These differ from Christmas books, which focus on Christ’s birth, and Lent or Easter books, which celebrate His death and resurrection. Although the following books may incorporate some of those themes, they are primarily stories of Christ’s entire life, or His adult ministry. This means they are great for any of the string of solemnities that occur yearly in May or June (Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus), as well as Christ the King Sunday in November, or, really, as a special book for any Sunday of the year!
The books below are all paperbacks or hardcovers, for preschoolers and up. If you are looking for toddler books (board books), please visit this post.
The Donkey and the Golden Light
by John and Gill Speirs
First of all, I must say, this book is GORGEOUS! The pictures below do not do it justice. It tells the story of a donkey named Bethlehem, who remembers a bright, golden light in the stable when he was born. Christ is the golden light, but the donkey is separated from him for many years, all the while wondering what became of the golden light. Finally, on Easter Sunday, the donkey meets the Resurrected Christ with his golden light, filling the donkey’s soul with peace.
The scenes from Christ’s life that are covered in this book include the Nativity, the flight into Egypt, finding the Child Jesus in the temple, the Baptism of Our Lord, Christ’s temptation in the desert, the wedding at Cana, walking on Water, blessing children, raising Lazarus, the Sermon on the Mount, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Even when the donkey Bethlehem is separated from Christ, children can search for His scenes in the background. This book wonderful for age 4 or 5 and above, and it is one that Seasonal Catholic heartily recommends for teaching children about Christ.
Can You Find Jesus? Introducing Your Child to the Gospel
by Philip Gallery
This is a seek-and-find book for young children, age 3 or 4 and above. Each two-page spread is filled with dozens of cartoon images, with a side panel listing out various things for the child to try and locate in the larger picture.
Scenes included: the Nativity, Christ’s childhood, the Baptism of the Lord, wedding at Cana, Christ’s healing ministry, preaching the gospel, calling the children, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the Ascension, and Holy Communion. There are some odd illustrations added into the scenes, such as a skateboarding child on the roof of the building where Christ is having his Last Supper, and a 55 gallon oil drum paces away from Christ carrying His cross. Because of these oddities, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend the book, for I know that some people out there would find this to be too irreverent. However, I still include this book on my list because my children enjoy it, and they certainly have no malicious intent in reading it. So, for now, we will keep this book in our collection.