Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out Come the Christmas / Winter Books ...

I have had the "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" since I was a child. This is the original first edition with a copyright date of 1932. I have no idea where it came from, but I know that I took it out every Christmas to re-read the tale of how one young boy would grow up to become Santa Claus ... and I still do. It has become a family treasure.

The preface reads as follows:

Draw close to the fire, all those who believe in the spirit of Christmas, whether you call it Santa Claus, or simply good will to men; and listen to the story of Nicholas the Woodcarver, a lover of little children. Follow him through his first years as a lonely little boy who had the knack of carving playthings for children; then as a young man, busy over the little toys; then a prosperous, fat, rosy old man who overcomes all sorts of difficulties in order to attain his ambition: a toy for every child in the village. Learn how he started to drive a beautiful sleigh drawn by prancing reindeer; why he first came down a chimney; how he filled the first stocking; where the first Christmas tree was decorated; and finally how he came to be known as "Saint Nicolas" and "Santa Claus".

Apparently, you can now buy a paperback version of this classic for just $8.95. I highly recommend that you do :)

I also recommend the following Christmas / Winter titles:

Diane Goode's American Christmas : we especially love this one, as the artwork depicts people of all colors. It contains various Christmas songs, stories, poems, etc.

Prancer : Meaghan loves this story. For years, she had an imaginary pet reindeer named Prancer :)

Uncle Vova's Tree : a book that celebrates the preservation of our Christmas (holiday) traditions. Also deals with death in a positive manner.

Olive the Other Reindeer : a sweet and zany dog who believes that Santa needs her help.

Dream Snow : sweet interactive book that is great for a toddler. Introduces the concept of gift-giving.

A Child is Born : Our favorite! This book could be about the birth of any child - but it certainly assumes to be about the birth of Jesus. And Jesus is black :) Isaac thinks the baby is him... which is probably why it is my favorite! "Mama, look ... it Baby Isaac." .... "It sure is Baby."

Santa's Kwanzaa : given that my son's biological roots are based in Africa, we have decided to incorporate Kwanzaa into our holiday celebrations ... and this book not only gives a very basic introduction to it, but it also includes a black Santa :)

Winter Poems : this is such a refreshing book. Full of beautiful poetry by some of the best. And the illustrations depict children of all colors (see a theme here?). A gentle and wonderful book. Gorgeous illustrations.

Is That You, Winter? : a funny and quirky book that celebrates winter. Has a surprise ending.

Snow : a gentle book that follows a child on a walk through the snow ... discovering all the wonder and beauty that is created and revealed by a snowfall.


I hope you enjoyed this list.

Have you pulled out your holiday / winter books? What are they?




Paula said...

I don't have them all out yet, but they're slowly making their way to the shelves upstairs.
Some of our favorites are:
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (I have a version that is a reproduction of the original right down to the feel of the old paper. The story is not the same as the one we all read and watch so much. Very Cool!)
Flight of the Christmas Reindeer
The Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett
The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie DePaola

Cousin Nicole said...

I also recommend (for the "adult" Santa fans!) "The Autobiography of Santa Claus" by Jeff Guinn which sounds similar to your childhood book (which I just bought - - thanks for the recommendation!) but takes an interesting historical approach to the story/legend of Santa. Every year, I read at least one Christmas novel to get into the spirit of the season and that one was my choice last year. This year, in preparation of becoming a Mommy, I plan to read several children's Christmas stories so I can determine my favorites to share with our child. So your list was very helpful! Thanks!

Lara said...

I love your book choices! What great suggestions! My favorite book (and I have my childhood copy that my grandma gave me) is The Animals' Merry Christas - A Giant Golden Book. It is magical and the illustrations are so wonderful.

Jodi Renshaw said...

Thanks for the recommendations ladies. I am going to check them out and add some to my collection. You guys rock :)

~ Jodi