28 December 2015

Christmas Books

I told a friend about our tradition to open a Christmas book every night of December (until Christmas) as part of our Advent celebration. She has two kids but said they don't have that many Christmas books. We have WAY more than 24 because we acquire more every year and started from more than zero since my mom had saved a LOT of books from my childhood. There may have been more too if my sister took some (first crack since her kid is 7 years older than Jane -- can you believe Owen is ELEVEN?!?!) -- or maybe I got them all. In any case, we've got a ton. I offered to make a list of some of our favorites, so I thought I'd repurpose that list as a blog post too in case you're looking for some kid Christmas books (or just have an interest in what Jane is reading in December).
  • Little Golden Book - Sesame Street: I Can't Wait Until Christmas
    This is a vintage book (that's a nice way to say old right?) featuring Big Bird. It's long, so not a favorite for me and Shawn to read, but Jane likes it. No overt Santa message - just Big Bird corresponding with his Grandma and making her a special present.
  • Little Golden Book - The Night Before Christmas
    We actually have two copies -- one that came with a cassette tape of the story. Don't have the cassette and should probably just get rid of one of the older one. The other I am pretty sure I bought before Jane's first Christmas for a photo op.
  • Who Is Coming to Our House? Joseph Slate & Ashley Wolff
    Board book, short and cute about the animals in the stable getting ready for the Holy Family's visit.
  • Where is Baby's Christmas Present? Karen Katz
    Lift-the-flap board book, short and easy to read. A little babyish for Jane this year but she still likes it.
  • Five Little Christmas Trees
    Small book with these button-like Christmas trees cut out of the book. Short, rhyming and probably old. Weird, and Jane likes it a lot.
  • Little Golden Book - Thomas' Night Before Christmas
    Long but Jane loves Thomas!
  • Winnie the Pooh: The Merry Christmas Mystery
    One of the first ones she opened this year and she loves it. She likes to tell the story, assign roles and act it out. The mystery is that Santa delivers presents to the wrong houses and they have to sort that out.
  • Little Golden Book - The Animals' Christmas Eve
    Animals on a farm tell the Christmas story with a focus on the animals' roles. Short and easy to read.
  • The Christmas Story - Patricia A. Pingry & Wendy Edelson
    Paraphrase of the Bible story with cute pictures. Has a Borders tag on it so maybe we got it on sale when it was closing?
  • Little Golden Book - Pooh: The Sweetest Christmas
    No Santa in this one - it's about Pooh giving away his honey as gifts for his friends. And he gets honey from them in return -- hence the sweetness. Jane likes this one a lot too, although the mystery book gets more retellings.
  • Tinsel Tots - Tom Arma
    Board book that's just pictures of babies dressed up with brief captions. Pretty sure I got this at a garage sale.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Dr. Seuss
    Old copy from my childhood. We read it for the first time this year (this one hasn't been wrapped so far).
  • Little Golden Book - The Cat that Climbed the Christmas Tree
    Jane loves this one, and it's random and seems old. I don't remember it from being a kid so could be a garage sale find or just something my mom picked up along the way. Or my Swiss cheese memory could apply to childhood books. It's about a cat who climbs a Christmas tree and talks to ornaments along the way. Weird and long.
  • Little Scholastic - How to Build a Snowman
    Babyish book that I got at a Scholastic outlet store one year when a friend took me. It's in Baton Rouge on the outskirts somewhere and parents who volunteer at book fairs and teachers get to go shop the overstock. It was really fun. I haven't been back though -- that friend has much older kids (there were books for all ages) and I haven't pestered her about it again.
  • The Small One
    A Disney book about the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem and his life before that. It's a movie that we watched every year as a kid, so it's sentimental. The book is old, but I'm not sure where we got it because I don't remember having a book version when we were kids. Maybe I found it at a sale and got it (or my sister did).
  • Little Golden Book - ABC is for Christmas
    Easy to read, rhyming alphabet book. Definitely vintage.
  • Listen to the Silent Night - Dandi Daley Mackall, Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
    This was a gift - about the night Jesus was born.
  • Little Golden Book - The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas
    I love Poky and bought this for Jane probably her first Christmas. Shawn hates this book and was glad it was the last one she happened to open this year.
  • The First Christmas, a Changing Picture Book - illustrated by Sophy Williams
    This was a gift and is beautifully illustrated. Lots of text.
