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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Books for the Children on Your Christmas List

Books are the gift that keep on giving.  Year after year, there are favorites I return to when I want to live through the language of authors who take my imagination to new heights.  We read aloud to our son every night.  The beauty of books is that while he may not be able to read a story for himself yet, he can get swept away to lands as near or as far as we share with him.

Here are some of my favorites.  My son is 6, so these have been appropriate for him.  There may be a few on here we haven't gotten to yet, but will be soon.  Enjoy!!

Thanks in advance for using these links attached to the images.  Many of them are affiliate links and enable us to share even more books together.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

We are currently reading this Wonder-ful book.  As a former special education teacher and the aunt of a nephew in a wheelchair with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, I appreciate the openness about differences.  Fiction is one of the greatest tools for teaching empathy.  Here we are taken into the world and thoughts of August Pullman as he ventures into school for the first time as a 5th grader.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

What can I say except that every child and adult should read these books.  Watch the movies afterward, but definitely read these books.  The language used by C.S. Lewis is incomparable in it's power to transport us to new worlds and share deep truths with such beauty.  This boxed set has beautiful color illustrations through out.  I also have the combined books in one hardback volume.  It has the feel of an heirloom that should be in your library.

The Tin Forest by Helen Ward

This was a gift to my son from a high school friend of mine.  This had been her daughter's favorite book, and I quickly understood why.  The illustrations are intriguing with hidden images of birds, flowers, insects and wild animals populating the forest made of tin that springs to life from the imagination of the old man who lives within it.  This is a great introduction to Helen Ward that will leave you wanting more.  I'm thinking we need to add more to our own collection.  You will want to gaze at the pages over and over.

The Animals' Christmas Carol by Helen Ward

Since it is so close to Christmas, be sure you add this one, too.  It is stunning to look at while reading the verses based on a French carol that can be traced back to the 12th century.  There is even the music and verses at the very end.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik

I was first introduced to Hugo by the Martin Scorsese film of the same name.  The movie, like the book is a love story to the cinema, innovation and visual imagery.  If you have a child that loves pictures more than words, you will want to invest in books by Brian Selznik.  His genius lies in storytelling with pages upon pages of drawings that weave in and out of the written pages seamlessly.  The black pages of the book are a novelty in and of themselves.  I have glanced through (if that is possible) his other books and know that I need to add them to our collection as well.

The Growly Books by Phillip and Erin Ulrich

It is no mystery that we love Growly, Chippy, and Tully in this house.  We also love Erin Ulrich!  Phillip and Erin have captured the spirit of friendship, adventure, bravery and loyalty in the Growly Books.  The trilogy consists of Begin, Widewater, and Morning.  The artwork by the talented and lovely Annie Barnett, of Be Small Studios, bring the characters and landscape to life.  These are stories to inspire your young adventurer.

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle

Most people are familiar with A Wrinkle in Time, but have not followed the Murray family on their other adventures through the rest of the series.  Get these for yourself if you haven't read them all.  Some of the others are even better than the namesake of the series, in my opinion.  After reading the first one, I fully endorse watching the 2003 Disney movie starring Alfre Woodard and Kyle Secor - watch the deleted scenes.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

I'm not sure that there needs to be any other reason than IT'S WINNIE-THE-POOH!!  If you need convincing that these should be in your child's library (or your own) you have most likely stopped reading through this list already.  This is not an easy read. It will test your skills as a narrator, but will bring hours of joy to story time.  The classic illustrations are so much nicer than the newer cartoonish versions.  I'm a purist at heart when it comes to Pooh.

Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales (Peter Rabbit)

Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, Squirrel Nutkin.... These whimsical tales of woodland creatures, and a few kittens, have stood the test of time.  I have to admit that this is missing from our own collection.  We have read many of the individual small books from the library, which are darling, but this boxed hardback speaks to me in a deep way that seems worthy of handing down through generations, much like the stories themselves.


Shine So Bright by Tim Willard

I am so excited to let you know about this book.  I haven't read it yet, not even the sample pages that were available.  BUT.... I know Tim's writing, and it is exquisite.  His passion is beauty language, especially from the works of C.S. Lewis, and it shows in his lyrical prose that seems to be a collection of ordinary words with extraordinary impact.  I have such confidence that this will be a well-loved book in our home that I joined the Kickstarter campaign to ensure it was printed.

Shine So Bright is the story of LoLo Star, how she is taunted, and then how she learns to shine, so bright.  When I say hot off the presses I mean it.  These have been printed within the last week.  You can be one of the first to share this story with your family.  I am doing this for several children this Christmas who hold dear space in my heart.

So there you have a starter list of books that I think you should be buying this Christmas.  There are so many classics that I didn't include.  I've said nothing here of The Velveteen Rabbit, Curious George, Madeleine, Babar and all the others that have been loved for generations. I'd love to hear which books you would include. 

Happy shopping, happy reading!

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