Today was St. Nicholas Day! In our house, that means new Christmas books and new pajamas. Growing up we always celebrated St. Nicholas Day, that’s what happens when you’re a second generation German American. Of course, our St. Nicholas Day mornings looked a bit different than my own children’s; it usually involved copious amounts of chocolate and a new book or movie.
I was up until 10 last night finishing up the new pajamas; the girls’ I had finished up a few weeks ago, but I still had to finish the boys pants (which still ended up being too long and a bit big in the waist) and wrap all the goodies.
What I really wanted to share with you all were the books that I had picked out for gifts. I’ve been listening to the Read Aloud Revival, which seems to be getting me into a bit of trouble with my Amazon credit card.
I have to admit I am an absolute sucker for Children’s books, an even bigger sucker for CHRISTMAS children’s books: I want them all! As it is our Christmas book stash is going to be taking up two boxes after this Christmas.
A Christmas Carol by Gibbs Smith
I had seen the BabyLit collection in one of my book groups on facebook, and I was immediately smitten! The premise of the series is an early introduction to the classics, but in board books geared toward little ones.
A Christmas Carol is a color book, going through the different characters from Charles Dickens classics tale. For us it has been a great way to share the story for all of our kids, without getting to deep in the actual story.
I was deeply grieved though when I realized just how expensive these books are, they’re your standard priced board books, so anywhere from $8-13. By chance I found out that Costco had a special on the boxed set, $22 with shipping, so I promptly ordered two sets (as of my publishing this, they are still on sale…so HURRY!)
The Baker’s Dozen by Aaron Shepherd
This is one that was mentioned on the Read Aloud Revival. The premise of the story is that a very honest baker is called on the carpet by a women, on St. Nicholas Day, that a dozen is actually 13. The women refuses to accept anything less and walks out. From that day forward everything goes wrong in his bakery, until a year later.
The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous! The added bonus for us is that we live in the Central New York region in which this story takes place, so it gives us some interesting historical perspective into our state. You also get a fun telling of how a baker’s dozen came to be 13.
Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
The illustrations in this one were fantastic! The entire story reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. A little girl’s favorite apple tree falls during a storm and she is devastated at the loss of her “studio”. All of her Christmas spirit seems to have died with the tree, until Christmas morning when she discovers that her Papa realized just how much that tree meant to her.
I think so often we feel like no one realizes just how much something means to us or why, and this story just gives us all hope that someone will notice the important things to us.
The Christmas Tree Ship by Carol Crane
There was a very simple reason for my getting this book…it was about ships, and as Matthew used to work on ships and went to school for Marine Transportation, I have a soft spot in my heart for any books about ships.
This book especially has a soft-spot, because it’s based on a true story about the ship that brought Christmas trees to Chicago and it’s sinking, and how the captain’s wife took it upon herself to continue the tradition after his death.
The illustrations are beautiful done by Chris Ellison, the colors are all just fantastic.
The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel
I love the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City! If I could, I would visit it every year, and it’s my dream to someday ice skate beneath it. The Carpenter’s Gift is a beautiful story about the struggles of life and how one small thing can become so much more than we could ever expect.
This story of course left me sobbing through the end, all the good books do, and gave me all the feels. The words and pictures beautiful meshed together in such Christmas-sy glory. For us, again, this book really hit home this Christmas as this year’s Rockefeller Center tree is from nearby Oneonta, NY.
The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden
I have to be honest, the one reason why I bought this book was because the illustrator is Barbara Cooney, whom I love. Yes, I do buy books sight unseen, based solely on who the author or illustrator is.
Again, I admit, I cried through the end of this one. It’s the story of a doll that want’s a little girl, a little girl who wants to be loved, and a husband and wife who long for a child. It is the pinnacle of all things that tug at my heartstrings. The story is beautifully written and, of course, the book is beautifully illustrated as only Barbara Cooney can.
We had a few other St. Nicholas books sneak in after the fact, that I’ve yet to look at, but I can guarantee you there probably just as wonderful as the ones I’ve listed above, particularly The Miracle of St. Nicholas.
What are some of your favorite new Christmas book additions?