My rule is that the day after Thanksgiving is a start of Christmas season with proper music and books. Our library has so many wonderful holiday books, and I am yet to pull out our Christmas collection that has more than 24 titles (I know, because last year we did an Advent thing and read them all, plus some). Anyway, I want to share two new books and two favorites in this post and kick off a special “holiday edition” of The Children’s Bookshelf. Please link up your new and old Christmas book posts and share your favorites!
Three Wise Women is a new story we read this year. It is written by one of my favorite authors Mary Hoffman. I love her tales that stress equality between races and genders, and I love sharing them with my daughter. Three Wise Women mirrors the story of three wise men from the Bible. I really liked the beginning of the story when three women of different ages from different lands are compelled to follow the star, but the story faltered somewhat for me by trying to follow the recipe, especially in the gift giving part. Still, a good story for 5+.
We read I’ve Seen Santa by David Bedford before, but it was when Smarty was 3. I brought it back because I thought that the book is very funny. Now Smarty was much better able to appreciate the humor of the story and was literally rolling on the floor laughing. The humor works so well because of adorable illustrations by Tim Warnes and will work well for children of any age, even for the youngest.
It’s a Miracle: A Hanukkah Storybook by Stephanie Spinner is our traditional Hanukkah read. It’s a great book that focuses on modern family celebration and on family ties, not on a story of Hanukkah. It’s still a good introduction to modern Hanukkah for non-Jewish families. As a warning, the book is long and designed to be read over 8 days, something that my daughter doesn’t agree to. Usually we start with one or two stories, and then she takes over and reads the rest herself.
When Smarty was very young, she didn’t appreciate Jan Brett’s books, probably because of the amount of visual information on each page. Exactly this richness is very appealing to her now, and, luckily, Jan Brett has so many wonderful Christmas books! Christmas Trolls was new to us this year, and we both enjoyed predicting from side illustrations what will happen next. I am pretty sure that we will read more Jan Brett stories later including a couple that we own.