Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas 'Classics'

There are so many really great children's Christmas picture books out there. There are an equal number of not so great books, too. Here are a few of the books that we like to read each year:

I must, of course, begin with the book that has made Christmas feel like Christmas to me since i was small, How the Grinch stole Christmas. I am not even going to write a review of this, I think we all know how wonderful it is. (Besides, I am holding a sleeping baby and typing with one hand)

Another, that is considered a classic to my children, since it was written before they were born, is The Very First Christmas written by Paul L. Mair and illustrated by Frank Ordaz. We love all of the fun Santa Claus and snowman Christmas books out there, but it is also nice to have a book that is in celebration of the birth of Christ. The author is a historian, and included many facts that help explain the Christmas story from the bible. This is done as an eight year old boy listens to his mother read from the bible, and asks her lots of questions. Best for older children -6 to 10 - but younger children will enjoy the absolutely stunning, lifelike artwork.

Letters from Father Christmas is a book that I enjoy more than my children do, I bought it for myself. But the kids also find it interesting. It is a series of letters written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Every year he wrote to his children as Santa Claus, it also includes his original artwork that goes along with the letters.

This vesion of The Night Before Christmas contains the unadulterated classic poem, and the familiar wonderful artwork that I remember as a child. We actually have a couple of copies of this, as Santa Claus gave it out at the library two years ago. (Much better than a sticky candy cane)

Angel Pig and the hidden Christmas is one of my children's favorites. It has a very familiar theme: that the point of Christmas is not the gifts that we receive. The pigs in this story find this out when they realize they have no money to buy all of the Christmas stuff with, they begin to despair, and then angel pig appears and helps them to have a wonderful Christmas after all. I especially love the illustrations by David McPhail, and the rhyming verse is very funny and well done.


Alicia December 9, 2008 at 7:58 AM  

Those are fantastic books! You really picked some good classics to. Love it!

LuAnn December 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM  

Letters from Father Christmas sounds good. We always read Twas the Night Before Christmas also. Thanks for your suggestions.

Tena December 9, 2008 at 10:15 AM  

I have never read Angel Pig! I think I will pick this up and take a peak at it! Great books

Bogsider December 9, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

Thanks for posting those books. I am from Denmark, so of course those are not books that I know or have heard of, but we also have some books, which has become Christmas Classics. Love to read about other countries and books :-)

Alyce December 9, 2008 at 12:17 PM  

Great list of books! We don't really own any Christmas books, but we've found our own Christmas reading traditions (the Bible story).

nuttbutts December 9, 2008 at 3:50 PM  

I really have to stop reading this too often, it just makes me want to spend money on books! Not that that is a bad thing to spend money on but.........

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