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Our third book in this 25 Days of Christmas in 2013 made me gasp upon spying it on a small shelf in one of my favorite used bookstores while on holiday travel. Having already loved and written about Anglund’s Spring Is A New Beginning and also holding The Cowboy’s Christmas near and dear this time of year, I knew I would love this book before I even picked it up. Full of sweet Christmas thoughts, picture-perfect illustrated holiday moments, and pudgy faced mouthless children, this is Christmas Is A Time of Giving by Joan Walsh Anglund, 1961.

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“It is a time of wrapping gifts and making cookies… a time of presents, tucked in secret places… and of children waiting.” This is the opening line spanning several pages. The illustrations that accompany the text are ever so sweet and lightly detailed, alternating between black and white and colored with just green and red. In many ways, it captures the very essence of the Christmas season discussing giving, sharing, songs, celebration, time with family and friends, and ultimately hope and a promise of peace in the hearts of all.

There is very little to add to such a darling little book. If you aren’t already nostalgic and sentimental about the special moments around the Christmas season, these many pages will accomplish that.

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Joan Walsh Anglund’s unique and mastered style adds so much warmth and cheer to this holiday reading. I’m not an expert on her works, but this is definitely the first time I have ever seen an adult character illustrated in the pages and I was quite surprised and intrigued by the shift in style. She seems to reserve the simple pudgy faces without mouths for the children and has a much more detailed expression to the adults and especially this dear old Grandmother, whom I love!

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The illustrations and text call for a simpler, loving, and giving holiday than I often feel surrounded by. I sincerely hope that this Christmas our celebrations ring true with her words: “It is the time, above all others, when peace may visit earth and find a dwelling place in every heart.”

Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.