Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Feasts & Seasons :: Our February Book Basket

At the beginning of each month I fill a basket with books featuring the the various saints whose feast days will be celebrated during the month and place it in the living room. Throughout the month I will find the children curled up on the couch reading books they have chosen from the basket, either on their own or to their younger siblings.  I also choose books from the basket for some of our afternoon family read-alouds. Our collection started very small and we have continued adding additional books over the years which we have either purchased or have been given as gifts. Some are picture books, some are chapter books, and some are collections of saint stories. This post is a work in progress and I will continue adding links as I sort through our collection. Here is a list of our current books for February:

February 1st, St. Brigid of Ireland (Hist.):

The Life of St. Brigid: Abbess of Kildare

February 2nd, Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad.) and Presentation of the Lord (New) also known as Candlemas:

Anna from Tapestries: Stories of Women in the Bible

February 3rd, St. Blaise (New, Trad.):

Saint Blaise and the Animals from Brother Wolf, Sister Sparrow

February 5th, St. Agatha (New, Trad.):

February 6th, St. Paul Miki & Comps. (New):

February 6th, St. Dorothy (Trad.):

February 8th, St. Josephine Bakhita (New):

February 9th, St. Apollonia (Trad.):

Apollonia from Lives and Legends of Saints

February 10th, St. Scholastica (New, Trad.)

February 10th, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio:

Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio and Secrets from Heaven Glory Stories CD's

February 11th, Our Lady of Lourdes (New, Trad.):

Bernadette: The Little Girl from Lourdes

February 13th, St. Modomnoc:

February 14th, St. Valentine (Trad.):

Saint Valentine

Our additional St. Valentine's Day picture books:

February 18th, St. Bernadette Soubirous (New/some places; Trad./some places) (Trad./some places – April 16th):

February 20th, Bls. Francisco Marto & Jacinta Marto (New/some places):

February 22nd, Chair of St. Peter (at Antioch) (New/Trad.):

The Chair of Saint Peter from Our Holy Father the Pope: The Papacy from St. Peter to Present

February 24th, St. Matthias (Trad.) (New – May 14th):

February 25th, Bl. Sebastian of Aparicio:

Blessed Sebastian and the Oxen - Now back in print and also available from TAN!

February 27th, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (Trad.):
  • St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows from Saints for Young People Every Day of the Year (I haven't included all the stories from this book in my lists.  My husband usually reads these inspiring stories to the children each night during dinner.)
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows from Saints for Young People Every Day of the Year
This book has been revised and reprinted here, but we do not own a copy of the newer edition. 

Other Links for February:
Links for February :: Month Dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus


  1. Thank you, Jessica, for putting up your book-lists. I really trust your recommendations and they are helping my grow my collection for our children. We're starting small too!

  2. So many wonderful books and great reading for the month - thank you Jessica. I always make sure to click through your link when I purchase a book I discovered through your website. Easter & Christmas include click through too, I sincerely appreciate your sharing!

  3. you know, I didnt care for that Love Is book myself... we got it from the library when we did L on the Alphabet Path, and I cant remember now what it was about the book other than just not liking it. glad I am not the only one, then!

    thanks for sharing your book ideas!

  4. So many beautiful books! Thank you for your lists. They are very helpful! God bless!

  5. You always find the best books!

  6. Thank you so much for listing these!

  7. Thanks for sharing this is a great help to me I need some ideas on what books to buy for my children.

  8. Thank you for sharing your wonderful resources Jessica.

  9. I am struck by what good condition your books are in. With 7 children, how do you manage to keep the books so pristine?! I should add that many in our collection are literally falling apart, and I struggle to maintain.

    1. Hmmm... Well, I do try to purchase hard covers when possible, since they seem to hold up the best, except for the dust covers. I also teach the children at young ages to handle books with care. If I am going to invest so much money into buying books for them I want them to take care of the books. That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes find books left on the floor, or a torn page, or a book that had been tossed in the toilet (yes, we lost a small St. Anthony chapter book this past fall after the then 1 year old got ahold of it)!

      Also, these books are only out for a couple months each year. The rest of the time they are stored on a bookshelf in the hallway that is just for all my Saint themed books. The books that are stored on the bookshelves in the bedrooms, and are pulled out on a much more frequent basis, have a lot more wear and tear.

    2. Thank you for the reply! I thought we were the only ones that these things happen to (candy land cards in the toilet and monopoly money here there and everywhere, including stuffed in the heater vent.) I had to return the game of life to where we got it after finding the pegs scattered far and wide. Ironic right ;)

      Incidentally we got a hard cover book in the mail today in great condition (I usually get the one cent copies, plus shipping. This was $10 in all.) Well, there was much fighting over the book, with the youngest wanting sole ownership. It was a teachable moment for building character, of which there are no end!

