Saturday, December 31, 2011


I confess I am a winter lover.  While all my friends are complaining about the cold, I rather enjoy the bleakness, the biting air, cold noses, frosty mornings.  I love it while it lasts and by March I'm happily longing for Spring.

 So of course I'm wanting snow now. Good down hill sledding, snowman building, snowball fight snow.

Roy McKie
and P.D. Eastman 1962 

 I remember reading this book when I was a child. (The pictures were instantly familiar to me!) It has easy rhyming text for beginning readers.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The First Christmas

Robbie Trent
pictures by Marc Simont

 Sometimes sweet and simple is best.  This book was originally published in 1948.  It tells the Christmas story in an easy to read way and ends with the hymn "Away in a Manger".  I thought the illustration style looked familiar and sure enough Marc Simont also did the pictures for The 13 Clocks.

 As much as I love elaborate illustrations, I also appreciate the simplicity of books like this.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Nutshell Library

Hilary Knight 1963

This adorable set has three miniature books by Hilary Knight.  We use it to decorate and pack it away with our Christmas things.  That way it's a nice treat to pull out every year.  Charlotte likes to "read" the books and they are the perfect size for little hands.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens
illustrated by Roberto Innocenti 1990

This was quite a score at the used bookshop.  We love the illustrator Roberto Innocenti and of course he does a fantastic job with this story by Charles Dickens.  There are some amazing full two page illustrations.  I read somewhere that Innocenti was a self taught artist.  Wow.  And Dickens never gets old for me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Friendly Beasts

illustrations by Tomie dePaola  1990

 An old English Christmas carol about the animals around the stable when Jesus was born, illustrated to perfection by Tomie dePaola.  I love the frank faces of the animals staring at you from the page. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Father Christmas Letters

By J.R.R. Tolkien
edited by Baillie Tolkien 1976

J.R.R. Tolkien's children sure were lucky!  Every year their father would send them a letter from "Father Christmas" complete with beautiful illustrations.  The stories involved the antics of the North Polar Bear and various gnomes and goblins.  He drew pictures of the North Pole and Father Christmas' house (inside and out), the reindeer and caves where the goblins live.  The letters get more elaborate as the years go by and his children get older.  In true Tolkien fashion he even writes in Elvish and includes a goblin alphabet.

We loved reading the silly things the North Polar Bear did- the stories are cute and the drawings are great.
This edition shows much of the artwork and most of the letters, but there is a newer edition that includes fuller reproductions of the letters and their envelopes.

I love this idea so much and wish I had started it with my own kids!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Christ Child

I seem to be on a vintage Christmas kick.  We just have so many wonderful books that are beautifully illustrated.  This one you may recognize as the same illustrators as The Rooster Crows.

illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham 1931

It's the story of Jesus, his birth, the shepherds, the wise men, the flight into Egypt, and his visit to the temple.