Small, Medium, and Large
Illustrated by Jane Donovan
|You can't look at this book without smiling. It exudes the excitement, fun, sweetness, and sense of everything being right with the world that a good old-fashioned Christmas promises.|
The story is told nearly wordlessly in illustrations that bring all of the above wonderfulness to life. A little girl writes to Santa, inquiring about his reindeer, expressing her hope that he can find the new house her family has moved to, and saying that this year she doesn't need any new toys. What she does need, though—and the illustrations make it perfectly clear as the story evolves visually—is a friend to share the holiday with her. What she finds under the tree is beyond her wildest dreams, and anyone with a soft spot for animals will appreciate how absolutely perfectly Santa responded to her letter.
There's nothing like making snow angels and building snow forts with friends, just as there's nothing like baking cookies in a warm kitchen. But the best part of a day just might be sitting in front of the fireplace with those new friends, savoring the contentment and peace that the perfect—and I mean perfect—Christmas present brings. Wordless (don't worry about it being wordless; the story is right there—all you have to do is tell it in your own words, or your child can do it alone) and beautiful, this book is very special.
Three Wise Cats
A Christmas Story
Harold Konstantelos, Terri Jenkins-brady
|An old Siamese cat, Ptolemy, knows that a star of unusual brightness means the time of the prophecy has come: ''The Three Finding the One.'' Ptolemy cannot leave his frail master, so he sends three young cats in his stead, knowing the journey will be dangerous and hard, but trusting they will be able to find the baby King.|
There is Abishag, a mature, reliable cat who has never shirked her duty; Kezia, a rather vain, beautiful tabby with a good heart; and Ira, a bold little soldier of a cat who is ready to conquer the world. Slyly following the trio, Asmodeus the rat is determined to thwart the cats' purpose and intention as best he can.
This rich, intricate story takes the listener to lands of Roman camps and soldiers, to the wild open seas of a captain's ship, and across dangerous deserts of sand and wind. Though the three wise cats face many challenges and adventures, their journey is blessed by the gods and they find strong allies and friends along the way who can help them get to Bethlehem, where the star is shining down on a humble stable. By the end, listeners will have these unforgettable characters forever etched in their minds and hearts (the voices for each character are wonderful) and have a whole new interpretation and experience of the Christmas story. Unabridged.
The True Gift
A Christmas Story
Illustrated by Brian Floca
|Lily and Liam always look forward to Christmas visits to their grandparents' farm, where they trim the tree, read the books they have brought from home, and help with the chores and animals. But this year, things are different. A single white cow stands in the meadow, lonely and forlorn. Convinced that the cow needs help, Liam makes the creature his holiday project. Lily is unsure, wishing her brother would just do things the same way they always have.|
This is a beautiful story, carved from a time and place that preserves innocence and simplicity and conveys the true meaning of gift-giving, family, community, and the spirit of Christmas. MacLachlan, beloved author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, has brought us another timeless and classic creation. A true gift, indeed!
A Christmas Angel Collection
12 Angels to Cut Out and Color
Based on works of art from all over the world, from as far back as the 12th century, this collection of angels could end up being some of the very prettiest ornaments on your tree, centerpieces on your table or mantle, or hung from on high, and can be a Christmas tradition that takes on a life of its own.
The world is the limit as to how involved you get in decorating these figures, and you certainly don't have to complete them all at once. These angels became the focal point of Christmas activity in my houseful of relatives one year. From the youngest (3 yrs.) to the oldest (old!) -- everyone ended up drifting to the dining room table at some point during each day to start or finish up an angel. (It got to the point that we stopped trying to keep the table clear enough to eat from and just allowed this project to stay put, since it was a losing battle to clean up several times a day, anyway!) Glitter and sequins played a big part in the fun and in the resulting beauty of the finished angels. We ended up with bands of angels in almost every room of the house -- and of course on the tree.
You can use felt tip pens, watercolors, colored pencils, or crayons, and add glitter or anything else that suits your fancy. Older children and adults can be more meticulous about coloring in the fine details, while younger children can participate too, especially if you're not picky about seeing the angel look flawless in the end. (Creating an angel can be great therapy for adults as you can get delightfully lost in coloring in the details and making sure that every outline feather on every wing is cut perfectly.) When the holiday season is over, the angels can be unfolded and packed away until next year.
|LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH|
And Let It Begin with Me
Jill Jackson, Sy Miller
Illustrated by David Diaz
There are stories about the twelve symbols in the back of the book along with words and music for the song and a great story about the songwriters and how the song came to be and took wings in the world.
The band Palo Colorado recorded the 12 songs on the CD with family and friends, including Jill and Sy's great grandchildren. This would make a lovely gift for the holiday season, affirming peace on Earth for everyone.
Heartwarming Christmas Books for the Whole Family Check out Chinaberry for some of your book gifts.
I hope that you find that a child that you know might enjoy one of these Christmas selections for their Christmas gift. Until next time, keep curling up with a good book!