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The Best Catholic Bible for Children

The Best Catholic Bible for Children

Telling our children the Story of Salvation History helps them understand God’s movement in the world since the beginning. Hearing the stories of God’s faithfulness from long ago reminds them that He is faithful to them now. Learning about the men and women God raised up to serve Him points to their call to be saints.


Blessedly, many people have completed the task of making these stories accessible for kids of all ages. There is a variety of Catholic children’s Bibles on the market today, so how do we know which one(s) to choose?


Should We Even Use a Catholic Children’s Bible?


A preliminary consideration is whether or not we should even use a Children’s Bible.


In short, yes… if it’s worthy.


However, the actual Bible holds primacy always. Sacred Scripture is the actual Word of God, and our kids need to hear it. It is this Word that is living and effective, it is this Word that does not return to the Father void. Reading Sacred Scripture to our children plants the seeds deeply in their hearts. (This is why we always encourage reading from the actual Bible throughout our resources).


Of course, our children hear the actual words of Sacred Scripture at every Mass, and they’ll hear them if your family plays the Liturgy of the Hours or a scriptural Rosary.


I like to read from the actual Bible for our formal catechesis, and a Catholic Bible for children on our “off” days when we’re not doing Into the Deep. And of course, these are the Bibles that are pulled up on laps alongside toddlers, and the ones that get brought to Mass.


Criteria I Use When Selecting a Catholic Bible for Children


When combing through the options for Catholic children’s Bibles, I have a few criteria:

  1. It must be authentically Catholic.
  2. It must be beautifully-illustrated.
  3. It must engage the imagination.


My Favorite Catholic Children’s Bibles


My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories


This ranks as our favorite Catholic children’s Bible. Although its title implies that it is a collection of Bible stories, I find this to be a much more thorough and complete presentation of Scripture than other smaller collections of Bible stories (see more on those below).

What we love:

  • It includes the actual text of Scripture.
  • It uses the NRSV-CE translation.
  • Each story begins with a small blurb providing context of the story before the actual biblical text begins.
  • The illustrations are beautiful.
  • There are closing prayers, Catechism references, and fun facts.


When I found this Bible, I thought it was a perfect companion to our full-year resources!


The Catholic Bible for Children


I am continually impressed with what Magnificat is putting out for children. This Bible is another thorough presentation of the Old and New Testaments.

What we love:

  • It is divided into chapters, which helps give some context and framework.
  • The illustrations are engaging.
  • It is written in a more narrative format rather than the exact Bible verses.
  • The quality of the pages is high.


With the Bible Through the Church Year


I found this while thrifting one day and I hit the jackpot. I absolutely love this children’s Bible written by Father Richard Beron, OSB in 1953. We will begin using this one in the Fall.


What we love:

  • It is tied to the liturgical year. Beginning in Autumn, it walks through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, Septuagesima, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Corpus Christi.
  • Each section ends with a corresponding psalm, weaving the Psalms in much like the Mass.
  • There are short descriptions of each liturgical season as you enter it.
  • It is written in a very engaging narrative style. It’s the closest style I’ve found to The Jesus Storybook Bible (more on that below).


This is an older book that is out of print. If you can’t find it on Amazon, check no Thriftbooks or Ebay!


Catholic Bible Story Collections


The following are not full children’s Bibles, but cover the major highlights of the Story of Salvation History.


Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories


Another favorite in our household, these stories are beautifully-written and engaging.


What we love:


The Bible Story


Written in 1957, this anthology of Bible stories reads like an epic.


What we love:

  • It is perfect for older readers and teens as it reads like a chapter book.
  • There are not many illustrations, but the sketches are lovely.


This is one I’ll have my kids read as they approach Confirmation as another review of the story God has been writing in the world since the beginning.


My Catholic Picture Bible Stories


From Ascension, this collection of Bible stories is great for younger kids.


What we love:

  • The illustrations are historically accurate.
  • The stories are short (1 page), making it a great read for toddlers and younger children.


While the illustration style is not my favorite, the hardcover is sturdy and thus gets brought to Mass with us.


Tomie dePaola’s Book of Bible Stories


If you love dePaola’s other work, you’ll love this.


What we love:

  • The hardcover version is less expensive and such high quality. Truly, this book is beautiful.
  • Naturally, the illustrations are delightful and deep.
  • The text is written in dePaola’s prose.


I treat this like we do with any collection of stories (like Winnie the Pooh or Beatrix Potter)—I select a season in which we will read one story at a time during tea time or afternoon quiet time. It takes us a long time to move through that way since those are less frequent than Morning Time, but it’s a delight for all!


What about the Jesus Storybook Bible?


