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  • Kaeti V.

CHRISTMAS BOOK REVIEW: advent storybooks day 22, 23, 24

A very merry *belated* Christmas to you! I got wrapped up in Christmastime celebrations and completely forgot I had book reviews to do! Advent ended on December 24th, so this entry will conclude my advent reviews ... and even though they're a tiny bit late, these are still enjoyable winter stories and I encourage you to seek them out. Thanks for following along on this project! I'm looking forward to sharing more reviews with you soon.


Here's another wintertime treat for you! A little doodle of Reggie and Crew (characters from my upcoming graphic novel, Monster Friends), wishing you a Merry Christmas with a happy tune!

 

DAY 22 – Cobweb Christmas; the tradition of tinsel – Shirley Climo and Jane Manning From the author’s note: To this day in parts of Germany, the very first ornament place on the Christmas tree is a spider.

A very cute story about the origins of tinsel, spun from German folklore and other Western European countries. Tante is a little old woman who lives alone in a tiny cottage in the woods. She is a beloved grandmother figure in her village -- especially around Christmastime, when she cleans her little house and decorates a marvelous tree to share with the village children. She also invites her pets, farm animals, and passing woodland critters inside to look at her tree … the only guests she overlooks are the spiders she sweeps out of her house during Christmas cleaning!

On Christmas eve, Tante falls asleep wishing to see some “Real Christmas Magic”. Her wish is granted when Kris Kringle arrives and lets the spiders inside to look at Tante’s Christmas tree. The curious spiders leave webs everywhere they go, so Kringle uses his magic to turn the webs into gold and silver thread. Tante is in for a treat when she wakes up! Realizing her mistake, she promises to never leave the spiders out of her Christmas plans.

The illustrations in this book were what drew me in initially. Manning absolutely charmed me with her soft, textural paintings, and this sweet old Grandma made me smile on every page! I may have mentioned this in other reviews, but I really do love to hear illuminated folklore from other countries. Stories like this bring wonderful, complex meaning to certain Christmas traditions, and help us remember that everyone celebrates differently and beautifully!

DAY 23 – Dream Snow – Eric Carle The story of a very sleepy farmer, who dreams of snow on Christmas Eve. Carle takes us on a beautiful textural journey through his pictures, and encourages reader interaction with transparent sheets of falling snow that gently blanket the farmer’s animals! And when the farmer wakes up … a beautiful Christmas snow has fallen on his farm! The farmer rushes out to decorate his tree and gives gifts to his animals … there is also a push-button surprise with a very magical song at the end! Eric Carle’s pictures are bright and cheery, with lovely big shapes and beautiful textures -- he is definitely another favorite illustrator of mine! There is a luminous quality to his paintings in this story, which will delight readers young and old.

DAY 24 – Room For a Little One; a Christmas Tale – Martin Waddel and Jason Cockcroft From the last line in the book: “that cold winter’s night, beneath the star’s light … a little one came for the world.” This is a very cute and lushly illustrated story about the nativity. It reads like a gentle bedtime story, as Kind Ox welcomes others into his warm stable to shelter from the cold. Old dog, stray cat, small mouse, tired donkey, cold Joseph, and weary Mary … all find rest in Kind Ox’s stable … and there’s room for baby Jesus, too!

The pictures in this book are magnificent. Cockroft’s painting style has a glittering quality, with flecks of color throughout, and he does a wonderful job with color temperature … the night looks FRIGID, contrasted with the warmth radiating inside the stable.


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