Friday, December 9, 2016

7 Quick Takes: Advent 2016 Reading Round-Up Week 2

During the second week of Advent, we have continued with our Jesse tree (though we missed Wednesday, and had to double up yesterday), and we're still reading through The Animals' Merry Christmas. Here's what else we've been reading.

Snow in the City by Berta and Elmer Hader

I took out the box of winter books because I needed a book for story time, and I wound up discovering this vintage book about snowstorms in New York City that I'd forgotten we owned. The book begins on Thanksgiving, and follows a family right through the Christmas season and into the new year. There's not much of a story, but it does give a good idea of what it is like to experience snow in an urban area. It also provides interesting contrast to another book by the Haders: The Big Snow, all about the impact of snow on woodland animals.

That's Not My Snowman

Little Bo Peep is really into touch-and-feel books right now, so I pulled this one out of the winter box for her. She especially liked the page about the fuzzy mittens and once we reached that point, she didn't want to read any further because she was too busy feeling the mittens again and again.

The ABCs of Christmas by Jill Howarth

Grandma sent this book for the girls, and we read it a couple of times. The vintage-style illustrations are really eye-catching, and both Miss Muffet and Bo Peep seem to enjoying flipping through it.

Santa Claus Books

On Tuesday, Saint Nicholas Day, I took out all of our Santa Claus books. One was a nice big book (from Grandma again) called Santa Claus (by Rod Green, Carol Wright, Simon Danaher, and Jon Lucas), which has a lot of little pockets and flaps inside it for Miss Muffet to explore. There is way too much text to read aloud in one sitting, but it's something I think she can enjoy when she gets a little older. Our other Santa books were:

  • Alphaprints: Ho, Ho, Ho!
  • Clackers: Santa
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Jolly Old Santa Claus by Alice Leedy Mason
  • One Thousand Christmas Beards by Roger Duvoisin
  • Santa's Time Off by Bill Maynard
I loved reading The Polar Express aloud, though I think Miss Muffet will appreciate it more in a couple of years. One Thousand Christmas Beards was probably my favorite, followed by Jolly Old Santa Claus, which was also a favorite when I was a kid. Bo Peep, of course, loved stroking Santa's bear in the Alphaprints board book. 

Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Bryan


We have many religious Christmas books, and a lot of them are stories of the birth of Jesus, which I like to save for the twelve days of Christmas. But because this book is about the animals preparing for Jesus's arrival - and because we're going to a Living Nativity this weekend - I decided to read this one. Miss Muffet likes that it has so many different animals. I don't think Bo Peep was really listening.

Maple and Willow's Christmas Tree

I had forgotten that I received a review copy of this book, and when I found it in a stack of books in the living room, I shared it with Miss Muffet right away. It's the story of two sisters who are excited to have their first real Christmas tree, but then discover that one of the girls is allergic to pine. When the real true is moved outside, they improvise to make a new indoor tree out of a ladder. I have liked the other books of this series very much, as they are emotional without being sentimental, and this book, though not quite as strong as the others, is a solid holiday story. Depending on how things shape up, I may include it in my Christmas story time this coming week.

Christmas Tree Memories by Aliki 

We put the tree up yesterday, and we'll be adding ornaments over the weekend. I was saving this book for when the tree was up, so I finally pulled it out this morning. I like the concept of the book better than its actual execution. Miss Muffet seemed to understand it better this year than last, and she actually requested to have the book to look at on her own. Interestingly, I keep thinking the illustrator of this book is Anita Lobel. The people look a lot like Lobel's characters, and somehow the art in Aliki's other books seems a lot different from this one.

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