Our 2019 Advent Books {Book Stacks + Giveaway}

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

This year is one of those years when Advent begins on December 1 and syncs up with the secular Christmas countdown, and I kind of love it! Last year I put together a calendar of our Christmas and Advent books and coordinating activities, so feel free to use that as a basic guide for yourself this year. I couldn't help adding a few more to our list, though - here are some we're adding to our collection this year:

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The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted - New for 2019! We received this one from Sophia Institute Press and wanted to include it in our list. Not Christmas or Advent-specific, but a good Scripture-based book to help kids overcome fear of change or new experiences. My kids always like Anthony DeStefano's rhyming books, and Edith (3) in particular enjoyed the pictures in this one. Good for ages 3-8.

The First Christmas - New for 2019! We received this from Sophia Institute Press as well. The illustrations take the cake in this book; smiling Baby Jesus with His tongue sticking out, a very lifelike baby reaching for the wise men's gifts, and quite a few silly touches in the complex pictures kept all of the kids ages 3-10 interested! With an easy-flowing rhyme scheme, this is a nice addition to our Christmas picture books for this year. Good for ages 3-8+, older children and adults will have fun with the pictures as well.

*From now until December 2, you can take advantage of the Black Friday sale at Sophia Institute Press and get both these books for 35% off with free shipping! Just use the code BLACKFRIDAY19
After December 2, use the code 25SEED for 25% off 2 or more copies of The Seed Who Was Afraid to Be Planted.

Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street - Peter came across another Leo Politi book at the library and loved it so much he asked me to put it on his wish list, so when this Caldecott Honor Book popped up by the same author, I knew it would be the perfect book for him (and Pedro = Peter!). Set in a Latino community in Southern California, Pedro has the voice of an angel and is asked to lead the Posada in their town. At the end he is rewarded with the music box he hoped for. It's very simple and sweet, and even has music for the Posada song!

The Trees Kneel at Christmas - Maud Hart Lovelace (of the Betsy Tacy books, some of our favorites) writes a book of a family of Lebanese immigrants in Brooklyn. The illustrations are lovely, and the family dynamics made me chuckle! As the children hear tales of Lebanon, and the traditions their family has brought to America, they bring American traditions into their home as well. But the tale their grandmother tells them of the trees kneeling at Christmas in Lebanon piques their interest enough to inspire Afify and Hanna to sneak out on Christmas Eve and prove to their grandmother that even the trees in Brooklyn kneel at Christmas! This would be a perfect read-aloud for kids ages 3-10, and a very sweet chapter book for ages 7+ to read to themselves.

A Christmas Carol - We're trying out this edition this year, recommended to me by one of you, in the hopes that this Dickens is more pleasant than the only Dickens I've ever read, Great Expectations, which was not a pleasant read for 14-year-old me. The illustrations are so lovely, and the older two kids (8 and 10) have already read this to themselves several times, so I think it will make for a good Advent read-aloud, and hopefully inspire us not to be quite so Scrooge-like during Advent and Christmas.

A Child's Christmas in Wales - When I saw that this was illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, I had to get it! Her illustrations are just so gorgeous, it would be a mistake not to own this book. It's a very fun recollection of poet Dylan Thomas's childhood Christmas memories, and is reminiscent of Christmas in Noisy Village, if you've read and enjoyed that book. Perfect for ages 5+.

O Radiant Dawn - This is the new Take Up & Read Advent study for 2019! It's aesthetically gorgeous, and takes you through the daily Scriptures & feast days of Advent and Christmas, including special reflections based on the O Antiphons.

Made for Greatness is a growth mindset journal for exceptional Catholic kids. It's not Advent-specific, so you could use it at any time of year, but the liturgical new year (or the new calendar year!) is sometimes a great time to try to form new habits. Full of beautiful stories of saints who exemplify virtue, thoughtful journaling prompts, and lovely watercolor illustrations, this is sure to change hearts around your home!

You can use the code Rosie2019 for 10% off anything in Ginny's shop! She has a 2019-2020 Mass journal for kids, and a printable Advent calendar you might like.

While it's not a book, a little bird told me there might be some books in the works using Lindsey's art from Almond Rod Toys! Check out the gorgeous new Rosary blocks, featuring the Glorious, Joyful, and Sorrowful Mysteries.

These are gorgeous and engaging for toddlers, preschoolers, and older children, but still baby-safe! The art on the front and backs of the blocks is printed on heavy-duty, polyester paper that has stood up to some pretty sharp baby teeth in our house, so you don't have to worry about a baby accidentally chewing paper or paint off these! Keep an eye out for a Cyber Week sale, and grab some saint blocks to tuck into shoes for St. Nicholas Day or drop in stockings on Christmas. Her nativity is so sweet, too.

10% off $20+ in Lindsey's shop right now, no code needed!

Looking for more book suggestions? You can find a shoppable list of all our favorites right here, or click on posts from years past for more details:

Christmas and Advent Reads for the 6-and-Under Crowd
Our Book-a-Day Advent Calendar
Our Twelve Days of Christmas

You can win five saint blocks of your choice from Lindsey's shop! Just enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am going to try the Christkindl idea! I have had my eye on the Saint blocks as well - I would order Sts. Clare, John the Evangelist, Peter, Joseph, and Stella Maris for my five!

  2. I have been admiring Almond Rod's saint blocks for a while (her illustrations are beautiful). The saint blocks I would choose are: Sts. Colette, JoAnna, Mary Queen of Heaven, Gabriel, and Thomas Aquinas.

  3. I love Almond Rod's illustrations!

  4. We have one set of lady saints that my third child got from her godmother and they're so cute! I'd choose St. Lucy, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Edmund Campion, St. Dominic, and St. Norbert.

  5. We have a William, Dominic, Gabriel and Felicity (which has gone missing!) saint block - I would love to replace Felicity, as well as add Gianna Molla, Paul, Andrew, and Joseph - I love these sweet saint blocks!

  6. I would pick st Anthony, Gianna, Lucy, Blaise and St Michael. What awesome toys!

  7. We love Almond Rod blocks! A dear priest friend gave each of our boys one, so we have St. Francis of Assisi and St. Gregory. We'd love St. Anne, St. Francis de Sales, Jesus the Good Shepherd, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Joseph

  8. Have a couple blocks already thanks to my sister 😊 I'd choose St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Leo the Great, St. Maria Goretti and St. Joan of Arc!

  9. These blocks are so adorable. I've seen them often but we do not have any yet!

  10. I would pick St. Pius X and St. Benedict and St. Lucy and St. Michael and St. Nicholas


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