessed Mother, and her embrace of the “Little Way.” “It’s about a blind trust in God’s mercy,” the young Carmelite sister explains, “like a child who fearlessly sleeps in his father’s arms.” From the confines of the cloister, the Little Flower offers her suffering from tuberculosis to save souls — and promises her continued help from heaven. Ages 8-11.

The Crawford sisters write from Pittsburgh.