Favorite Holiday Books

A few favorite holiday books (mostly for children):

NativityThe Nativity with pictures by Julie Vivas I first discovered this book in library school. Julie Vivas is an Australian illustrator who does beautifully expressive watercolors. Her Nativity is a long way from the formal and reverent oil paintings you’d expect of such a book. The Angel Gabriel sits down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee with Mary, his wings dripping rainbows and his boots unlaced. A three-picture sequence shows Joseph trying to hoist a hugely pregnant Mary onto the back of a donkey who looks less than pleased at the idea. The text is taken from the King James version, which I have to edit for Mr. FP, but the words are few enough on the page to keep a toddler interested.

Hershel and the Hannukah GoblinsHershel and the Hannukah Goblins by Eric Kimmel with pictures by Trina Schart Hyman The classic story of Herschel the fool outwitting the wicked goblins who prevent the village of Ostropol from celebrating Hannukah. Trina Schart Hyman is one of my all-time favorite illustrators. The story is fun and a little scary, and, alas, a little too long for Mr. FP still. [Updated 12/12 to add]: He was about 4 when he started loving this.

Winter LightsWinter Lights written and illustrated by Anna Grossnickle Hines Looking for broader winter holidays than just Christmas and Hannukah, I found this book. It centers on the celebration of light during this dark time of the year, with all different kinds of celebrations. Santa Lucia, Solstice, Chinese New Year, the disappointment of a child when the sun goes down way before bedtime, as well as Christmas and Hannukah. Each holiday is featured in a two-page spread with a short, expressive poem and a quilt illustrating it. The poems are lovely and the quilts are absolutely stunning. I hope my son will want to read it before it’s due back at the library, but in the meantime, everyone that comes near me is enjoying it.

Father Christmas LettersThe Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien This book is probably the reason that I still believe in Santa Claus, even though I’ve never liked the Santas at the mall. Father Christmas is strong and wise, managing to get presents out on time in spite of his bumbling assistant, the North Polar Bear, and goblin raids on the toys.

[Edited to add book covers 12/3/2012]

Advertisements

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Favorite Holiday Books

  1. I love Letters from Father Christmas so much. My mom used to read from it when I was a kid. Thanks for linking up your favorite holiday books at The Children’s Bookshelf.

  2. Pingback: Counting to Christmas | alibrarymama

  3. I really want to check out the Tolkien book! Thanks for posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s