Holidays

A Book of Joy, Day 10, by Briana Elizabeth

In which Briana shares some of her favorite Christmas books

Some will be for older children, some for younger.

The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Wiggin, author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

If you like Charlotte Mason, you’ll like Kate.

“Kate Douglas Wiggin (September 28, 1856 – August 24, 1923) was an American educator and author of children’s stories, most notably the classic children’s novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She started the first free kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878 (the Silver Street Free Kindergarten). With her sister during the 1880s, she also established a training school for kindergarten teachers. Kate Wiggin devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labour. “

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, with illustrations by Trina Shart Hyman. Dylan Thomas was a poet laureate and in this small book of prose, it shows. Read it for its beauty; use it for copywork. Whole paragraphs begged to be read over and over for their lyricism.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco. A story of love, sacrifice, and loving neighbors.

The Huron Carol illustrated by Ian Wallace. The Christmas story told with the Huron culture. Truly a gem.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien. Need we say more?

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is a classic to be remembered over and over each year.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It can wear thin when watched as a movie, but do read the book just to remember what a masterful storyteller Dickens was.

The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits: A Christmas Story for Advent by Ulf Stark. In a word, it’s just charming. It has 25 chapters to be read each day of Advent, but you can still read it through in time!

In my house, when the kids start reading fluently, we have this game we play, of timing ourselves as we read Dr. Suess. (No mistakes allowed!) Well, the Cajun series by Mark Artell is another set of books that you could also play that game with, but even if you don’t, you must read Cajun Night Before Christmas during Advent.

The Story of Little Christmas by George MacDonald. MacDonald has brought us so many memorable characters, and we know he influenced Dickens, Tolkien, and Lewis. This  story is a prime example why.

A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories  by Louisa May Alcott. The Little Women movie is a classic at our house, but Alcott wrote more Christmas stories.

A Literary Christmas by The British Library is a collected work of classics. PG Wodehouse, Rossetti, Stevenson, Elliot,  extracts from Wind in the Willows…’Nuff said? It’s a must-read.

Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old is another collection of famous authors. I’m a fan of Elizabeth Gouge and when I saw this I had to have it. And Pearl Buck, Madeline L’Engle, or the other authors are added bonuses! The stories are set all over the world, making it a special read for this time of year. Christmas isn’t all Currier and Ives, even though to this die hard Mid-Atlantic girl, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

I can’t end without listing Madeline L’Engle’s The Glorious Impossible with paintings by Giotto. A child’s picture book, but not for children alone, by far.

Do you have any must-reads at Christmas?

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