25 Days of Christmas in 2013

25 Days – Book 5: The Twelve Days of Christmas

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On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love for books brings another marvelous Twelve Days of Christmas rendition. As I’ve never cared for the song, and I still don’t fully understand it, I love this book because of the illustrator, of course. Hilary Knight, the fabulous co-creator of the well-known Eloise, has given another new backdrop to that famous old song. This time it is about a bear, her true love and her immense creativity with all those gifts he bestows upon her. Become enamored with Hilary Knight’s The Twelve Days of Christmas, 1980.

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Benjamin Bear has it bad for the lovely Bedelia and is a true gift giver that insists on continually showing his affection with an overwhelming amount of holiday items. Bedelia seems to be a kind and gracious girlfriend who takes it all in stride and uses her craftiness and creativity to turn the gifts into a special event for all their friends, and her beloved Benjamin as well. Read the full post…

25 Days – Day 4: Noël For Jeanne-Marie

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It’s the fourth day of December and I am thrilled to share a gorgeous vintage story that I finally found during my Thanksgiving holiday travel. A sweet innocent Christmas tale about a little girl and her pet sheep, Patapon, awaiting the arrival of Noël and the presents it might bring. Take a peek at Noël for Jeanne-Marie by Françoise, 1953.

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Winter has arrived and Jeanne-Marie eagerly awaits Noël, the birthday of little Jesus and the extra fun of Father Noël bringing gifts for the good children. She contemplates if her gift will be a pretty new red kerchief for her head, or maybe a doll carriage to carry her white sheep in, or most of all, she longs for a nativity set with all the little “santons” or characters of the manger. Patapon, the white sheep, is fretful about the event as he does not have wooden shoes to place by the chimney and fears he will be left out. His sweet owner sees to preparing them both however and neither are disappointed on the bright Christmas morning. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 3: Christmas Is A Time Of Giving

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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. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 2: The Sweet Smell Of Christmas

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Our book today fully lives up to its name as it is indeed sweet, and also quite fragrant with its scratch n’ sniff panels hinting at the many smells that accompany this special holiday. The Sweet Smell of Christmas was written by Patricia Scarry and illustrated by the endearing J. P. Miller in 1970 and lives on as a wonderful portrayal of some of the lovely traditions of the season.

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Little Bear awakes one morning to his nose alerting him that something wonderful is going to happen. Christmas is coming! Six items with accompanying scents confirm to him and his little nose that Christmas will be here the next day as he prepares for its arrival with his Mother and Father. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 1: The Christmas Alphabet

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The first book on this year’s Christmas book advent list is a gorgeous, fragile, colorful pop-up by Robert Sabuda, The Christmas Alphabet. Originally published in 1994, this is the “Deluxe Anniversary Edition” from 2004 and I have absolutely no idea what makes it different from the original as I have never checked.

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I was sad not to fit this beauty in last year as it is just so much fun to look at, but it actually coincides perfectly with my daughter’s current obsession with all things “ABC” so it fits right in today. Requiring lots of adult supervision for little fingers, every letter of the alphabet is represented with a muted color flap that opens to reveal a fantastic pop-up image for that letter. If you love pop-ups, you’ll be enamored with this one. Read the full post…

25 Days of Children’s Books For Christmas, 2013

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December 1 has arrived! I may be setting myself up for failure here, but I’ve decided to attempt another Christmas book advent list. Last year’s was so much fun and quite inspiring for my book enjoyment and writing, so let’s give it another go. I’m hopeful that I’ll hit every day and my accumulated list includes some books I didn’t get to share last year, some new to me ones, and even some hot-off-the-press 2013 editions from my favorite bookstore. I hope you’ll follow along and maybe discover some new Christmas picture books to enjoy yourself and with the little ones in your life.

To make it easier to find, here is the tag from last year’s advent list. And this year’s will be 25 Days of Christmas in 2013. Let the Christmas book fun begin!