penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.


leave a comment »

Today I opened up the seventeenth door on my calendar and found…books.

I love Christmas books.  Sinterklaas must know this because each year he brings us a new one.  We have also received a wealth of Christmas books from friends and family. Each year, the numbers grow and each year at the beginning of advent I pull them out and put them within easy reach (the rest of the year, I don’t want to hear about the Grinch.  Sorry kids).

So here are some of the books we have – in no particular order:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson: This was one of my mom’s favourite books.  So, when I moved out she bought me a copy.  And she bought each of my brothers a copy too.  It’s a book about what it means to be “those children” in a small town – and how these ‘cussin no good kids somehow become the stars of the local Christmas pageant.  It’s narrative teaches about empathy and seeing life from a different perspective.

The Christmas Tree by Janet Salamon and illustrated by Jill Weber: This is a book my mother had sitting on her shelf and I have borrowed it.  It is the story of how a special tree in a convent becomes the Rockerfeller Christmas tree.  It’s a story about how Christmas can sometimes lose its meaning – and how to find it again.

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and illustrated by David Hohn:  A gentle mama polar bear takes her son on a journey to find the real meaning of Christmas – and that Jesus is the best gift of all.

When Christmas Came by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Wayne Parmenter.  Who will come to church in the middle of a snow storm on Christmas Eve? All are welcome – even the stranger at the door.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:  Ours has a lovely red hard cover and illustrations by Quentin Blake. I started to re-read this for the children and had forgotten how subtly funny it was.

The Grinch that Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess:  When I read this story, I do my best Boris Karloff impersonation.  And I hear “You’re Mean One Mr. Grinch.”

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson: Every year there is a new version out with different illustrations.  In ours, Santa drives a rocket sled.

The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas: The bible passages paired with watercolour pictures that depict the journey of Mary and Joseph closer to reality than your average children’s bible.  Mary looks pregnant, Joseph like a teenager doing an impossible job and the angels wear work boots.

Are you Grumpy Santa Claus? By Gregg and Evan Spiridellis:  Even a saint has bad days.  A wonderfully subversive board book we have where Santa starts by stubbing his toe – and it all goes downhill from there.  I won’t spoil the ending.

Dashing through the Snow and A Porcupine in a Pine Tree by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Werner Zimmerman:  Canadian versions of well known Christmas carols with comical pictures.

Captain Sky Blue by Richard Egielski:  An elf pilot gets lost and needs to find his way home.  Filled with fun aviation vocabulary and beautiful pictures.  Roger Wilco!

The Animals’ Christmas Carol by Helen Ward :  When Jesus is born, all the animals describe how they will protect and care for him.  Filled with rich, detailed illustrations accented with gold leaf.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Gene Autry and illustrated by Bruce Whatley:  It’s a song that’s hard to resist singing with fun illustrations.

Oh Holy Night illustrated by Faith Ringgold:  Christmas hymns with simple folk art paintings.


Written by pennyinacastle

December 20, 2014 at 3:57 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: