Continuing with our nightly bedtime Christmas reading, I bring you the second week’s list. Like before, some are favourites while others new stories to get to know. Hopefully Mom will make a note of which ones strike the children’s curiosity and imagination, and will ask Santa next year for such books.
Some people mentioned to me last week that they have a private library of Christmas books, some even have the required 25 books they bring out, one for each day (thank you Amber!). Margie mentioned she had this lively tradition with her children, now grown, and that she is continuing it with her grandkids, wrapping each present and forming a great tree of stories for her grandkids to choose one each day. What a lovely idea.
I don’t really have a library of Christmas books, but now I have a wonderful wish to fulfill in years to come. I thought that my girls relished their private night-time reading, but I have discovered that they are not that old yet. They both look with anticipation for the night to come so I can snuggle up with them and read them the story of the day. They have already asked wether I am going to keep reading to them at night or not, so this I must ponder. Maybe this winter warrants for a new rhythm to our reading time.
So without much ado, here are the books we will read this week:
- The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, retold by Anthea Bell, version illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. This is by far one of my daughter’s favourites, perhaps because I have read this book to them many times, not only at Christmas time. We’ve read different versions and editions, and this is the one they love the most. The illustrations are sublime, in Lisbeth’s much earlier style. Even though is a “retold” version this will still take quite a bit to read, so I will start early tonight.
- A Gnome’s Christmas, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet. Now, this is a new discovery. My girls love his Gnome Book and so they were immediately attracted to this wee velvet encased book. It will introduce the girls to a few new celebrations, like Sinterklaas and Edda night (January 6th). I am sure they will like reading about the ways gnomes celebrate this special time of the year.
- One Hundred Shining Candles by Janet Lunn, illustrated by Lindsay Grater. Now, this is a new book for us and one I am excited to read. The illustrations look very proper, in the Little House on the Prairie kind of style (and time), they are lovely and full of wispy details which my youngest is very keen to observe. Both the author and illustrator are Canadian, so the girls will love getting to know the talent that abounds in their country.
- A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. Now this one we’ve read before and loved and we also have used different editions but this is the one we like. It is just the most hilarious story ever, we love it and highly recommend it.
- The Beautiful Christmas Tree by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Ruth Robbins. This is such a beautiful story, one we read last year and I luckily wrote it down to look for it at this time of the year. I know my girls will remember it when I pull it out of the basket, because yes, I am the one who gets to choose which book to read every night!.
- A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, illustrated by Beth Peck. Now, I love Beth Peck and I love Truman Capote, so this one is more a treat for me than anything else, but luckily for me both my girls love this story. We’ve read it quite a few times already and highly, highly, highly recommend it. We have a saying now because of this book: “Oh my, It’s fruitcake weather!”.
Full disclosure: all these photos were taken last year, when the snow squalls graced us with their presence almost every other week. As of today, our land is bare with not a single snowflake. We're quite alright with this, hoping and wishing for some fancy snow by Christmas.
PS…I've just loaded the shop with a family of sweet baby reindeer or moose or something along those lines…the nights are long and we are starting to need copious amounts of hot chocolate to keep the merry-making happening in the studio. I also have three petite figs in all sorts of disarray, refusing to wear clothes, while a mannikin keeps pouting and pondering what shoes to wear. Such is the life of the doll maker in December. Send good wishes my way.