Caswell Family Permanent Rotation

91jizFMGzVL. SL1500  773x1024 - Caswell Family Permanent RotationSo many wonderful books have come out in the last five years!  Sadly, so many good books have gone out of print. The MoDG syllabi have religious booklists in the back that change each year for K-2, but after much experimentation, we have developed a family list that we use every single year.  Even the older children hate to miss the readings.  Before I get into my list, let me tell you some obstacles that we ran into that may not be issues for your family.

  1. The St. Joseph Picture Books don’t read like a story. They’re more like reading a catechism, so for snuggling up for a good read-aloud? That wipes out about 22 books on the 2GRD list.
  2. My children are SENSITIVE.  We don’t do sad.  That sensitivity kills LOTS of the old-fashioned Catholic favorites.
  3. My kids are visual.  If I can’t get a picture book for them to at least give them a jumping off point, that saint never becomes a favorite.

I only do saints for which I have an Attention Grabbers, then I may follow it up with a more informative book. An Attention Grabber book has interesting enough pictures and few enough words that the children keep their eyes on the book the whole time.  (Think of how a librarian reads a picture book to small children, it faces out and she looks over the top to read.)   Then, I hand that book to the children and read something less visual on the same subject.

Below you will find our PERMANENT list.  I am still auditioning books as we go.  Here is a page for things that didn’t make our permanent rotation and why.

Attention Grabber books are in asterisks.
(>1) = Books for 2GRD and up.  Longer books, requiring more than one sitting, but not weeks.


4 August: Saint Jean Vianney 
John Mary Vianney:  The Holy Cure of Ars by Mullenheim
(>1) A Story of St. John Vianney by Brother Ernest.

16 August: St. Roch
Legends of Saints and Beasts by Jauss

17 August: Tekla of Ethiopia
A Saint and His Lion: The Story of Tekla of Ethiopia by Stone

18 August: St. Helen
The Queen and the Cats: A Story of St. Helena by Lee


9 September: Saint Peter Claver
Peter Claver, Patron Saint of Slaves by Durango

14 September: Triumph of the Holy Cross
Tale of Three Trees by Hunt

18 September: Saint Joseph Cupertino
The Little Friar Who Flew by Gauch (used or in most libraries)
Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochock

29 September, St. Raphael
(We move the 10/2 Guardian Angel readings here)

30 September: Saint Jerome
Legends of Saints and Beasts by Jauss


Scriptural Rosary for Children by Winkler, if you are going to pray the rosary
A Child’s Guide to the Rosary by Ficocelli

1 October: Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
 Therese: The Little Flower of Lisieuxby Berger
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

2 October: Guardian Angels
Angel in the Waters by Doman
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

4 October: Saint Francis of Assisi
* Francis Poor Man of Assisi by Levivier
*Legends of Saints and Beasts by Jauss
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

NOVEMBER: All Saints

Any of the sketches in the Once Upon a Time Saints series that we don’t usually do the rest of the year.
Saints of the Americas or “Book of Saints” series by Lovasik or any other pile of saints sketches

November 3, St. Martin de Porres:
Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert by Schmidt
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki
(>1) St. Martin De Porres and the Mice by Betz

November 11, St. Martin of Tours:
Book of Sanctity by Seton
More Once upon a Time Saints by Pochoki
Book of Virtues, or better, in Children’s Book of Heroes or Treasury of Virtues (used)


Clown of God by De Paola
Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki (Barnaby is the clown mentioned above)
The Legend of the Poinsettia by De Paola (also in  Joy to the World)
Night of Las Posadas by De Paola (also in Joy to the World)
Friendly Beasts by De Paola
Donkey’s Dream by Berger
Celebrating Advent with a Jesse Tree by Winkler (if you do a Jesse Tree)

6 December: Saint Nicholas
St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Stiegemeyer
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

8 December: St. Marcarius
Legends of Saints and Beasts by Jauss

12 December: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe by Bernier-Grand OR De Paola version from library or Kindle is equally good
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

JANUARY: Reconciliation

A Child’s Guide to Reconciliation by Ficocelli
A Child’s Guide to the Seven Sacraments by Ficocelli
We read CH 29 in Baltimore Catechism No 1. It’s lovely.

January 4th, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Elizabeth Ann Seton by Yoffie
(>1) Catholic Stories for Boys and Girls Vol II, verbally editing page 47 “Their happiness was not to last…” and stopping before Anina’s story.

January 6th, Epiphany of the Lord
The Last Straw by Fredrick Thury OR The Three Wise Kings by De Paola (if you got Joy to the World)

January 14th , St. Felix of Nola:
Saint Felix and the Spider by Dessi Jackson
Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

January 21st, Our Lady of Altagracia:
A Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia by Julia Alvarez

January 29, Servant of God Brother Juniper:
Brother Juniper We love that he gives his clothes away and ends up naked. You may not.

FEBRUARY: Communion

A Child’s Guide to Holy Communion by Ficocelli
(>1)Jesus is With Us by Tarzia

February 1st, St. Brigid of Ireland:
*Brigid’s Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story by Bryce Milligan *
Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki
(>1) St. Brigid and the Cows by Betz

February 3rd, St. Blaise:
Book of Sanctity by Seton

February 10th, St. Scholastica 
The Holy Twins by De Paola (hard to buy, easy to find in libraries)

February 11, Our Lady of Lourdes
Bernadette: The Little Girl From Lourdes by Marival-Hutin
Our Lady of Lourdes by Lovasik

February 13th, St. Modomnoc:
The Saint and his Bees by Dessi Jackson

February 14th, St. Valentine:
Saint Valentine by Sabuda


Little Rose of Sharon by Gurley (easy to find used)
Little Acts of Grace by Gortler
Way of the Cross for Children by Winkler, if you do the stations at home.
Path to Heaven by Bliss (>1)
More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls by Houselander (>1)

17 March: Saint Patrick
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by De Paola
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki
(>1) A Story of St. Patrick by Janda  OR (>1) And God Blessed the Irish by Driscoll

19 March: Saint Joseph, husband
Song of the Swallows by Politi (easy to find used)
Around the Year with Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki

APRIL: Easter

Easter is for Me by Mackall
Petook: An Easter Story by Houselander* (in most libraries)
The Easter Story by Wildsmith

April 16, Bernadette
Bernadette:  The Little Girl of Lourdes by Marival-Hutin 

23 April: Saint George
Saint George and the Dragon by Hodges
Book of Virtues, or better, in Children’s Book of Virtuesor Treasury of Virtues

MAY: Mary

De Paola on kindle (or library)
Just Like Mary by Gortler
Take It To the Queen by Nobisso

16 May: Saint Brendan
St. Brendan and the Voyage Before Columbus by McGrew

17 May: Saint Paschal Baylon
Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by De Paola


July 25, St. Christopher:
Christopher, the Holy Giant by De Paola (available used, or on kindle)
More Once upon a Time Saints by Pochoki

June 15, St. Germaine Cousin
Book of Sanctity by Seton
Once Upon a Time Saints by Pochocki
(>1) St. Germaine and the Sheep by Betz

Weight of a Mass by Nobisso

Around the Year LONGER books we love

(>1)Book of Angels by Hunt
(>1)Life of Our Lord For Children by Hunt
Illustrated Children’s Book of Virtues Series or together in this treasury