November 29, 2018

Four Christmas Books to Add to Your Child's Holiday Reading List

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'Tis the season to be jolly! Yes, it's that time of year, again...Christmas is almost here! Every year, I pull out our collection of holiday reads, which I typically keep hidden until November rolls around. This makes things extra special as we revisit some of our favorite Christmas stories and rediscover some that we may have even forgotten about (a phenomenon that seems to happen when you own a lot of books). I also like to add a few new holiday reading treasures to the collection each year. Today, I wanted to invite you to learn more about four new additions to our holiday reading library.




Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo 
A plucky robin, lost and alone, sets out on an epic journey, guided only by a call in his heart saying “come home!” He wills his wings to beat faster, lifting him over great mountains and dark forests, through blinding blizzards and rolling fog, across the wide, wild sea. Can he find his way back to his family in time for Christmas? Combined with Kerry Hyndman’s striking illustrations of the red-breasted bird against a sweeping, snowy terrain, Michael Morpurgo’s poetic narrative will stir any reader who has ever yearned to reunite with loved ones or welcome them home. 

If you've been reading my blog since last year, then you may remember me mentioning the precious Christmas story, Lulu & Red. As soon I saw the cover to Coming Home, it immediately reminded me of that story. A bird sets out on a journey to find his mate. While both stories have some similarities, they are also quite different. Coming Home offers a different type of storytelling that's almost poetic. While this is a picture book for children, the text has more of a mature nature (completely G rated, of course). It was almost as though we were reading the journal of a man who was writing about his long lost love, and his incredible mission to find her. The robin knows the dangers ahead of him, but his reminder of home and his mate, fuel his drive to push through and get to where he needs to be. Through unforeseen dangers and aide from unlikely sources, the Robin embarks on quite the adventure. Will he make it home? I won't give away the ending, but let's just say that this is a holiday book that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

We really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are stunning, as they invite you into the story, so that you can get a firsthand glimpse at all the Robin endures to try to get to his love. It's a beautiful holiday choice that can be enjoyed for years and years to come.







 

Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock
When Noah goes Christmas shopping with his mom and baby sister, he’s glad to have his toy elephant, Oliver, along in the boring shops. They play peekaboo and hide in a dolls' house, and Noah even dances Oliver across the displays. But just as Mom has checked off the last thing on her list, disaster strikes: Oliver is nowhere to be found! And the department store is VERY big. Will retracing their steps be enough to reunite Noah and his beloved toy elephant?

This is a new favorite for my son! It's actually a lot of fun to read, since it uses rhyming prose to tell the story. Also, if you've been braving the stores trying to get some of that holiday shopping done, then you will definitely appreciate this one. A mother and her two children are visiting the mall with a long list of to-dos ahead of them. Of course, it's not the most exciting shopping trip for children, so little Noah was sure to bring along his toy elephant named Oliver. As mom is shopping away, Noah plays with Oliver, pretending that he's going on his own adventures. After all, It's a fun way to pass the time! As the shopping trip finally comes to an end, mom offers the kids a little treat before they set off home. Noah then discovers that Oliver has gone missing. Oh no! What will he do? The only thing to really do is retrace their steps, but they've been out all day and have visited so many stores. Will they ever find Oliver, again? Where could he be?

This is a fun story to read and my son gets a kick out of all the adventures that Oliver has, including his sudden disappearance and what happens next. The book is a really nice holiday pick that's perfect for younger children!

 








This Christmas, join Michael Rosen and Tony Ross with their unforgettable retelling of Charles Dickens's beloved holiday classic. Harry Gruber plays the role of Scrooge in his school's production of "A Christmas Carol," and he is extra nervous about tonight's performance because his father is in the audience — not away for business, as usual. Will the story's message of Christmas cheer and the redemptive power of love reach his father's distracted Scrooge heart? A timely retelling of A Christmas Carol for the whole family about a smartphone-obsessed dad. 


