We are now in full on Christmas reading mode. Some of our books are the same books we read last winter, and some are new finds. Our library seems to have inexhaustible amount of Christmas books, and a lot of them look very good. But I want to share first a couple of non-Christmas books that we found on our “New Arrivals” display.
Smarty grabbed Alex and Lulu by Lorena Siminovich from the shelf and announced that she will read this book to me. Something in illustrations appealed to her right away, and the story didn’t disappoint either. Alex and Lulu are a boy dog and a girl cat who are best friends but like different things. Can their friendship last? This book is great for 4+ since it tackles important questions – how do we make friends? How do we play fair? What do we love about our friends? Check it out when you get a chance.
Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord and Derek Anderson was another random find. I actually had to google “hot rod” to be able to explain what it means to Smarty (and the book made a lot more sense to me then). Young car enthusiasts might appreciate this book even more than my daughter did – illustrations are playful and bright too. Smarty's favorite part was the end of the book when Hot Rod Hamster made out with all the prizes.
I am always looking for the books that introduce traditions from other countries, and I was excited to find Hannah’s Christmas by Melissa Peterson. Technically, the story is not about Christmas, but about Swedish tradition of St Lucia’s celebration on December 13. It’s a cute story about the girl who just relocated with her family to America and misses Sweden and her grandma. An unexpected house guest helps her get ready for St Lucia day. We both really enjoyed this story.
Since Smarty is half German, we couldn’t miss St Nicholas Day on December 6. We enjoyed reading The Legend of St Nicholas by Dandi Daley Mackall. The story nicely links past and present and tries to focus the reader on the joy of giving this holiday season. I used the book (and a Veggie Tales movie about St Nicholas) as a “kickoff” to convincing Smarty donate some of her toys to children in need. To be honest, it wasn’t easy, but she did feel the big box to donate to the shelter.