It was a very busy week at work for me as you could see by silence on my blog. However, our reading program continued “as planned”. On Monday Smarty and I went to the library and she chose about a dozen book from Fairies series by Daisy Meadows. I am not a big fan of these books, but I am glad that she is not scared by Jack Frost and his goblins any longer. She read all of them in one day when she was home sick with a pink eye and kept reading them on and off all week. She also always picks one or two Dr Seuss books to read too when we come to the library. And here are some of the best Christmas books that we read together this week.
We love Julia Donaldson books, and I was trying to get Stick Man for quite some time. This week I was lucky, and it was definitely my favorite of the week (Smarty was very sad about the misfortunes of the main character at first). The verses read well, and the illustrations by Axel Scheffler are beautiful. The story has great twists and turns and, of course, ends well. The good news about this story that it can be read at any time of the year even if it does have a Christmas ending. And if you are in a crafty mood, here is option 1 for older kids and option 2 for a younger crowd.
The Nutcracker Ballet by Vladimir Vagin is a book from our own library. We have several Nutcracker books, but this one is my favorite and closest to the original ballet flow. I asked Smarty if she wants to see The Nutcracker this year, but she was not interested, she is still afraid of Mouse King death scene in San Jose interpretation. However, she really liked the Prima Princessa Nutcracker DVD that we won in a giveaway at Mama Smiles. I enjoyed watching this program with her – it’s sort of “Nutcracker Cliff Notes” for young ballet lovers. We followed the movie by reading this book before bed.
We read The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard on December 6, since we celebrate Saint Nicholas Day in a German tradition. The book doesn’t really focus on Saint Nicholas, but it is gorgeously illustrated by Wendy Edelson and communicates a message of giving pretty well. A perfect complement would be baking and decorating St Nicholas cookies, but Smarty doesn’t like icing on the cookies. I saw a nice St Nicholas peg doll here (mom made). Oh, and Smarty was delighted to see her Santa letter to disappear on the night of December 6 and her shoe filled in the morning with Christmas chocolates and a pretty ornament.
We loved Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney when Smarty was younger, but we missed this new edition to the series last year. As all other Llama books, this one is a cute book for young children, and it’s kind of sad that my daughter informed me that this is a baby book, she seems to be growing up so quickly. I love illustrations in the series and facial expressions. The story also reminded me to slow down and take a break when needed before I myself throw a tantrum over business and stress of this holiday season.