I really wish I could broadly recommend this Bible. The writing is beautiful and lyrical. It’s a favorite among Christians, and for good reason. What I particularly love about this Bible is that it shows how the New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and how the Old is fulfilled in the New. Jesus is the through-thread in this book, and it makes clear God’s plan for salvation since the Fall.

However, I cannot broadly recommend this title because there are some inclusions that contradict Catholic Church teaching. I can remember two off the top of my head:

  1. During the Last Supper, the words read something like, “This is like my body…” Obviously, this is contrary to the doctrine on the Blessed Sacrament.
  2. In the narrative on the crucifixion, the author is clearly presenting the teaching of penal substitution. This is the belief that God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus during His Passion and Death. That God the Father took all His fiery anger and directed it at Jesus. This belief is not the only view even among Protestants about the atonement, but is particularly common in Calvinistic circles. This is not the teaching of the Catholic Church.


When we read through this Bible, I self-edited these sections; however, because these subtleties can be easily missed, I cannot broadly recommend it for Catholic families.


The Whole Point


What matters most is that we share the Word of God with our children. Let the Word dwell in them richly, forming their consciences and inspiring them to the greatness for which they were created!


What’s your favorite Catholic children’s Bible? Let us know if you snag one we recommended! 

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Picture Books about the Bible

Picture Books about the Bible

Telling the Story of Salvation History as lived through Sacred Scripture is one of the most fantastic ways we can capture the holy imaginations of our children. An added layer of of illustration comes through picture books about the Bible. 

Looking for solid Catholic children's Bibles? Check out this post.

Picture Books about the Bible

Many authors throughout the years have presented Bible stories through sketches and stories, paintings and prose. We've gathered some of our favorites below, broken into the Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament

Creation + the Fall

Creation by Gennady Spirin

Paradise by Fiona French

The End of the Fiery Sword by Maura Roan McKeegan

Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark by Peter Spier

Noah's Ark by Jerry Pinkney

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel by William Wiesner 

The Patriarchs

Sarah Laughs by Jacqueline Jules Moses + the Exodus

Jacob and Esau by Mary Auld

Joseph by Brian Wildsmith

The Coat of Many Colors by Jenny Koralek

Benjamin and the Silver Goblet by Jacqueline Jules

Moses + the Exodus

Moses by Margaret Hodges

Moses: The Long Road to Freedom by Ann Keay Beneduce

Exodus by Brian Wildsmith

The Prophets

Jonah and the Whale by Rosemary Lanning

The Book of Jonah by Peter Spier

Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb by Maura Roan McKeegan

Daniel and the Lord of the Lions by Gloria Jean Pinkney

The Story of the Call of Samuel by Bryn J. Brock and Karin A. Childs

The Story of Ruth by Maxine Rose Schur 

The Angel & the Donkey by Katherine Paterson 

Kings + Queens

David and Goliath by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers

The Lord is My Shepherd by Gennady Spirin

The Wisest Man in the World: A Legend of Ancient Israel by Benjamin ElkinNew Testament

To Everything There is a Season by Diane and Leo Dillon

Kings and Queens of the Bible by Mary Hoffman

Queen Esther Saves Her People by Rita Golden Gelman 

The Story of Esther by Eric A. Kimmel

New Testament

Mary by Brian Wildsmith

St. Joseph's Story by Geraldine Guadagno

Jesus by Brian Wildsmith

The Twelve Apostles by Marianna Mayer

St. Peter's Story by Marion Thomas

The Miracles of Jesus by Tomie dePaola

Loaves and Fishes by Helen Caswell

The Parables

The Parables of Jesus by Tomie dePaola

Parable of the Good Samaritan by Helen Caswell

Parable of the Vineyard by Helen Caswell

Parable of the Sower by Helen Caswell

Parable of the Bridesmaids by Helen Caswell

The Paschal Mystery

The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith

The Way of the Cross by Inos Biffi

The Thornbush by Michael Laughlin

Easter by Fiona French



Do you or your children have favorite children's books about the Bible? Let us know in the comments! 


children's books bible

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Catholic Picture Books for April

Catholic Picture Books for April

April showers bring May flowers! With Easter and warm weather just around the corner, 'spring' into spring with these Catholic picture books for April! This month celebrates Saints such as Saint Bernadette and Saint George.


Catholic Picture Books for April


This I Know by Clay Anderson

Based on the beloved children's song Jesus Loves Me, this book has playful rhymes and colorful illustrations that your children will love.


Saint Bernadette and the Miracle of Lourdes by Demi

Packed full of beautiful illustrations, this book serves as an excellent introduction to the life of Saint Bernadette.


