Saturday, December 19, 2009

My favorite children's books to celebrate this season

I have always loved children's books. They remind me of the many hours spent reading as a kid. Stories took me places near and far away, and I enjoyed using my imagination.

I've recently checked out some Christmas books at my local library to read for fun and share with you. I also have some favorites of my own, including a couple that belonged to my husband when he was a boy. If you don't already own some of these books, you can check them out at your library this week and enjoy them with your kids or grandkids.

First is my list of books that celebrate the real reason of Christmas:

The ABC's of Christmas, by Jane Belk Moncure, illustrated by James Seward and Denise Saupe, published by The Child's World, Inc., 1982; very simple for toddlers and preschoolers; shares the Nativity story with the letters of the alphabet.

The Candymaker's Gift, by David and Helen Haidle, published by Honor Books, Inc., 1996; a candy maker shares the meaning of the candy cane with children that come to his shop; the colors and shape signify different things about Jesus; includes ideas to host your very own candy cane party.

The Little Drummer Boy, words and music by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati, and Harry Simeone, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas, published by Clarion Books, 2001; the classic song is illustrated beautifully in this book.

The Christmas Star, story adapted from original text by Moira Butterfield, soft sculptures by Christine Potter, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2000; simple Nativity story illustrated with detailed soft sculptures; everyone will love this book!

The Legend of the Christmas Rose, by William H. Hooks, paintings by Richard A. Williams, published by Harper Collins Publishers, 1999; the nativity story from the point of view of the shepherds' little sister; gorgeous illustrations.

One Wintry Night, by Ruth Bell Graham, illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson, published by Baker Books, 1994; a picture book divided into chapters, starting from the creation and leading to the birth and death of Christ; this is perhaps my favorite Christmas book--the story is written well for all ages to understand and the illustrations are beautiful.

Now, here's my list of some fun books that will be enjoyed by all ages:

On Christmas Day in the Morning, traditional carol, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, published by Candlewick Press, 1999; the well-known song is illustrated with watercolor paintings.

Jingle Bell Sleigh, by Monique Z. Stephens, illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau, published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2002; a fun story about a family enjoying a winter day; the characters' faces are adorable.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, a Christmas Carol, traditional carol, illustrated by Mike Eagle, published by Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1983, a Little Golden Book; everyone will love the pictures that go along with the well-known Christmas song.

These next two include Santa Claus. I'm not very big on Santa, especially when he takes the place of Christ during the Christmas season in so many homes today. But--I'm okay with it in moderation in classic stories such as these:

Santa Comes to Little House, from Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee' Graef, published by Harper Collins Publishers, 2001; this true-life story of a very special Christmas at the Ingalls' household is a great reminder to be thankful for family and simple gifts; beautiful colored illustrations.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, by Robert L. May, illustrated by David Wenzel, published by Grosset & Dunlop, 2001 (text originally copyrighted in 1939); this is the original story of Rudolph; the story teaches us that we all have a purpose in this life--great opportunity to teach about God's plan in how he made us individually with our talents and physical characteristics.

These last two books are ones that I've had for some time. I've not read them in their entirety, but hope to get to them some day!:) I really enjoy collecting older books when I get the chance. There is so much to be learned from literature found in books like these:

Christmas-Tree Sam, An Everyday Adventure Story, by Helen D. Olds, published by Julian Messner, Inc.,1952; a story about Sam at the Christmas tree farm; black and white drawings.

Christmas Tales and Christmas Verse, by Eugene Field, illustrated by Florence Storer, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, October 1912; a mix of stories and poems for the season; classic colored illustrations.

This picture is just one of several that are included in this book.

Isn't is just beautiful? I can't wait to go through these older books--they are truly treasures!

What are some of your favorite books for the season? Please share them with the rest of us.:)

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