Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th and Christmas

It’s Friday the 13th, but it could be your lucky day!

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I love the colors of the leaves, the pumpkins, the colder weather, and because it leads to Christmas. WOW! A period filled with dazzling colors, joy, and magic. That is why I was excited to participate in this book tour. The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Jon J Muth and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King illustrated by Gail deMarcken are both a must for any library.

Over the years I have learned that the children’s illustrators are very important, so when I saw the names on these two books I knew I was about to read two special books.

I had the privilege to listen to Jon J Muth at a Teacher’s Night at The Bookies. It was fun and interesting to learn how he does his work. He ranks up there as one of my favorite illustrators. He does not disappoint with The Christmas Magic. Lauren Thompson’s story about how Santa prepares for the special day is charming and magical. I have spent the last few months emphasizing the importance of descriptive, rich and exciting language. I want students to use words like: snug, tingling, shaggy, creaky, gleams, and the list in this short books goes on. Thanks Ms. Thompson for a brilliant example. I am a very visual person so Jon J Muth’s magnificent illustrations bring the story to life. Who knew Santa had bunny slippers. Also, I know wonder what parsnips and berries would taste like.

One of my favorite read aloud books is The Giving Quilt. It is a beautiful story about the importance of giving to those in need. The illustrations by Gail deMarcken have made it a book I share year after year.

When I hear The Nutcracker I think of Russian Ballet with cute kids dressed up. I never really paid attention to the fact that it is an old German story. I admit the first thought I had whan i looked at The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was “OK, I blog about books boys will like. Will a boy like this book?” After reading I changed my mind. Boys will enjoy reading and hearing this story. The story has battles etc, but it is Gail deMarcken’s illustrations that will fascinate boys. The intricate illustrations of the tooth falling out of the nutcracker to the seven headed Mouse King will excite boys.

I look forward to sharing these books with my class and my nieces and nephew.

So here is how it is your lucky day. Two, yes two lucky people that comment (Can commenter be a new blog word?) will win both books. I am stealing this idea from the Shelf Elf. When you comment tell me what your favorite holiday book is, also, making sure I have access to your email address. US addresses only.


Megan said...

My all time favorite Christmas book is The Polar Express. So magical!

Seshat said...

You have me so excited about getting out my huge selection of Christmas books for my first graders, as well as the "adult" books I read over and over at Christmas.

As a young girl and into my adulthood I have always held Little Women in my heart as a Christmas story. I turned out to be a mother of four daughters. It was meant to be.

Every year I add to my collection of Christmas books. Like the other commenter before me The Polar Express has to be right up there, an instant classic the moment it was published.

I really don't think I can pick just one because I have so many, but I just purchased this year's addition which may be a gift for my oldest daughter who lives in NYC (far away from me), isn't married and doesn't yet have children of her own. It is called The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman. It has beautiful artwork and beautiful language.

In this story, although the spirit of Christmas has entered the writer's world, something was missing. You find out on the last page what the best part of Christmas will always be for this writer. I won't give that away.

I will always read children's books, even when I'm old and gray in my rocking chair and I'll no doubt add your suggestions to my library, whether I win or not..:)

Seshat said...

Oh (gasp) email is:

...just in case.

Lauren said...

My favorite is An Orange for Frankie. (Wonder who introduced me to that one!)

juli said...

I still have my copy of Santa Mouse from childhood. Not the strongest of stories, but full of memories just the same.


Carol said...

My favorite Christmas book is NEW SHOES. It's not a "real" Christmas book, but it's about a little boy who really, really, really wants some brand name tennis shoes, and his grandmother can't afford them… A beautiful story about gifts, especially at this time of year for kids that do not have much.

Sandra Stiles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra Stiles said...

Okay, let's try this again. My favorite book is The Polar Express. I love sharing it with my granddaughter Haylee. Now she tells me the story. I hope that it is becoming one of her favorites.

Lady of Letters said...

Lord have mercy please pick me!! I never knew what to say for these "comment and you could win" things. Who on the seven seas is the Shelf Elf?? Your blog is kwel man. Glad I found it!

michellechristine said...

I love Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant which tells the story of an Appalachian Christmas Train. I read it to my fifth grades each year and during our study of theme. My two children ages 10 and 7, love Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera, which teachers the age old message that it is better to give than receive.

Peter Claus and the Naughty List is also a fun read.

I know I didn't win but I couldn't resist adding my favorites!

michellechristine said...

PS Has the Giving Quilt been renamed? I found a story entitled The Quiltmaker's Gift and it sounds similar.

PSS I enjoy your blog regularly.

Playing by the book said...

I've found you via MotherReader's comment challenge. These books look lovely and I've added them to my wishlist! We've just read another beautifully illustrated version of the nutcracker - illustrated by Ian Beck ( Looking forward to reading more from you as the challenge continues!