Friday, December 01, 2006Friday Coffeehouse: children's Christmas stories
There are many many gems out there when it comes to children's books for Christmas time. Here are just a few for today to share with you, in case you've never seen them before. They are a few out of many, many gems read to me during my childhood...
The Miracle of Saint Nicholas- The illustrations are a combination of iconographic and sketching styles; they are beautiful, warm and glowing.
It tells a story of St. Nicholas... Alexi is a Russian child whose grandmother tells him of the soldiers who closed St. Nicholas Church many years ago. When he asks why they can't celebrate Christmas there this year, she tells him that it would take a miracle. The little boy believes in miracles...I am especially pleased with the icons throughout the text. It is nice to see both the art and the faith of the Russians so beautifully depicted here. (~from the St. nicholas center)
This isn't the most religious of books about Christmas, but it is a lovely, well-told story. All her life, Tante had heard tales about marvelous happenings on Christmas Eve. Animals might speak aloud. Bees might hum carols, or cocks crow at midnight. Tante wished she could witness a bit of Christmas magic, too...This Old World tale about the warmth and wonder of Christmas will leave children enchanted with the magical possibilities of the season. (from harpercollins.com)
The Donkey's Dream, by Barbara Helen Berger- A little gray donkey, led by a man on a long journey, dreams he's carrying a wonderful city, a ship, fountain and a rose on his back. The imagined burdens succeed each other until the travelers reach a town where the donkey realizes he's carrying "a lady full of heaven." The donkey receives thanks for the family's safe arrival from the mother who shows him her lovely child, no dream this time, but a baby whose eyes fill the cave with light. Berger's note explains the traditional Marian symbols (City of God, spiritual vessel, Rosa Mystica, etc.) as fantasized by the donkey. The paintings are glorious, reverent versions of the Nativity in which colors intensify the impact of visions and reality. Delicate borders are composed of forget-me-nots which, the artist tells us, she learned are called in French "les yeux de Marie"...(Review from Publishers Weekly) Barbara Helen Berger is also known for her book Grandfather Twilight.
Some of the other Christmas titles included on our Children's Booklist are:
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
The Legend of the Poinsettia
The Story of the Three Wise Kings
The Little Fir Tree
B is for Bethlehem
The Tale of Three Trees
Baboushka and the Three Kings
~Sia, Vancouver, WA
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