Friday, December 3, 2010
So I think Friday will be book day this week. Here's a few favorite Christmas Books for you. I have a few million favorites, but I'll try and pare them back:
First: Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lingren
I love the images in this book of a Swedish Christmas in a small village. There's some heritage leanings here. Part of why I really like this book is that the children have messy hair. It's more in tune with what goes on at my house. A fun book that makes Mom feel good. What can be wrong with that?
Next: Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett
Incidentally Jan Brett is pretty fabulous for a lot of Christmas books: The Night Before Christmas, The Gingerbread Baby, The trouble with Troll--ok not all Christmas books, but snowy and fun. If you haven't seen a Jan Brett book stop and take a look next time you're at a bookstore. They're fabulous. She's a nice lady too--we got to meet her for Mowg's birthday this year. She also has an amazing website with free coloring pages, projects and a whole page of "art lesson" videos. http://www.janbrett.com/
"Who's Knocking..." is a fun story of a girl and her father who have trouble with trolls ruining their Christmas Eve. A boy and his bear come along and help straighten things out. It's great fun and beautiful into the bargain. Very Scandanavian, the boy is heading to Oslo.
The Baker's Dozen by Heather Forest
This is a colonial legend about how the baker's dozen of 13 came about. It's also about overcoming greed. A baker is successful and then starts to skimp on ingredients and after an encounter with an old woman on Christmas Eve his success evaporates. Ultimately he changes his ways and gives 13 in his dozen. The illustrations are very interesting to look at for little ones. Mowg told me this was his favorite Christmas story.
The Christ Child as Told by Matthew and Luke illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham
I saved this one for last as it is my absolute favorite. It was published in 1931. I don't think there is a better book about the Christ Child. It starts with the prophecy's in Isaiah (just one page) and ends with "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." The "chapters" (remember this is a children's book and it does have a good balance of illustrations and text) are: Prophecy, The Babe, The Shepherds, In the Temple (Simeon), The Wise men, The Flight into Egypt, and The Child (teaching in the temple). This book uses the King James version of the Bible for its text. "Using only the verses that give the outline of the story" [from the back flap] The illustrations were based on the illustrators visit the Holy Land so it has a feel of authenticity to me. I can't say enough good about it. The illustrations are simple, but not rustic. There is a combination of colored and black and white illustrations. It is out of print and I've never seen as many copies as are currently available on Amazon. I also should confess that this book is what I used as a 5 year old to lead my siblings in a re-enactment of the Christmas Story. So there is a bit of the nostalgia in it for me, but I really feel it is a beautiful book.
Another story I love is The Littlest Angel, but I don't like the illustrations of the one currently in print. That may be a nostalgia thing too, but I just don't like them. I don't think they invoke the child-likeness of the tale. That's it for this week. I'll try and share a few more with you next week. What about you? Do you have any favorite Christmas Stories?