Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Favorites Old and New!

The season would not be complete without making a list of wonderful stories that warm the heart of every person who has made Christmas wishes. There are a ton of books that try to capture the spirit of Christmas but not all pass the test of conveying the message of the season. Adult readers may remember Christmas favorites such as The Christmas Jar. Even Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck have tried their hands at sharing sentimental Christmas stories. There is something different about children's books that make the holiday that much more special. (Perhaps that is why Beck's and Huckabee's book were published in picture book form.) it may be that the illustrators create such memorable works of arts that pull the reader right into the story. The authors play a huge role to with the gift of storytelling that can entertain readers of all ages. It's that combination that must be present for the book to continue to be read year after year. In honor of he 25 days of Christmas, here are 25 titles that will "wow" any library crowd or bedtime readers.

1. Snowed Under and other Christmas Confusions Serge Bloch
By far one of the most original Christmas books to come along in a long time. It's a hilarious look at figures of speech that can make a youngster believe that someone who is snowed under is frankly quite cold and trying to get out from under a snowy mound. Pictures are simple and fun.

2. Gift of the Magi O'Henry
Timeless tale that should be read to every child. There are many versions of this book with beautiful illustrations that capture the story's message of love and sacrifice.

3. Christmas Lighthouse Toni Bozzeo
Inspired by the Fly Santa Program, which is a New England Tradition since 1929, this tale reminds readers that Christmas are always brighter when shared with loved ones.

4. Jingle the Christmas Clown Tomie de Paola
No one can weave a wonderful story quite like Tomie de Paola. The rich Italian culture shines through this folk tale that will inspire even the littlest of hearts.

5. The Christmas Magic Lauren Thompson
Perfect book for Christmas Eve at bedtime. Santa's preparation for his midnight ride is told in details. From feeding his reindeers, to waxing the sleigh and finally the magic ride across the sky.

6. There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve Pamela Munoz Ryan
Beautifully written and illustrated retelling of the Nativity story which reminds children that for the new born babe did not shiver in the cold snow. Rather, he laid in an open manger and felt the desert air brush against his cheeks.

7. The Littlest Angel Charles Tazewell
A classic tale of a cherub who in size was the tiniest of all the angels, but his gift to the newborn King was greater than anyone could have ever given. Timeless.

8. Who is Coming to Our House? Joseph Slate
All the animals in the stable are getting ready for a very special visitor.

9. Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story Sally Lloyd - Jones
Heaven and Nature sang on the night the Babe named Jesus was born. Their hymn "Its Time! Its Time!" Not every ear heard the chorus but every eye was able to see the night sky dazzle with the brightest of stars.

10. Bear Stays Up For Christmas Karma Wilson
Its hard to be a bear at Christmas. This is the time of year when all bears hibernate for the Winter. Bear makes a decision that this will be the Christmas he will not miss.

11. A Pirate's Night Before Christmas Phillip Yates
This book is definitely for the buccaneer who dreams of adventure, the high seas and of course, a treasure map.

12. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Dr. Suess
If this book is not read at Christmas then it might as well cancel the tree trimming parties, the holiday dinners and other celebrations. Grinch has become a huge part of Christmas traditions that without him, everything loses its magical touch.

13. Cobweb Christmas Shirley Climo
One Christmas Eve, Tante comes to realize that everyone, even the tiniest spider, wants to be a part of Christmas.

14. The Polar Express Chris Van Allsberg
Michigan author, Chris Van Allsberg takes children on a magical train ride to be with Santa at the North Pole on Christmas Eve. A very wonderful and powerful reminder that Santa is real for all those who believe.

15. A Wish To Be A Christmas Tree Colleen Monroe
A lonely fir's only wish seems like it will never come true. The woodland animals come together to help Fir become the most beautiful Christmas Tree in the forest.

16. Mistletoe David McPhail
A young girl's request from Santa seems to have been misunderstood. Instead of a real pony, she receives a rocking horse. Disappointed at first, the little girl goes back to sleep. In her imagination she sees herself riding the "pretend" pony, whom she names Mistletoe, and going on wonderful adventures. Turns out that Santa knew what she wanted all along.

17. The Christmas Box Eve Merriam
A whimsical story of a large family who awake on Christmas morning to find only one large present under the tree. Who is it for? Everyone! Inside the box is a gift that is perfect for each family member.

18. This is the Star Joyce Dunbar
Done to the rhyme of "This is the House that Jack Built". A unique retelling of the nativity story.

19.Home For Christmas Jan Brett
Just as de Paolo brings Italy to young readers, Brett brings the beautiful Scandinavian landscape for young eyes to feast upon. Little Rollo is not happy at home because of the chores he must complete. Off he goes to runaway and never come back. He soon finds out that there really is no place like home. In the nick of time, he makes it home for Christmas.

20. On Christmas Eve Liz Rosenberg
A modern day tale of a family's plans for Christmas take a turn for the worse when weather prevents them from reaching their holiday destination. How will Santa find them? Not to worry, Santa has a way of finding every good little boy or girl, where ever they roam.

21. Bearer of Gifts Kenneth C. Steven
A tale of a simple carpenter followed a star in the sky that led him to the babe in the Manger. From the moment he meets Jesus, the carpenter's life is changed. In a miraculous minute his clothes are transformed to a red suit that everyone recognizes today.

22. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Susan Woiciechowski
A lonely woodcarver who lives on the edge of town and has lost his wife and child, finds no joy in life One day he receives a request from a widow and her son. Reluctantly he agrees to help them. In the process, he finds the miracle of life and Christmas is that joy can return after a tragic loss.

23. The Little Fir Tree Margaret Wise Brown
A beautiful story of Christmas traditions that can be broken because of small miracles in a family's life. A sweet story about love, family and the Christmas spirit.

24. The Christmas Tree Ship Carole Crane
Inspired by true events of the little schooner carrying up to 5,000 trees. The trees are on their way to Chicago from Northern Michigan. The Captain of the Rouse Simmons, aka the Christmas Tree Ship, would sell the Christmas trees or give them away to needy families.

25. Snowmen at Christmas Caralyn Buehner
This light hearted tale reveals the mystery of what Snowmen do on Christmas night.

These books are sure to delight many readers. Yet, there may be some that may not have made the list of twenty-five. Any suggestions of new or old titles would be welcomed. After all, favorite books were meant to be shared.
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