Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas Mosaic :: A Review & Featured Book List

Like Catholic Mosaic: Living the Liturgical Year With Children, author Cay Gibson's Christmas Mosaic, An Illustrated Book Study for Advent and Christmas is so much more than just a book list! It was an invaluable resource for me when I was building our family's collection of Christmas books and, in the meantime, trying to sift through all the books at our local library and decide which ones were worth bringing home to read to our children.

In addition to the included book list "as endless as the possibilities for Christmas tree decoration" (over 200 suggestions!), Christmas Mosaic also provides study guides for 30 picture books about Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany! Vocabulary Words, Discussion Questions, and Copy Work are provided for each of the featured selections. On the "Parent's Help Page" for each title you will find observations, discussion answers, and enrichment activity suggestions. The appendix in the back has a number of crafts, recipes, and coloring pages which may be reproduced by the original purchaser for your family or classroom.

I purchased my copy of Christmas Mosaic when the first (spiral bound) edition was published in 2007 and still return to it every Advent for ideas and inspiration. I am sure I will continue to do so for years to come.

Theme: Advent/ Decoration/ Preparation Stories

Theme: Giving/St. Nicholas/Santa Claus

A Small Miracle tells a beautiful story using only illustrations. My children love that their Dad will make up his own story each time he "reads" this book to them! I feel bad that I didn't include it in our books to unwrap this year! 

Theme: Family

Theme: The Nativity/Epiphany/Angels

The Christmas Bird by Bernadette Watts has been reprinted as Katy's Christmas Gift!
I had no idea when I posted about the deal last week... No wonder the author/illustrator's name sounded familiar. It's one of my favorites! I wish I would have bought more copies while it was priced so low. It is definitely worth adding to your collection, or at least checking out from the library.

*Books in our family's Advent & Christmas Collection

Our 2013 Advent Book Basket was almost completely filled with the featured selections from Christmas Mosaic. You can view additional pictures of these books here.

Note: Remember, this list is only of the "Featured Selections". There are so many other wonderful books mentioned in the complete Christmas Mosaic book list, as well as reflections, poetry selections, and even a section on "Celebrating December Birthdays" which I need to go reread now that we have two birthdays in December!


  1. Thanks Jessica! You're so awesome for the time you put into these posts. I have gotten so many great ideas here in this one post. I am ashamed to say we own Christmas mosaic and I have never even opened it! I think I always forget I have it! I will definitely let it guide our advent reading this year. So exciting:)

    2015-11-17 03:56:31

  2. Thanks!!! So excited to get mine In the mail tomorrow

    2015-11-17 12:44:59

  3. Can't wait to start our collection ! Thank you!

    2015-11-17 12:56:16

  4. Ohh I would love to win that!!! It's so cute. By the way, I never comment on your posts, but I read your blog a lot and you're an inspiration to me. When I grow up I want to have a family like yours and do all those cool things with them!!

    2015-11-17 16:18:37

  5. Would love this for my children.

    2015-11-17 19:23:09

  6. Adopted grandbabies would enjoy these. Thanks for an opportunity to win these. I enjoy reading your blog. God bless you and your family

    2015-11-17 21:47:00

  7. How old was Captain when you began your book box traditions? Did you use just board books when your oldest children were small. I think having a box of books available to your children is wonderful. My children are age 2 and under, and non-board books left unsupervised do not last well with my baby.

    2015-11-18 01:22:12

    1. He was six or seven when I started filling a basket with books for Advent and Christmas. (Our first five were born within seven years, so we had a lot of little ones back then!) Before that I kept most of the books on a shelf (our house was way smaller back then before we added on) and would pull them off to read aloud. Even back then (here is a post from 2007) we had a mix of board and non-board books. Once I started filling baskets to leave out, I always made sure to have a basket filled with board books just for the littlest ones. Here is my youngest with his Advent/Christmas book basket a few years ago just before his first birthday. Pop-up books are the ones I have to keep up on the top shelf and supervise while reading... If my little ones get ahold of those they (the books) usually don't survive! ;)

      2015-11-18 03:38:56

  8. This reminds me! i need to get purple wrapping paper soon!

    2015-11-20 16:50:52

  9. I ordered a copy of A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote by going through your old blog post about Catholic Mosaic. I just wanted you to know that Amazon still sells it and also to make sure that you get a referral fee for it. Thank you so much for these great Christmas book posts!

    2015-11-22 01:10:02

  10. Nice collection! Thanks for reminding about all those good old books that are great for reading with children.

    2016-02-05 10:57:41

  11. Thank you for this!! I have been looking at a few of these books online. I love your recommendations.

    2018-11-20 04:52:10


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