Christmas Books for Kids

Hello all–  The week after Thanksgiving, I climb up on a chair to reach the large pile of Christmas books that have been stored away on the top shelf of our bookcase since last year.  I trundle them off to school for a Christmas story each morning– and my very favorites end up back on our coffee table to open up at home.  I love these “old friends.”
Here’s a few of the best:

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Julie Vivas’ illustrations make this telling of the Christmas story magical– the booted angels, the very pregnant Mary, the joy of the shepherds as they peer into the manger.  I adore the friendly drawing of the angel seated at a table with Mary– a sort of homespun annunciation.  The text of the story is taken straight away from the King James Biblical narrative.  The grand words and humble drawings together evoke a delight and joy that this wonderful story deserves.
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Mooseltoe,
  heart-warms me every time!  It’s the story of an over organized Dad who has check lists galore to summon up the most perfect Christmas for his family.  It all goes well until the night before Christmas when he realized he has forgotten the Christmas tree!!  His resourcefulness and heroic effort save the day.  You’ve just got to love this guy.  Margie Paratini has written a great book for kids– and for their moms who are living by their own checklists in December!

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Too Many Tamales (by Gary Soto) is a dear story told by young Maria, who starts the day kneading the masa with her mother to make tamales for the big family celebration.  When mother leaves the room, Maria slips on her mother’s sparkling diamond ring and continues to work.  As the guests arrive Maria realizes she doesn’t have the ring!  Is is cooked into a tamale?  She recruits the cousins to help her find the missing ring and the result is comically sweet.  I think you’d enjoy this lovely story of one family’s Christmas.

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IMG_7985Peter Spier is a Caldecott winning illustrator (for his book Noah’s Ark) and this book titled Christmas! in it’s English edition is among his best!  (My copy is from a trip to Italy).  There is little text in this well told story.  The intensely detailed drawings supply every big and little moment in a family’s Christmas– from grocery shopping to stamping Christmas cards, from cookie baking to greeting grandparents at the door.  I love the table laden with the Christmas feast and heads bowed as father prays.  And there’s the post Christmas clean up and at the end one sprig of a Christmas tree at the Christmas tree farm sprouting for next year. There’s a whole lot of fun conversation potential browsing over this book with a sofa full of kids.

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