Recently, Secunda was roughhousing with Dora and they accidentally ripped two of our wall bookshelves off the wall. In all honesty, I was kind of relieved. The shelves were not cheap and were from a very popular children’s furniture manufacturer, but Dora’s books were always falling forward off the shelves (they were like the rain gutter shelves that you see all over Pinterest). So now, I am highlighting special books for Dora by using book baskets (we still have regular shelves-full of books). Thus far, the baskets are easier for Dora to access, but don’t seem to grab her attention as well. So I’m going to try to work on locating them in more eye-catching places. In the interim, I thought I would share some of our favorites from our Christmas book basket.
A St. Nicholas Story: The Fiercest Little Animal In The Forest, by Terri Reinhart, is a new-to-us book. The book contains some definite religious undertones, which you may or may not feel comfortable with, so I recommend that you read through it before passing it on to your children. The story is about the real St. Nicholas, who “tames” a pine marten to use it help deliver gifts to the needy. The illustrations in this book are superb and the story is a sweet one. Since it is a forest-based story, it was an immediate hit with Dora. She loves to re-enact stories with puppets and we have a good set of forest creatures.
In our household, anything that combines fairies with Christmas is bound to be a hit. So, needless to say, Little Fairy’s Christmas, by Daniela Drescher, has been a popular Christmas read with Dora this year. In it, Little Fairy gets lost and her wings freeze. She receives some help from some forest friends and finds a small elf boy, who is also lost. The two are rescued by Father Christmas, who takes them to the elf boy’s house, where Little Fairy decides to stay for the winter. I have to say that Daniela Drescher has become my new favorite children’s author and illustrator. Were this story to have no words, it would still be a treasure to behold.
Continuing along with nature-themed Christmas books, in The Snow Tree, by Caroline Repchuk, a small black bear cub wakes to find the world covered in white. The local animals, however, come one by one to bring a piece of nature to decorate a tree with. Each animal contributes a different colored item and tells what the items represent. In the end, the bear is left to guard the tree. Not only is this story endearing and the illustrations wonderfully realistic, but all of the pages have raised relief designs that provide a texture that Dora couldn’t resist gently rubbing her fingers over.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Holly Hobbie, celebrates what I consider to be the most important part of Christmas, being gathered together. Toot, as usual, has been gallivanting around the world, but has promised Puddle that he will be home in time for Christmas. Life seems to conspire against Toot getting home for Christmas, but then a mysterious stranger provides a miracle, in the form of a ride home.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas, by Karma Wilson, stars the bear from Bear Snores On series. It is another truly sweet story about Bear’s friends keeping Bear awake from hibernation long enough to enjoy Christmas. An emphasis is placed on traditions and giving, more than on receiving, gifts. The illustrations are as beautiful as those contained in the rest of the series. It also has been a fun story to re-enact with our forest puppets.
I have to say that I have enjoyed having some different Christmas reads this year. I’ve read over and over, so many of the popular children’s Christmas books with my older children, so it is a Christmas gift for me just to be able to read something new.
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