'Twas the Morning of Easter by Glenys Nellist

"'Twas the morning of Easter, before the sun rose, Two guards on a hillside were trying to doze. Now Jesus had died, only three days before, A huge stone was in place, sealed over the door." Written with a catchy rhythm, 'Twas the Morning of Easter is the perfect Easter basket gift.


God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This board book is a sweet read while still providing thoughtful insight. Follow Papa Bear and Little Bear as they discuss Easter.


Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges

Saint George and the Dragon is a Caldecott Medal Winner and on top of that an altogether beautiful read.


Cloud of Witnesses: A Child's First Book of Saints by Katie Warner

With simple, short quotes from each saint and an illustration to accompany it, Cloud of Witnesses is the perfect book for introducing saints to littles.


Queen Esther by Tomie dePaola

This book tells of a Jewish queen who not only loved her people and the Lord but stood by her Faith in times of distress.


Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie dePaola

Pascual, patron saint of kitchens, would not cook. But he trusted in the Lord and when he prayed, the angels cooked.


That Grand Easter Day! by Jill Roman Lord

That Grand Easter Day! takes us to that day Mary came to the tomb and Jesus was nowhere to be seen.


Seven Clues: A Catholic Treasure Hunt by Scott Hahn and Maura Roan McKeegan

Written by renowned author Scott Hahn and children's author Maura McKeegan, Seven Clues follows three children on their treasure hunt that aids in deepening their Catholic Faith. A great read during Sacraments season!


Bernadette: The Little Girl from Lourdes by Sophie Maraval-Hutin 

Born in France, Bernadette was a young girl who had a miraculous encounter with Our Lady of Lourdes


Saint George and the Dragon by Jim Forest 

Saint George was one of the first martyrs of the early Church. He is usually regarded as almost a mythical man. Jim Forest writes of the legend of Saint George, a brave Christian soldier who staunchly defends the princess and the villagers, while also addressing the symbolism behind the legend. 


What are YOUR favorite picture books for the Easter season? Drop in the comments! 



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Catholic Picture Books for December

Catholic Picture Books for December
The temperature drops and we reluctantly put on our puffer coats. Hot chocolate and blazing fires are soon to be a staple in the daily routine. Below we will feature some of our favorite Catholic picture books for December! Celebrate the seasons of Advent and Christmas with these delightful picture books. Continue reading

Help! My Kids are Bored at Mass!

Help! My Kids are Bored at Mass!

Bringing kids to Mass is often a sacrifice of praise in and of itself. Even when tantrums and bathroom breaks are avoided, there's the threat of "boredom."

Children have a relatively short attention span as it is, but when they’re bored… Prepare for the whispering, “Are we almost done?”  to repeat steadily until the end of Mass.

This is natural and understandable. It also offers us an opportunity to train their attention, patience, and understanding of the importance of being at Mass (even when we're bored).

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Reclaiming the Sabbath as a Family

Reclaiming the Sabbath as a Family
It's the third commandment—the final one pertaining to our love of God. Keeping holy the sabbath is doable when it comes to getting to Mass on Sundays. But the rest that God commands on the sabbath for our benefit? Not so easy to attain, especially in family life. Continue reading

Catholic Picture Books for March

Catholic Picture Books for March

With spring creeping close and Lent beginning, March features feast days such as Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Saint Katharine Drexel, and Saint Patrick. Lent is a great season to slow down and turn our hearts and minds toward the Lord. Reading picture books as a family is a great way to do that.

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What We Use for First Communion Prep

What We Use for First Communion Prep
Preparing for First Communion is a beautiful experience for children and parents alike. Many children will receive their first Communions this spring and early summer, so naturally, preparation is on our minds. We want them to have a memorable encounter with the Eucharist. We want to do our part—inasmuch as we can—to prepare them for this intimacy with Jesus. Continue reading

What Made Scott Hahn Become Catholic

What Made Scott Hahn Become Catholic

What made Scott Hahn became Catholic?

Two words: the Liturgy.

Of course, there was more to it than that, but in The Lamb's Supper, he reveals why attending his first Catholic Mass was a major step toward communion with Rome.

Scott Hahn walked into that parish as an interested but a slightly critical, casual observer. He left as a convert. Granted, he didn’t immediately drop everything and say “I want to be a Catholic!” But his conversion was largely founded upon his understanding of the biblical roots of the Mass.

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Pray the Rosary as a Family with these Six Tips

Pray the Rosary as a Family with these Six Tips
We have heard about the importance of praying the Rosary, especially as a family. But family life can be chaotic, especially with multiple children. The family Rosary, at least in our house, is not quiet, focused, or at all what I idealize. But the grace is in that. Our efforts to pray a family Rosary are not futile and not without merit.  Continue reading