Thursday, December 11, 2008

Favorite Holiday Stoires

One of my favorite activities around the holiday is reading good holiday books.  Corny as it may sound it is actually a really neat way to get into the holiday spirit.  If you are looking for the perfect holiday book to read, here are a couple of favorites that I like, for the young and old.  
1.  Donkey's Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri.   This is an excellent read aloud for your littlest reading buddy.  The soft pictures,  the "songs" of the Animals in the barn that soothe the Babe Jesus and the donkey who is afraid his song will not be good make a wonderful feel good story.  The children will love the donkey and his song.  For Donkey finds out that  his song, loud as it is, is a joyful noise unto Jesus.  Very touching!  It's a can't miss story.

2.  The Polar Express by Chris Vans Allsburg.  This story has all the elements that we have come to love bout Christmas.  A train, a small boy and the magic of believing.  Timeless.

3. There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve by Pam Munoz Ryan .  A gentle reminder that the white Christmas that everyone dreams about was not what Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus saw on Christmas Eve.  The pictures are luminous, soft and inviting.  A nice way to remind children of the true meaning of Christmas.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.    The people of Who-ville are sweet, happy and just darn friendly.  Who would want to ruin their Christmas?  Only someone who has a heart two sizes to small!  Well, you know the story, and it still remains to be on the top of the list for Christmas

5.  A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz  It just isn't Christmas without Charlie Brown.  It doesn't matter if you watch the DVD or read the book.  This tale of Christmas always warms the heart.... Thanks Mr. Schulz!

6. A Creature was Stirring by Clement Clarke Moore.   This is a wonderful twist on the classic poem "Twas the Night before Christmas".  A little boy who is eagerly awaiting  Santa's arrival responds to each of the stanza of the famous poem.  It is a hoot and the pictures are wonderful. Moore does an excellent job of capturing the innocence of  a child's excitement at Christmas.

7. Dear Santa : The letters of James B. Dobbins. by Bill  Harley.  Need a good laugh?   Every child writes letters to Santa, but this little boy writes to Santa all December long.  Reminding Santa that he's been good,  nice to his sister, and explains why he has done some naughty things.   A nice change from the "normal" Christmas stories. 

8. A Wish to Be A Christmas Tree by Colleen Moroe   Everyone wants to be special.  Even trees in the forest who long to be  picked to be a Christmas tree.  One tree in particular, is too tall and is passed over many times.  With the help from the forest animals,  the tree gets his wish and is the most beautiful Christmas tree in the forest.  

9.  The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski.   The story begins with the new widow and her son coming to visit Jonathan to ask if he could make a new creche.  He agrees to do the job and eventually the lovely widow and her son make their way into his heart.  Very touching.  

10. An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco .   Based on the author's own family history.  This tale is about the Stowell, a family of nine during the Depression era in Michigan.  Frankie is the youngest of the family and he has learned quite about from his family about sharing what he has with he less fortunate.  Every Christmas, his father travels to Lansing  to get fresh 
Christmas oranges for each child.  When Frankie loses his orange,  the family gives back to him  the wonderful gift of sharing. It is sentimental, sad but worth the read. 

There are so many good books out there, and believe me, I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.   So happy holiday reading! 

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