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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Read a Christmas Book with your Children

I imagine you and your children have favorite books to read together at Christmas-time.  Here are a few of the ones our family has enjoyed over the years.  {Most ofhese will be at your local library where you can preview them, or available for purchase from an online bookseller like Better World Books,, or Barnes & Noble.]

Jotham's Journey, Bartholemew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels.  It's a bit late to get started on these now since they are actually Advent titles, but make a note for next year!   We found these books a number of years ago when we were using the Five in a Row curriculum at home.  The books are designed to be read aloud each night of the Advent Season and they should be read in order (start with Jotham, then Bartholemew, then Tabitha.)  Sometimes they are a bit corny and the writing tends towards the overly dramatic and predictable, but we did enjoy them!  [Age depends on attention span of your particular child...  if you are listening as a family, all ages.]

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.  An online reviewer writes,  "Christmas is pish-posh," grumbles Jonathan Toomey, the best wood carver in the valley. He's a Scroogelike recluse; but he's a gentle grouch, it turns out, and he hides a sad secret. He's transformed, not by Dickensian ghosts, but by an eager seven-year-old boy and his widowed mother who ask him to make them a Christmas creche...." Apparently this book was made into a movie a few years back but I have no idea if it is any good!  At any rate, make sure you have a box of tissues nearby when you read this one.  Ages 6 and up.

The Clown of God.  "In this retelling of the old French legend, a juggler offers to the Christ Child the only Christmas gift he has..." This is another one that will most likely move you to tears.  Please read it with your children very, very soon.  [BTW this is also a Five in a Row title.]  Ages 5 and up.

Note, another Five in a Row title, A New Coat for Anna, is also a beautiful story that features a Christmas celebration in the end.  Ages 4 and up.

Some would probably complain about the next two but we are Babar and Madeline fans so we'll forgive these titles for whatever they may lack;  I'm just stubborn and old-fashioned enough to like them anyway!   

Madeline's Christmas "With everyone else sick in bed with a cold on Christmas eve, it is up to Madeline to run the school and she finds a remarkable helper in a rug-selling magician."  Preposterous but fun anyway.  Ages 5 and up.

Babar and Father Christmas. Babar's children write to Father Christmas, inviting the jolly fellow to visit them in the land of the elephants.  Awesome.  Ages 3 and up.

 For older children, of course try O. Henry's classic tale The Gift of the Magi.  (This lovely version is illustrated by P.J. Lynch.) Ages 10 and up.

What are your family's favorites
to read together this time of year?

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