Monday, November 28, 2011

Favorite Advent/Christmas Books

New Favorites

A new Tomie dePaola! This book is going to be a surprise for the kids especially Sunshine who just loves Mr. dePaola's art. It's a compilation of The Night of Las Posadas, The Story of the Three Wise Kings, and The Legend of the Poinsettia, along with some illustrated Christmas carols. Our copy of The Three Wise Kings is getting worn and considering what used copies of that book go for, this one is worth it even if you already have copies of the other stories in your collection.

The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe Empress of the Americas by C. Lourdes Walsh

I ordered this last year after seeing it over at Jessica's but it didn't make it here in time so I saved it for this year. Just a heads up if you are wanting it for this year! There are some used copies available that would make it in time. I've only glanced through it but the pictures are little works of art from master artist Jorge S├ínchez-Hern├índez. I can't wait until this one gets unwrapped.

Old Favorite

Through the Animals' Eyes: A Story of the First Christmas

Christopher Wormell is an amazing artist. The pictures in this book are so vivid and interesting to the eye because of the contrast between the colors and his heavy use of black. Look inside his version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and you will see what I mean. This book is also educational. Bonus! It introduces the reader to a variety of unusual middle eastern animals, not just the donkey, camel and sheep that show up in most nativity stories. Especially excellent choice for boys!

Special Local Favorite

The Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie Gordon 

“Of what use is one ugly little tree?”

Atop a windswept hill, a crooked little tree stands alone . . . until one Christmas Eve, when an old woman labors up the hill with a box of ornaments, and tells the tree that he is special. He is to be the official Christmas tree for all of the homeless people in the city below!

This is a book based on a true story about a real little tree and a once homeless woman who took it upon herself to decorate it. We have driven past this tree many times. It's a landmark we look for on the way to the dentist or the zoo. I cannot read this book to my children without choking up a little towards the end. If you live locally, get this book and then come see the tree! If you don't live close by, come for a visit and we'll take you to see it!

Find out more about this special book here.

Tear Jerker
every. single. time.

Everyone knows this book. It must be read every single year and every single year, I cry like a baby. I saw the movie and thought it was OK, but the book brings a tear to the my eye whether I'm reading it or listening to it. Ours came with a CD and included was an extra audio recording of When Jessie Came Across the Sea which is also a lovely story to listen to.

Will you share your favorites with us? 
We'd love to hear about them!


  1. Legend of the Poinsettia is one of my favorite Christmas books! It was a gift from one of my Catholic school teachers in elementary school - I need to ask my mom for it so I can read it to my little one! I haven't heard of other Tomie DePaola Christmas book, but I'm sure I would love them!

  2. Oooh too many. Let's see if I can restrain myself!

    The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. We have the beautiful version illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger, and want the one by P.J. Lynch!

    Jacob's Gift: The handiwork, the sacrifice, the humble generosity.

    We Three Kings, for Gennady Spirin's illustrations and the scrolling carol in all five verses.

    Bright Christmas, from an angel's perspective.

    The Donkey's Dream, a lovely and gentle intro to Marian / Christological imagery.

    I grew up with Douglas Gorsline's illustration of "The Night Before Christmas"

    And King of the Stable, if only for the look on that boy's face on the cover! (But not only for that!)

    Seven books--Hey, I think I did ok!

  3. Hey ladies... I think I talked Jessica into doing a link-up so post your favorites on your blogs and we'll all link-up later!

  4. I just LOVE advent/Christmas books- I finally put all of ours in a special box to be brought out during the holidays- it makes them so special

  5. I know. I keep mine on a shelf in my closet.

  6. The new Tomie dePaola book looks wonderful. It is definitely going on our list of books to purchase!

    I hope you like The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. My children just finished reading it last month during their History Unit, so I left it out of our Advent Baskets this year.

    The link up will be fun! I will try and get it posted either late tonight or tomorrow. :)

  7. The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is what we read on Our Lady's feast day in December. The pictures alone makes the book a treasure.

    Each of the kids seem to have their favorites. But as a family we all agree on:
    "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen and Rachel Isadora
    "Night of the Posadas" by Mr. DePaola
    "Tonight you are my Baby" by Jeannine Norris

    Looking forward to the linky-link. We have a few new books to add this year...alway so good to find some quality stories for the season.

  8. I LOVE the Our Lady of Guadalupe book...and actually have MANY new copies in English or Spanish from the author which we have been selling as a fundraiser for the chastity program in NY (I am the chastity coordinator). Would it be possible for me to let anyone interested know that they can contact me to buy a copy?

  9. Fun! love reading your blog!

  10. I have had the best time reading the advent link-up posts! "Joy to the World" will be the perfect gift for my grandchildren. I have not heard of it until now. We just purchased "The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe" last year and we love it too!

  11. I've never seen the Tomie de Paola Joy to the World...looks cute! Don't you just love the artistic illustrations in that Our Lady of Guadalupe book? We love ours:) Know what you mean about the Jonathan Toomey book! Wishing you a blessed Advent:)

  12. Hi

    I am having the hardest time downloading your color pages from there another to download them? thanks

  13. Nevermind...I got the downloading worked out- scribd was just acting up. Thanks the color sheets are great!


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