I’m mailing the Christmas books today. At the beginning of December, I send each of my grandchildren a pair of Christmas socks and a special book related to the season to read during Advent. This will be my oldest grandson’s seventh Christmas book and my new granddaughter’s first. Sometimes the books are about the religious aspect of the holiday like this one I sent last year which told the nativity story with beautiful illustrations made from rocks. Here are this year’s books. When I taught grade one and two I had sets of poems and songs for the children to learn for every theme we studied and Christmas was no exception. I always included some poems by Jack Prelutsky. The kids loved his rhymes. I didn’t even know Jack Prelutsky’s poem book It’s Christmas was still in print so I was delighted to find it for my seven-year-old grandson who will probably be able to read most of these poems on his own. There are touching poems in the book like the one about a family caroling and poems that make you laugh out loud like the one about getting underwear for Christmas. As soon as I read this beautiful book I knew I wanted to buy it for my middle grandchild who is three years old and just loves stories. The first thing he said when I arrived at his home in Saskatoon on my last visit was, “Grandma did you bring books?” He knows I always come with books to read to him. He is lucky to be growing up in a home filled with books and parents who love to read. Bear and Wolf is about two very different animals who strike up a friendship and go out and explore the natural world together. Their story warmed my heart. In a time when many people in our world are being pushed apart by their differences and are failing to recognize that we can’t take the beauty of our natural world for granted, this story shows us what to do. It has a simple text and wonderfully interesting illustrations. For my granddaughter’s first Christmas book I chose Santa’s Cookie is Missing! Anne Passchier’s colourful illustrations leap off the page in this board book about the hunt to find the cookie left for Santa that has gone missing. My granddaughter just started to crawl and she is off on her own explorations now, so I thought she’d like this book about kids who explore their surroundings trying to find the missing cookie. Guess who ends up with it?
When my boys were little we lit the advent candles on our dining room table each evening in December and then read a story from the big basket full of Christmas books I kept under the table. I am happy the tradition of Christmas book reading is being carried on with the next generation.