This book is a chapter book that's perfect for older children who are looking for a good holiday themed story. A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed by all ages. It was a story that I always loved to read each and every holiday season while growing up, and one of those tales that I now enjoy sharing with my own child. There is a really good moral to the story. Not only does it touch up on spreading Christmas cheer, but it reminds readers how important it is to be kind to others and appreciate the blessings that are all around you. 

This new rendition of A Christmas Carol offers a present day twist. A boy named Harry has the lead part as Ebenezer Scrooge in his school's Christmas play. His entire family will be attending the play that night, including his grumpy, workaholic father, Ray. While the rest of the family lives in the moment, enjoying family time together as they celebrate Harry's big acting debut, Ray has his head stuck in work, dwelling on a big moneymaking opportunity for his company. 

The book actually contains two parallel stories, both with a common theme. In one part, you have the traditional Scrooge story told through Harry's play, and then there is second story that follows around the father as he leaves his son's play in order to tend to business. With his initial priorities being work, he has no time for Christmas plays. As children read the original story of A Christmas Carol and how Scrooge soon realizes the error of his ways, the plot then moves on to show Ray also beginning to see those same reminders all around him. He soon realizes that these distractions with work have been taking him away from all the things that truly matter, his family. This is a fun holiday read that takes a Christmas classic and gives it a little modern day perspective.


 




 
The Christmas Eve Tree: In a magical tale bearing all the hallmarks of a classic, a homeless boy’s adopting of a spindly Christmas tree sparks a glimmer of hope that has far-reaching effects. Delia Huddy’s text captures an unexpected moment of happiness that brings a whole city together, while beautiful illustrations by Emily Sutton carry the tale full circle, rewarding observant readers with a satisfying and uplifting ending.

The Christmas Eve Tree is a heartwarming tale narrated through the thoughts of a small fir tree. The scraggly little fir accidentally gets piled into a truck of full of beautiful, full grown fir trees that are set out to be dispersed throughout the city stores to be sold. All of the trees find their home in someone's living room for Christmas, but the little fir is left alone in the store where nobody wants him. Right before closing on Christmas Eve night, a homeless boy expresses his interest in the tree to the store clerk. Knowing that the tree would not be sold and it was already the day before Christmas, the clerk gives the tree to the boy. That night, the boy gives the small fir a little extra care, creating a sturdy base, so that it can be displayed in the place where he calls home, underneath the arches of a railroad bridge. Him and his friends, seeing the full potential in the tree, help decorate it and then begin to sing Christmas carols. This, in turn, begins to attract many people who also decide to partake in the festive singing. It is in that moment, that the little fir realizes how his presence has helped to spread Christmas cheer despite the circumstances, and this makes him happier than anything in the world!

There is more to this story, but I don't want to give it all away. The ending is the best –the kind that may even bring a tear to your eye. It is a really endearing tale about second chances, and one that my son and I enjoyed reading quite a bit.








If you enjoy Christmas books, be sure to check out my other recommendations on what to read during the holiday season:


https://www.oureverydayharvest.com/2015/12/10-christmas-books-children.html

https://www.oureverydayharvest.com/2017/11/childrens-christmas-books.html

https://www.oureverydayharvest.com/2016/11/childrens-christmas-books.html

https://www.oureverydayharvest.com/2016/11/holiday-gift-giving-candlewick.html








8 comments:

Brenda Loves Sharing said...

I haven't heard of any of those Christmas books before, but they all sound like great stories. I think we would enjoy the chapter book and the one about the tree the most.

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

This is a really nice holiday collection! Each book is unique and has something different to offer. :-)

Laura said...

I actually haven't read any of these! Putting them on the list for library check outs next time we go. :)

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

Awesome, Laura! I hope you enjoy them! :-)

allysmama said...

My kids would love these books. I try to read them new books and I am going to find Bah Humbug for them!

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

Excellent! I hope they enjoy the book! :-)

June S. said...

I would enjoy reading all of these to my five year old grandson for the Christmas holidays this year.

Kelly (Our Everyday Harvest) said...

There are some great picks here. I hope your grandson enjoys them! :-)