Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Favorite Christmas Books


Around the transition of each season, I pull out our favorite seasonal books and keep them on a kitchen counter, so that these books are always around. I often read them to the boys at breakfast. We took our Christmas boxes out of the garage this weekend, and were delighted to find our collection of Christmas books waiting for us. Here are some of our favorites:

The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett - the original gingerbread boy story as told and beautifully illustrated by Jan Brett. The boys also like her story The Wild Christmas Reindeer.


The 12 Days of Christmas and The Night Before Christmas by Robert Sabuda - the traditional versions, with exquisite pop-up art.

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell. As predators and prey gather together in the stable, they learn lessons about tolerance and generosity, and witness the birth of the baby Jesus.

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is a simple and lovely interpretation of the nativity story.

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown is the sweet story of a living pine tree and it's presence in a family's holiday.

The Animals' Merry Christmas by Richard Scarry. This Christmas collection is full of beautifully illustrated funny animal stories and poems.

Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. This story of Christmas contains all that I hope my children will remember from their childhood Christmases - baking, singing, celebrations with friends and family, and much joy.

The Story of the Snow Children by Sibylle Von Olfers. While staring out the window at snowflakes the character realizes they are actually little snow children that then carry her away on a magical winter adventure. Beautifully illustrated.

What are your favorite Christmas reads?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you can still find it in a library, I love Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas by Russell Hoban, the story of a poor otter community that makes a Christmas from scratch and ingenuity. Good inspiration for these hard times.
Another one that emphasizes the joyful anticipation of Christmas through recognition of the non-gift side of the holiday is Lucille Clifton's Everett Anderson's Christmas Coming. Written in simple rhyme, in focuses on family love and warmth.
I also like Jeff Brumbeau's The Quiltmaker's Gift about something that cannot be bought, only given in love.
Linda Oatman High's A Christmas Star is about a bit of Christmas magic restoring the hopes in a poor community that has suffered an injustice.
Patricia Polacco - one of my favorite author/illustrators - has several that will inspire: The Trees of the Dancing Goats; Christmas Tapestry; and Welcome Comfort.
Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

And another Polacco that I left out: An Orange for Frankie. Polacco has written and illustrated many books, all of them both beautiful and substantive.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

We grew up with The Animals Merry Christmas and i was ecstatic when it was reissued a couple of years ago. I went right out and bought a copy just for me. Sat down and read the snowshoe rabbits and the hedgehogs christmas immediately! Another favorite is the Hans Christian Anderson book, "The Fir Tree." The best one is the version illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkett. I have a whole shelf full of Christmas books and look at them every year. Wonderful idea and how nice to see you doing it with your boys!

KPiep said...

Thank You for the list! I'll have to check out some of those books as we're not familiar with all of them. I'll also have to dive into the girls' bookshelves this morning for our own Christmas books.

Have you heard about the advent craft and book project on the Crafty Crow? One book/day with a cooresponding craft. I wish I had managed to organize myself before it started!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

We love Robert Sabuda's books. I had no idea he had some Christmas ones out. Thanks for all the lovely titles. We will be sure and check them out :)

Ina J Offret said...

Anonymous those are wonderful suggestions!

A Family Christmas, by Caroline Kennedy.

All-age appropriate. Contains songs, poems, memoirs, classic tales and new stories in one fabulous book. You learn in the introduction that Jackie Kennedy always wore the same dress each Christmas Eve....

cathylwood said...

Even my 20-something-daughters pull out our well-loved copies of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Sweet Smell of Christmas" this time of year. Thanks for the sweet memories of cuddling with the kids and favorite books -- those are priceless moments.

Ivy Lane said...

How wonderful. I'll bet the boys will have memories of these books forever! They will be great to pass on down to their own someday!

amy said...

such wonderful suggestions! they all look like really nice reads... i always did love "a christmas carol"!

Elizabeth said...

I love that photo of the boys in their matching outfits sharing books on the couch. Such a wonderful holiday scene.

Stacy said...

What a great list! I've bookmarked it. This year I bought the boys Ollie's Ski Trip by Elsa Beskow.

Joyce said...

A ver nice list of books! My all time favorite is the Night Before Christmas. This is a great idea to keep the books on the counter and I'm sure a memory they will remember. xoxo...

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and thanks to those who offered new titles! I can't wait to check em out. xoxo

lynanne said...

A couple other winter books we like:

Duck Skates by Lynne Berry and Hiroe Nakata

A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

brooke said...

I'm planning my own list too, but several of these are new to me. I'll definitely check them out! Thank you!

Sarah said...

Lecia, thanks for reminding me to get out our books. Keeping them in your kitchen temporarily is such a great idea!

citysage said...

A great list! I'm a big girl now but still love kids books, especially christmas ones. My faves from when I was little included 'the story of holly and ivy' by rumer godden, and 'the gift of the magi' by o. henry. my mom used to read that one to us from our big norman rockwell christmas treasury---a must buy if you can find it online! classic stories combined with rockwell's illustrations = one you'll cherish for years.

lapetitevie said...

I love The Gift of Nothing. It gives me chills every time I read it. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing your list.