  • Frosty the Snowman
    We have a couple versions of this - I think both from when I was a kid.
  • The Polar Express - Chris van Allsburg
    Looks like this copy was from a school library in Lawton so probably bought by my mom at a sale or something like that. I'm very lukewarm on this one, as it's long and really believe-in-Santa propaganda. Jane likes it and we watched the movie with her this year. (I do love that hot chocolate song.)
  • Five Christmas Penguins - Steven Lenton
    I definitely bought this one, and it's short with a padded cover and sturdy pages. Not quite a board book but good for littles. Lots of shiny stuff on the pages too (but no glitter).
  • The Spirit of Christmas - Nancy Tillman
    A gift and can be a tear-jerker. (She wrote On the Night You Were Born, which we were given just before Jane was born with the inscription "I've got my dancing shoes on..." and I cried at that.)
  • The Snow Must Go On: A Way, Way Off-Broadway Adventure - Molly Wigand and Mike Esberg
    Hallmark book, so probably was a gift or a hand-me-down. Lots of text - about penguins and snowmen putting on a play.
  • Humphrey's First Christmas - Carol Heyer
    Beautiful pictures. About a camel carrying the wise men's gifts and then also giving a gift himself. Love it (not many wise men-themed books really) but they meet the baby in the manger, which is not how the Bible story goes. Otherwise good one, and I think it must have been a gift because it's a nice, big book.
  • Christmas Candy Canes - Nancy Parent and Adam Devaney
    Old, has a music feature that barely works anymore. Rhyming and short board book.
  • Christmas Lift-the-Flap Shadow Book
    Sparkly with sturdy pages but not a board book. Was a gift and doesn't have many words.
  • One Mitten - Kristine O'Connell George and Maggie Smith
    Not really Christmas but lives with our holiday books (doesn't get wrapped). Got it from Jane's teacher last year.
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
    Paperback Little Golden Book originally came with a cassette. A lot of text and more than the song - but it doesn't follow the movie either. I should probably get a new version because Jane likes Rudolph a lot (but that kind of goes against my no Santa myth stance).
  • The Snowman Storybook - Raymond Briggs
    Garage sale or hand-me-down find. Story about boy making a snowman that comes to life at night and they fly around the world.
  • Llama Llama Jingle Bells - Anna Dewdney
    Board book, easy to read. Love the characters and her paintings.
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
    We have a couple versions of this -- gag me. I guess it's the length that I don't like? The nicer copy was a gift and the other copy is a random one from when I was a kid.
  • Clifford - The Little Red Sled
    Definitely garage sale or my sister clearing out her classroom book. This isn't a Christmas book either, so doesn't get wrapped but does live with the holiday books.
  • Biscuit's Pet & Play Christmas - Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Pat Schories
    Board book with things to feel.
  • Llama Llama Holiday Drama - Anna Dewdney
    Soft cover from Scholastic book order I think. Rhythmic and rhyming text with good illustrations. About Llama Llama melting down from all the holiday stuff and getting a cuddle from his mama to make things better.
  • Usborne Little Children's Music Book - Elisa Squillace
    Has buttons to push to hear music, and it's about a group of animals doing a Christmas concert and getting ready by practicing at their homes. Push the buttons to hear individual instruments (named in the text) and then the last button is all the instruments together. Not recognizable Christmas music, but not annoying or tinny either. We really like it.
  • First Snow in the Woods - Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick
    Photos of a deer family as the season changes and made up text about what the baby deer is thinking about with his first experience of snow. Pretty pictures, but not my favorite. Also not Christmassy so just one that lives with the holiday books.
  • Jingle Bells
    Paperback Little Golden Book definitely from my childhood. Story about a group of animals going on a sleigh ride and they pick up more animals and sing Jingle Bells. Meh.
  • A Sesame Street Christmas - Pat Tornborg and Tom Cooke
    Raining on Sesame Street for Christmas so the friends tell different stories. Lots of text - way too much. I think this is from the 80s.
  • Hobo Dog's Christmas Treet - Thacher Hurd
    Funny little story about a dog who lives in a junk yard and gets a Christmas tree and decorates it with trash. Not sure where it came from, but it seems old.
  • Little Golden Book - Tom & Jerry's Merry Christmas
    Definitely vintage and kind of long. They give each other gifts at the end.
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