Are you guys feeling the Christmas cheer through the books you’re enjoying together these days? We are, but it seems like our read-aloud time has been cut in half (or fourth, actually) due to various and sundry “must dos” that are always on the list.I have a neat anthology of Christmas stories called A Newbery Christmas that I picked up for a few dollars at my library’s used bookstore, but alas, we haven’t read the first story out of it. It is a compilation of fourteen stories written by Newbery award-winning authors. Some of the authors represented in this anthology include Eleanor Estes, E. L. Konigsburg, Madeleine L’Engle, Lois Lenski, and Beverly Cleary. So why am I telling you about this, if we haven’t even cracked it open? I don’t know. Good intentions, maybe. 🙂
We have read and delighted in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, though. Honestly, I would probably have waited until my girls are a little older to read this one aloud, but I had motivation this year: my nephews are in a local theater production of this heartwarming story this week. We went to the public performance on Sunday, and ‘though we hadn’t finished the book then, the looks on my girls’ faces were priceless: They KNEW the Herdmans! I find Barbara Robinson’s take on the Christmas story so poignant; of course I was teary-eyed and quavery-voiced by the end (my girls are used to this by now). This is the bit that got me right in the heart:
But as far as I’m concerned, Mary is always going to look a lot like Imogene Herdman–sort of nervous and bewildered, but ready clobber anyone who laid a hand on her baby. And the Wise Men are always going to be Leroy and his brothers, bearing ham.
Even if you have no children with whom to share this story, read this one. It’s good.
We revisited The Polar Express yesterday and enjoyed pulling out the paints and brushes for a little related art project. There’s really not much for me to say about this picture book classic, so I won’t. However, I will point you in the direction of a great resource book I’ve used a few times with my girls and expect to use even more as they get a little older. It’s Storybook Art: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of 100 Great Picture Book Illustrators by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter. It contains art projects that mimic or somehow highlight the styles of art used by 100 picture book illustrators. I’ve been completely enamored of this book since I’ve had it, and I’m really itching to be able to use it even more with my girls.
So how’s that for a Read Aloud Thursday post? One book we haven’t actually read, one book we did read (but that I admit I would normally have put off for a few years), and one book we read but I only used to point you in the direction of an instructional book, of all things. I’m sorry. Once this holiday season is over, I plan to get back to my usual blathering on and on about how much I love this book and that one. 🙂
I do have one more little bit of business to take care of this Read Aloud Thursday! A giveaway–from last week’s Read Aloud Thursday anniversary post! Someone is going to have a great little big anthology coming to her door. . . .
. . . and that someone is Stephanie, who commented
Every year I think of wrapping my books up for the girls and always remember a few days after the start of December. Maybe next year. I’m not sure I’ll get time to do a read-aloud post today … or pick a favorite Christmas book! I’m going to go with The Night Before Christmas because it’s a childhood favorite. If you asked my N2, she would pick The Grinch and if you asked N1, she “might” pick The Nutcracker because we are reading through it right now, but who knows?
Stephanie, I’ll be emailing you ASAP to get this wonderful collection on its merry way to your home!
So how about your family? What are you reading together as Christmas nears? Please leave a link to your blog entry below, or simply leave a comment.
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Oh, and one more thing: there will be NO Read Aloud Thursday next week in honor of Christmas Eve, but Read Aloud Thursday will be back on December 31 with a special year-in-review edition. Stay tuned! 🙂