Christmas is over, but good reading never ends. Here are a few books our household enjoyed over this season. Extend the season by reading them in January, or save them for reading next December!
The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit is a collection of individual stories about children and dragons. The dragon is always the foe, and the young person is always the hero. The stories are humorous, full of little asides to the reader like “I’m sure you’d like to know what happened to so-and-so,” and references to the known traits of dragons. But each one has plot twists and even character development. We enjoyed these one at a time over a few weeks’ time and definitely plan to revisit the collection someday.
The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer is an easy reader chapter book that features a boy at a lighthouse. It was part of the reading curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade last year, during the “Year Four” rotation in the classroom. The story is set at Christmastime and explores the emotions of the season from various angles. It’s a mature story for little ones, not in a way that requires adult caution, but in a way that will attune a child to the elements of Christmas celebrations that pertain to grown-ups. A very sweet story for a family read-aloud in the week or so before Christmas.
The Dawn of Redeeming Grace by Sinclair Ferguson is an advent reading book for December. Advent books abound, and this is just one of many good ones. It’s best if you have experience with Ferguson’s teaching so you can read it to yourself in his voice. J
Flower Fairies of the Winter by Cicely Mary Barker is a sweet collection of drawings and poems, each telling the imaginary story of a fairy who inhabits a wintertime plant. It’s ideal for bedtime reading with a little girl, or for inspiration to get outside during the cold months of the year. The author has other collections, which I also hope to explore.
Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian is a modern-day collection of poems for wintertime. While I’ll always choose classic poetry over contemporary poetry, this set of poems made me smile and was accompanied by sweet paintings. See the winter season with “winter eyes” as you make your way through this book’s pages.
The Twelve Days of Christmas with illustrations by Jan Brett has been a long-time favorite of mine. Jan Brett’s iconic margin illustrations enhance the telling of this story-song, while the featured “gift” of each day is given a glorious two-page spread drawing. Brett has illustrated many winter and Christmas books including The Mitten, a version of The Nutcracker, Annie and the Wild Animals, and The Wild Christmas Reindeer, but this is a classic worthy of many re-reads.
Favorites for winter and Christmas are often established by family tradition, so no matter which great books you choose, make sure your children can look forward to that special bundle of favorites that only come out at the close of the year.
curated by Brittany Mountz
English major and unsuspecting English educator at ALC