When we first set a goal to do do the Twelve days of Christmas on our blog, we had no idea that if we did it just like the song, that would be 364 books (albeit lots of repetition), and if we just do 12 books for the 12th day, 11 for 11 and so on . . . that would be 78 books! As much as we love books (and that’s an understatement), we just didn’t feel like it was quite necessary to go that crazy. So, to make it simpler, we each are doing one book for each of the Twelve days of Christmas- which makes 24 total books. I think that should be enough to keep us all busy. Although, I must admit, paring down our lists to just twelve has been difficult. In keeping with the festivities, Cari’s reviews are in red and Holly’s are in green. Rest assured, we have picked a variety to choose from in an attempt to satisfy everyone in your house- even the mouse!
On the 1st day of Christmas my true love read to me:
Flight of the Reindeer The True Story of Santa Claus & His Christmas Mission by Robert Sullivan, drawings by Glenn Wolff
Do you have a Santa doubter in your home? Are you struggling with scepticism this Christmas? Here is the best solution I have ever found! I’ve always been a believer, but this year, knowing we might be getting some serious questions on the home front, I decided to confront the questions head on. I found myself wondering, “Is this for real?” I flipped to the front and found that it’s so real that the Library of Congress categorized this book as non-fiction. When does that ever happen with a Christmas tale? A great coffee-table and reference book for the Santa-challenged parent. I don’t know if I can turn this back in to the library until I buy my own copy . . .
Holly Claus The Christmas Princess by Brittney Ryan and illustrated by Laurel Long & Jeffrey K. Bedrick
Holly Claus is none other then the daughter of Nicholas Claus and his wife Viviana. Holly is a beautiful princess of the land Forever and whose birth was long anticipated. Her existence is made possible by a young boy who writes a letter to Santa Claus and asks Santa what he would like for Christmas rather than asking for a list of presents. However Holly has a curse placed upon her by an evil warlock and her heart is surrounded by ice forcing her to stay in the cold unless she marries the warlock willingly.
Overall I liked this story and the illustrations are really quite beautiful. I call this the ultimate Christmas fairy tale complete with a princess and happy forever (especially since the North Pole is called Forever). There is a novel for middle readers also by Brittney Ryan and illustrated by Laurel Long – same story but much more fleshed out called The Legend of Holly Claus, which I really enjoyed.
On the 2nd Day of Christmas my true love read to me:
The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere
This one’s a real tear-jerker, so have a box of tissues on hand and don’t plan on going anywhere until the puffy eyes subside. Two tales intertwine to remind us what family and holidays are all about- love and togetherness. This book left me grateful for my dear ones and more determined to focus on what really counts.
Who will guide my sleigh tonight? by Jerry Pallotta Illustrated by David Biedrzycki
I first saw this book at a book club’s mom and me Christmas brunch. I loved it! It goes through as Santa tries to determine what animal will make the best guide for his sled. Our kids loved this book. He goes through dolphins, skunks and elephants trying to decide which animal works the best. This one is great for children 2-5 and adults get a kick out of it too.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love read to me:
The Quiet Little Woman, A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott, presented by Stephen W. Hines
Three Enchanting Christmas stories by one of my favorite authors, rediscovered by industrious Mr. Hines, in a long-forgotten children’s magazine. I was thrilled to find that Alcott had stories I’ve never seen. Alcott works her magic in three short stories, The Quiet Little Woman, Tilly’s Christmas, and Rosa’s Tale. Definitely a medley that will please the palate.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
Hopefully based on a true story that the author heard once in homilies in the 1960s and again in the 1990s. If it is true its an amazing story if its not it’s still a great story and the book is classified as fiction so I guess it’s up to the reader to decide. The main character Jonathon is moving with his family to Michigan and he is upset over the move. His father is a preacher and the new church is not exactly new. In fact the whole area is run down and Jonathon wants to go back to his previous home. Through an unlikely series of events water damage in the church, a late bus, a tapestry, sharing tea with an old woman and the gentleman who comes to repair the wall. Jonathon and his father play a role in special Christmas miracle.
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love read to me:
The Great Santa Search As told to Jeff Guinn by Santa Claus himself
Number three in the Christmas Chronicles, I found this book to be hard going at first, but it sure finished up with a bang! Brimming with Christmas history and famous people. The history lover in the family, should enjoy this tale. And the children, and less ‘history’ loving people in the family, will enjoy the occasional illustrations, which will inspire them to read and find out what’s really going on. A nice explanation for the ‘why’ of Santa Claus and Christmas.
Auntie Claus by Elise Primevera
The first rule of Christmas is better to give than it is to receive or that’s what Sophie learns in this Christmas tale. Her whole family loves Christmas especially Sophie and her little brother and the more presents the better. Sophie’s curiousity gets the best of her when she wants to find out where their Auntie Claus disppears to every year around Christmas time and she stows away for an adventure and learns a very important lesson not to mention that Santa Claus has a sister!
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love read to me:
The Christmas Box by Eve Merriam illustrated by David Small
We loved this hilarious tale reminiscent of Mary Poppin’sbottomless carpet bag. When Christmas morning comes, there is only one present under the tree. Can one present really be enough? What was Santa thinking?! Christmas simplified, sounds great to me and with this book it really is fun for the entire family.
Shall I knit you a Hat? a Christmas Yarn by Kate Klise Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
I had to pick this book, it’s written and illustrated by sisters who apparently have collaborated before (I will be looking for more). This is a nice warm story as Mother Rabbit decides to knit a warm hat for Little Rabbit when a bad snow storm is supposed to blow in on Christmas Eve. Little Rabbit is so excited about his nice new hat that he wants to make sure that his friends will have a nice warm hat for Christmas so he and his mom go out and measure his animal friends and make hats for them for Christmas. When the winter storm comes in everyone has customized hat for the cold weather. I thought it would be fun to make a carrot cake as Little Rabbit and his mom have several pieces at the end of the book. Also if you had a child who was old enough you could teach them how to knit. Or if you give this book as a gift, give it with some knitting needles and yarn to go with it. Continue reading