Thursday, December 23, 2010

25th December Christmas Day

Christmas Day and no authors, so I get to write about my all-time favourite Christmas books! Some I have mentioned before, such as Rumer Godden's The Story of Holly and Ivy, Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney's The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree and Tomie de Paola's The Legend of the Poinsettia, but there are others that shouldn't be missed.

These are, in no particular order:
* Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman. This works well if you are looking for a traditional nativity story, but it is told from a cat's point of view and Foreman's colour and perspective is breathtaking.
* Fair's Fair by Leon Garfield and Margaret Chamberlain. This picture book version of the story is out of print and the current versions look more like small chapter books. I read this Scrooge-type story to Year 2 and they sit transfixed by the language, the setting and the child-protagonists who have experiences so far removed from their own.
* The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and P.J.Lynch. Like Fair's Fair this story is also set in a time before cars when craftsmanship was considered a great talent and death was commonplace. It is sad and uplifting at the same time.
* The Little Crooked Christmas Tree by Michael Cutting and Ron Broda. This story looks at exclusion, perfection, and other qualities that people think important at Christmas through the eyes of a less-than-perfect Christmas tree who is left standing alone on the tree farm.
* The Other Goose by Judith Kerr. This story about Katerina, a goose who thinks her reflection is another goose is a bit corny, but it is action-packed and Christmas is only the background setting and almost incidental to the plot.

And two more recent titles:
* Shall I Knit You a Hat? A Christmas Yarn by Kate and M. Sarah Klise. I like this because their is such a loving relationship between the mother rabbit and her child, I like knitting and the Klise sisters have imbued the book with such warmth.
* Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. I think everyone needs to chuckle and smile at Christmas and this rollicking rhyme is fun. The children at school love it.

And, if you need a serial:
* The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson will keep you laughing right to the end.

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