Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas books

Happy Christmas Eve! There are certain books I always read at Christmas time. All children's picture books, most of which I've been reading since before I can remember. Reading them every year adds to the festivity of the holiday; it gets me in the mood for Christmas just as much as the tree or the lights do. So I thought I'd take you through a tour of these books.Letters from Father Christmas, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is actually the only one of these books that wasn't a part of my childhood. I got it for Christmas a couple of years ago, though I'd read it before, and it is a lovely thing to look through during the holiday.
This is my favourite of the two versions of The Nutcracker I have. It has beautiful illustrations and it tells the full story (everything about the quest for the hard nut). It very much achieves the compellingly sinister, which is what I like in retellings of this story.
This is my other version, which is much more toned down for kids than the other one. I've never liked it as well, but the story's good no matter what form it's in.
It's a Little Golden Book! I absolutely loved this one when I was very very small, and then forgot about it for several years and finally, last year, made my mother dig it out of the basement. The story is exactly what it says on the tin, and for some reason it always particularly appealed to me.I got this one for Christmas (from my grandmother, I think) when I was younger. All my family are cat people, so it's particularly appropriate.This one might be my favourite. It's written and illustrated by Jan Brett, and set (I believe) in Sweden, where two funny little trolls are envious of a family's Christmas and want it for themselves. I always loved it because I've got a good chunk of Swedish in me, and the girl in the book has the same orange Swedish carved wooden horse that I have. And the illustrations are wonderful. It's just good.

There are other Christmas books I have and read almost yearly, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Night Before Christmas (which I could recite from memory at the age of three because I made my parents read it to me so many times), but this is a good cross section, and these books have always been really important to me.

This, by the way, is my 200th post.

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