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Saturday, December 19, 2015

All Aboard for Christmas Tales!

Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net

I love Christmas stories -- all kinds -- and have a large collection of them. I've shared most of my collection in previous posts. (See the links at the bottom of this post.) This year I went looking for Christmas books at our local library. Here are a few of the tales that I really enjoyed and wanted to share with you:

Picture books:

It's Christmas,
written and illustrated by Tina Burke, 2006

It's that time of year again. Burke describes (and illustrates) some of the joys of the holiday season in this sweet little book.


A Star So Bright:
A Christmas Tale,
written by M. Christina Butler
and illustrated by Caroline Pedler, 2007

On each page of this book, different animals see a bright star in the sky. The star (shown through a cut-out in the paper) grows larger with every page turn, and we, the readers, get closer to the manger highlighted by the star. Butler's rhyming text is enhanced by Pedlar's charming illustrations.


Christmas Wombat,
written by Jackie French
and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, 2011

A very silly carrot-loving wombat hitches a ride on Santa's sleigh and discovers that there are many, many carrots in the world. This story kept me laughing out loud with each turn of a page. When I finished reading it, I immediately handed it off to my boys (almost 17 and 10), who were equally amused! I just might need to buy this one to add to my collection. :)


Christmas is Coming,
written by Anne Bowen
and illustrated by Tomek Bogacki, 2007

Throughout the holiday season, Anna tells her baby brother about the various signs that Christmas is coming -- the first snow, the lights, the tree, and more.  On Christmas Day she is very excited by the gifts that Santa has brought, but looking at her baby brother she suddenly realizes that he is the very best Christmas present of all.


One Snowy Night
written by M. Christina Butler
and illustrated by Tina Macnaughton, 2004

Father Christmas gives Little Hedgehog a red wooly hat to keep him warm. The hat ends up warming the hearts of all of Little Hedgehog's friends -- and turns out to be the perfect gift. This cute "Touch-and-Feel Book" allows readers to feel the soft red hat.


Snowed Under
and Other Christmas Confusions,
written and illustrated by Serge Bloch, 2011

This book is filled with idioms, Christmas-related and otherwise, along with humorous illustrations that interpret those idioms literally. Bloch uses phrases like "deck the halls", "tied up in knots", and "red-handed" to tell his tale of a family getting ready for Christmas.


The Little Fir Tree,
written by Margaret Wise Brown
and illustrated by Jim Lamarche, 1954 (text),
2005 (illustrations)

Although this has the same title as Hans Christian Andersen's famous tale, Brown's The Little Fir Tree is a completely different story -- one that is heartwarming, not depressing like Andersen's. A little fir tree grows alone in a field, wishing he could be part of the forest... or at least part of something. One winter day a man finds the tree. He digs the tree up and brings him to share with a special boy and to be part of a great Celebration.


Lighthouse Christmas,
written by Toni Buzzeo
and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, 2011

Frances, Peter, and Papa recently moved to a lighthouse island off the coast of Maine and Frances is feeling lonely. Now a big storm is keeping even the supply boats away. Will it keep Santa away as well?

This engaging story is inspired by a true Christmas tradition, the Flying Santa Service.


written by Eve Bunting
and illustrated by David Diaz, 1997

Simon and his mother are celebrating Christmas Eve in their cardboard house. They have a tiny tree and not much else, but when they meet an elderly woman with even less, they invite her in and offer to share what they have.

I love this book's vibrant illustrations and inspiring message.


Young adult fiction:

Let It Snow:
Three Holiday Romances,
written by John Green, Maureen Johnson,
and Lauren Myracle, 2008

This book is made up of three interconnected (and often hilarious) tales of teenage love and romance. A Christmas Eve snowstorm stops a train and transforms Gracetown into a winter wonderland. Strangers meet, old friends look at each other in a new way, and, in the midst of it all is a tiny teacup pig named Gabriel.


For more Christmas books, please check out my posts from previous years:

Have you read any of the books shown above? If so, what did you think of them? 

What are your favorite Christmas stories?

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