We are right in the middle of the hectic Holiday Season!
Hopefully you all can find a moment to take a breath and sit down for a good read.
Christmas Books are aplenty! Here are a few that will warm your heart and make you want to share them year after year.
To begin of course, are the many versions of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore. (Always make sure he is the author.) I have found that children love to compare the pictures in all the different versions and they look to see if the words are the same. One of my favorites is illustrated by Jan Brett and another is by Charles Santore.
Keeping Santa in our thoughts, Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins by Sue Fliess, is a fun little story told from the woman’s side. It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…
In The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, a young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer’s silver bell.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry This is a classic from your childhood that has been reprinted with color. Watch as the VERY TALL tree gets cut shorter and shorter and shorter for each animal that gives it a home. The story will fill you with holiday joy.
If you are in a whimsical mood, you need to try Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner. Ever wonder what snowmen do at night? Would you enjoy seeing all the snowmen families celebrating the season (and even their dogs)? The artwork is fantastic and the sight of the snowman Santa and reindeer will bring smiles.
Another fun story is Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor and illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. This is Fancy Nancy at her best with all the trimmings. The illustrations are so splendiferous you will see new things every time you read the story. Nancy gets into some trouble, but it works out with a happy ending.
One more full of fun is Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer. Olivia always has ideas on how to help and now she is getting ready for Christmas. The faces on the family are priceless and the love of the season comes through loud and clear.
For the little ones, trying hard to count the days, try Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney. Llama Llama works hard to get ready for Christmas but gets wound up and full of HOLIDRAMA! I love this line from the book: “Come and listen, little Llama. Have a cuddle with your mama. Sometimes we should take a rest and hold the ones we love the best.”
On the more thoughtful side, and for older children, please turn to Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant with paintings by Chris K. Soentpiet. It is a story of how a rich man made dreams come true for children and how small things that we do for others can change lives. Christmas is not all about what you can get.
Another story with meaning is Night Tree by Eve Bunting and illus. By Ted Rand. It begins with the family going out to get their Christmas Tree, but develops into a warm story of giving back to nature in this busy season.
Finally, but most importantly are the stories about the actual Nativity story. Wombat Divine by Mem Fox is a story about children (that are animals) putting on the Christmas manager story. There are disappointments in the parts, but the warmth of the story gives a wonderful and joyous ending.
Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas, by Sarah Young, uniquely teaches the Christmas story to your children by starting at creation and sharing that Jesus has always been present and that God has always had a plan for Christmas. Bible verses and Jesus Calling devotions are on every spread of this beautiful book, illustrated by Katya Longhi, with foil and glitter on the cover.
There are so many great stories for this season. These are just a few I hope you can find. Snuggle up with someone you love, share a story and take time to enjoy the quiet moments of the season.
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