      I have a hard time seeing that the books get used in a controlled, orderly way vs. a free for all, as with most endeavors. After 13 years of motherhood, you'd think we'd be learning techniques.

      Speaking of books, I think you should write one! At least, I'd be very interested in a post about incorporating children into cleaning routines (keeping whining and resistance to a minimum. In short, HOW to go about training kids. I've heard that in big families it's sink or swim, and I'm not swimming yet ;) Maybe treading and trying to keep my head above water.

  10. Love your basket Jessica, what a lovely collection! How do you explain the differences in the traditional and novus order calendar of saints to your children?? We are using the traditional calendar, but sometimes the kids want to know why they are different in the first place. Just curious what your thoughts are on this :) Blessings!

    1. I tell them to go ask their Dad! ;) It is a bit confusing, isn't it? Our children have been growing up attending the Novus Ordo Mass, but they are also familiar with the Extraordinary Form, since it is the only Mass offered by their uncles (FSSP) even if we see them occasionally (ordinations and baptisms). Finally this past year we were blessed with a quarterly Latin Mass which was changed to every other month this year! It's a start! :)

      Anyways, I explain it to them that just like we have different special days in our lives - our birthday, baptism day, anniversaries, etc - in some cases the Church, too, celebrates some of the saints on different days of the year. We've discussed a little bit about the changes made to the calendar, and why there have been no more changes (and of the newly canonized saints for example) made to the EF calendar, and that has been pretty much the extent of our conversations on the topic and our family usually follows both calendars.

    2. Sorry for all the typos! Hopefully you can get the general idea of what I was trying to type (on my cellphone) in that last comment :)

  11. Hello Jessica!

    Thanks for the wonderful list and feeding by book addiction ;) You are the best!
    May I recommend Holy Twins by Tomie de Paola for St. Scholastica on the 10th? He actually talk about Scholastica, not just Benedict :) She is awesome, she is our homeschool patron saints since "she learned more without travelling" according to T.DePaola ;)

    Have a fantastic month of February!

    1. We actually did own that book for a number of years, but we pulled all of the TdP books off our shelves last year after someone brought to my attention his lifestyle choices. I looked into it further (read a few of his interviews), discussed it all with my husband, and decided to follow the advice of a trusted priest (one of my husband's brothers), especially since we had so many of his books on our shelves...

      Father advised that: "If it were a question of his writing children's books that did not have religious themes, (e.g. science textbooks) I wouldn't say one would have to get rid of the books, as long as the content is good. However, if he is writing thematicly religious books, or morality books, those should not be read, even if the content were impeccably correct. The issue has mostly to do with the eventual possibility of scandal should the children later discover his moral error, and then conclude that, 'how could the morals of one who writes such good things be bad?'."

    2. I had always kind of *wondered* about his personal life, without even knowing for sure what you allude to. I also read some disappointing things about Maurice Sendak, and have never been able to look at his pictures since without thinking of that unfortunate choice.

      Tomie de Paola lived in the next New Hampshire town to us. Our first morning in town, after driving all night and on the way to settle on our new house, we stopped for morning mass, where I realized the painting of Our Lady looked very familiar. I finally placed it. It was definitely his style. Afterwards someone confirmed it was his. I didn't know he lived there, and apparently donated to the parish. I thought he had a brief stint in the religious life, and a very brief marriage. I'll read an interview. It's too bad whatever it is, because his books are big hits/favorites of our younger daughters. But then, we mostly have the folk tales, like Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka. His illustrations are very nice. Well, I'm sorry for having recommended Erandi's Braids on facebook!

  12. Oh no, I was flipping through the comments and was shocked about TdP. I even gave a book to my godson :(
    Thanks for the reason why you no longer read his books. I did not know this at all. This is so dissappointing!

  13. Oh my . I love it all
    god bless you

    the Ferguson,s

  14. Once again, coming to your blog with my cup of coffee, quiet time, and calendar (so I can write down notes and order books). Thank you for sharing all of your ideas, crafts, books, and recipes!

  15. Jessica as the busy Mom you are I can only imagine that you don't find much quiet time for reading a good fiction book yourself. I've seen some fiction books listed here for the older children of yours but I was wondering if you could suggest good adult fiction that you might find interesting: I like good clean mysteries (Nothing gory or offensive), things like Jane Eyre, etc. And not just the "Amish type" Christian books.


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