Monday, December 15, 2008

5 Favorite Christmas Books

As far as Christmas books go, you can't beat The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg or The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, illustrated by P.J. Lynch. But there are other lesser known ones that I have come to love over the years and here they are.
*Some I love for their timeless message coupled with awesome illustrations, like Lisbeth Zwerger's version of Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.
*While not directly centered on the Nativity, the Tale of Three Trees portrays Christ's gifts to us through each tree's desire to be used as a boat, a manger and a cross.
*The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree is a tender Appalachian tale. I still tear up when the mom makes the angel and dress for Ruthie from her own wedding dress. It was a toss up between this book and Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect.
*Winter's Gift is a quiet little story about grief and healing and restoring one's hope. Besides, I'm a horse lover.
*Last, but not least, is Bloom Country's own Berkeley Breathed's When Red Ranger Came Calling. I know...the pictures do not look Christmasy and I was a bit hesitant when I first read it. But I laughed throughout at the pictures and story and by the time I reached the last page, I had the same tingles I get with Polar Express. You can't peak at the final page. It's really worth the read. I treasure my hardback since it's now only available in softbound.

I know I'm forgetting many others. I'd love to hear your suggestions.


Bevany said...

LOVE the Red Ranger. I was very skeptical at first, but I get teared up EVERY time I read it. Seriously so good.

tlc illustration said...

My favorites - mosty because of the illustrators, but they all also have good stories:

Santa Calls - William Joyce,
The Night Before Christmas - illustrated by Scott Gustafson,
Wenceslas - ill. by Christian Birmingham,
Night Tree - by Eve Bunting, ill. by Ted Rand (I used to read this to my kids each year and then we'd make decorations-for-the-animals after.),
The Animals' Christmas Carol - Helen Ward,
One Wintry Night, ill. Richard Jesse Watson,
Poor Gabriella, ill. by Susan Seddon Boulet (one of my all-time favorites), and
The Other Wise Man, ill. by one of my college prof.s- Robert Barrett. I've read this one in many a Dec. R.S. lesson when I've taught. Makes me cry every time.

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Thank you for your comments. I know what you mean about Red Ranger, Bevany. I almost didn't open it because of the cover. So glad I did.
Thanks for those recommends Tara. I almost put The Other Wise Man, but thought I would go with some lesser known ones. I will check the others out.
I should have included, The Friendly Beasts, by Tara Larsen Chang *wink*. It's actually a favorite carol of mine.

Sheri said...

I just looked at the comments....I was going to say ...You have to read Santa Calls by William Joyce. This has quickly become one of my favorites. If you remember how well Wendy and Erich got along you will understand why I love it so much.

LDahl said...

The Littlest Angel. I remember it was my son's book when he was a little boy. It was a tear jerker. I'd actually forgotten about it until now.

andynikki said...

Kim-- I love just popping in on your blog every once-in-a-while. It's good to hear you still keep up on library "stuff." I got to meet P.J. Lynch last year and he had some really great things to say about illustrating as a profession ( or was it just his accent???) I can't ever pass up listening to a Scot. :)