Monday, December 14, 2015

Some Advent books we are enjoying

Is there anything more cosy than a basket of Christmas books on a cold afternoon? My mother always saved the Christmas books for December and early January, so it was a special treat when they came out. Even though my kids are still quite young, we have amassed quite a collection of Christmas books, so I split our books into those better suited for Advent and those that can wait until after the feastday.

 The Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider. My almost five year old loves this book- partly, I think, because he shares a first name with the protagonist. Each day, Benjamin Bear journeys one day closer to Bethlehem. The illustrations are very tender and engaging.
 Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona and her assistant Big Anthony spend Advent preparing for the village Christmas feast- or so she thinks! Just before Christmas Eve Mass, Strega Nona discovers that Big Anthony has let her down- and that "Christmas has a magic of its own." 
 The Friendly Beasts by Tomie dePaola. This may be my favorite depiction of the Nativity story. The sweet words of the carol pair with Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and the illustrations gradually reveal the Christ Child.
 The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola. I was surprised at how much my older son to this book, since he had previously shown no interest in the similar "Legend of the Indian Paintbrush," and "Legend of the Bluebonnet." Lucida is devastated when her mother is taken ill and can't complete their family's gift for Baby Jesus. But she learns the spirit of giving elevates the most humble gift.
Silent Night by Margaret Hodges. From the author of St George and the Dragon, Silent Night traces the history of the beloved Austrian carol from the evening it was composed to the modern day.

 Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren. From the author of Pippi Longstocking, Christmas in Noisy Village follows the activities of Scandinavian farm children on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Peter Spier's Christmas. This wordless book about a British family's preparations for Christmas continues in Spier's trademark illustration style, with a keen eye to detail and touches of humor.

What are some Advent books that are being enjoyed at your house?

Books were either purchased myself or checked out from the library.

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