In our house, St. Joseph Picture books (about 1.50 each) fall into two categories: USING for prayer or VIGNETTES/REPORTS. My kids don’t think St. Joseph Picture books make good snuggle on the couch read alouds. In this post, I’ll cover the books we feel work best as follow-alongs for mass and seasonal prayers OR as a weekly focus for your opening morning prayer.
Below you see a shot inside the Holy Rosary by Lovasik. It’s INSTRUCTIONS and REFLECTIONS on doing the rosary, not a story about it. You could do a theme on the mysteries, reading one vignette each day of the week to memorize them, but otherwise, this book is best used during an actual recitation of the rosary.
We love Celebrating Advent with a Jesse Tree by Winkler. We use it when we hang our ornaments. We read the vignette of the day for each ornament.
There’s even a schedule in the back.
Below is a shot inside The Way of the Cross for Children by Lovasik. Again, it’s a manual if your child will be participating in a recitation of the stations.
Here’s a shot inside the Scriptural Rosary by Lovasik. There aren’t any “Say 10 Hail Marys” on the page. It’s a tour of the mysteries. Not really a story book, but you could read one each day to learn the mysteries.
Other recommended books for USING can be seen below.
For Children’s Prayers to Mary, you might read one prayer together each day at the beginning of school, then add your favorites to your night prayer routine?
Going to Confession is kind of a hybrid book for us. Parts would work as a vignette-a-day for reviewing confession, but the rest of it it something the child could take with him. It has an examination of conscience and what you’re supposed to say to the priest, etc.
Our church keeps Children’s Guide to the Mass in the pews. My kids use it EVERY week. If you don’t have that at your church, do get one and take it with you. I don’t own one since our church provides them. However, I do have a shot of Receiving Holy Communion which serves the same purpose. It focuses less on the mass itself and more on preparing for mass, participating, then focusing on prayers before and after communion. It’s still a manual for mass in my opinion.
Also in this category of USING, would be The Eight Beatitudes, The Promises of the Sacred Heart, and The Our Father and Hail Mary. Each of these are sets of prayers, with the exception of the Beatitudes one. It does have a single situational application picture for each beatitude, but overall the book would still be best for praying the beatitudes over a week or more, not reading about them on the couch.
The Our Father and Hail Mary has the child pray about different phrases in the Our Father and Hail Mary, not stories about them. So again, you could do a week or more in 1st grade about those two prayers while you’re memorizing them and use this book as the opening prayer for your school day.
The The Promises of the Sacred Heart, is another that would best be used as a family devotion (during the summer, unless you Mary Margaret’s feast for a week.)
Next, I’ll show you all of the St. Joseph books that would make good opening vignette reading on a weekly theme.