Friday, December 10, 2010

Make Room for Reading!

I love to give “my” children a special book for Christmas. I think it is a wonderful choice for a gift, especially because it will be shared over & over again, and not tossed to the side after a few hours, never to be touched again. Here are some books on my shopping list for those cherished darlings I love:

The Christmas Gift, by Emily Arnold McCully (Harper Trophy Books, for ages 3 to 6 years)- this is a wordless book about an extended family of mice. The readers are in for a treat when they open this book about when a cherished Christmas present does not make it through Christmas day before it is broken (not an uncommon event in my home).

 The Tree that Came to Stay, by Anna Quindlen (Crown Publishers), for ages 4 through 9 years. Ms. Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize-Winning columnist for the New York Times, and this is her first children’s book. I love that it is about a resourceful mother who finds a way to keep Christmas alive all year round!

 The Day Before Christmas, by Eve Bunting (Clarion Books), ages 5-8. All children are drawn into this story about a special day in a young girls’ life: a train trip she makes with her grandfather to see her first production of “the Nutcracker.” The paintings that illustrate this book are magnificent, and the story is touching because many years ago, the grandfather made the exact same trip with the little girl’s mother, who is now passed on. Compassion is modeled in the girl, and heart strings are tugged all around in this poignant tale.

 First Snow, Magic Snow, by John Cech, (Four Winds Press), for ages 4-7. For me as a child, the first snow was always enchanting, exciting, and a blessed event at our house. This book is based on a Russian folk tale called “The Snow Maiden.” A barren couple’s life is changed forever when a snow girl” built by one of them magically comes to life. In the spring, when the girl-child must suddenly leave with the melting snow, their love for her leads them north to a colder climate in an effort to keep her. This book really touched my heart the first time I read it, I suppose because at one time, I was a “barren woman.” And because I KNOW what a tremendous blessing a child can be to a family who yearns for one!

 Christmas Eve at Santa’s, by Alf Proysen (R & S books, distributed by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), for ages 4-8. This book comes to us from Sweden. A carpenter bumps into Santa one Christmas Eve, and Santa asks the Carpenter to go and make a visit to Santa’s Children at his home!

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