Thursday, December 4, 2014

Books about the True Meaning of Christmas

Do you ever find it difficult to get your kids (and yourself) away from all the WANT WANT WANTS and GIMMEE GIMMEE GIMMEES of Christmas?  There's no better way than cuddling up with a wonderful Christmas book that focuses you back to what Christmas is TRULY all about.  
Looking for a simple and beautiful nativity story appropriate for preschoolers?  Then you'll want to find Who is Coming to Our House? By Joseph Slate.  I love this book!

And speaking of books someone loves! The Nativity by Julie Vivas is one of my most favorites this time of year! The text echoes the biblical version and the art in this book-- it just makes me so happy!

Little Porcupine's Christmas also by Joseph Slate is another wonderful story surrounding the nativity.  All of the animals are joining together to put on Christmas pageant.  The story is so sweet and I just love the ending.

I just found the The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie dePaola this year at the library. I love seeing the account of the wise men up close. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be around much anymore, you may have to check your library. If you can't find that, perhaps you'll be able to get ahold of The Birds of Bethlehem. This time dePaolo has the birds of the city telling the story and it's filled with this wonderful warm and earthy art.

The brand new book, Shooting at the Stars  by John Hendrix is one you do not want to miss!  More appropriate for older elementary age children it tells the true story of the Christmas of 1914 in the trenches during WWI.  It's truly inspiring and beautifully illustrated.

I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane G. Adamson has a simple yet effectual way of showing the similarities between Santa and Jesus. It's a perfect reminder that symbols of Christmas can remind us of Christ.

Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Jane Chapman & Karma Wilson is the story of a little mouse looking for a place to live.  It just so happens that the Christmas Manger is the perfect fit, after he's pushed all of the figurines out of the way.  Super cute!

In Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki, Santa reminds the forest animals that Christmas isn't about delivering (or getting) toys when he shares the story of the first Christmas with them.

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Angela Elwell Hunt is a beautiful religious folktale.  The story surrounds three trees with big dreams.  In the end things turn out differently than they had ever hoped or imagined.  The book centers around Christ.  Definitely worth a read.

If you're lucky, you'll be able to get ahold of the original version of Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown with art by Barbara Cooney. Talk about that classic picture books feeling, this book takes you back to childhood. (There has been a reprint which I haven't seen in person, this time the art is done by Diane Goode.)

Finally, if you're looking for a chapter book the whole family can enjoy this Christmas season you MUST pick up The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, and it will be a read aloud memory that lasts for your whole lifetime.

Do you have a favorite book that helps keep you grounded during the frantic pre-Christmas weeks?  Share your favorite with us!  We would love  to add it to our library list.

                                                     -Happy Reading!Whitney&Robyn

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