Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dicken's Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens
illustrated by Charles Ropp 1961

The classic Christmas story in picture book form with an antique feel and full page illustrations. We're reading it again this year. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The original Nutcracker story by E.T.A. Hoffmann.  Maurice Sendak designed the sets and costumes for a ballet production and the pictures in this book show how glorious it must have been.

E.T.A. Hoffmann
illustrated by Maurice Sendak 1991

Hilary Knight's The Twelve Days of Christmas

Once again Hilary Knight's illustrations make the most engaging book.  The 12 days of Christmas told through a couple of bears and a large victorian house.  (Have I mentioned how much we love books that show the inside rooms of houses?)  It takes me forever to read this to the kids because I have to spend time looking at the pictures.  The last page is a pull-out and there's a biographical blurb about Hilary's own family at the back.

Hilary Knight 1981

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Baby in the Manger

A poem of the nativity by Isabel Byrum with beautiful vintage illustrations by Margaret Evans Price.  Don't be surprised if some of these pictures become my Christmas cards next year.

The Baby in the Manger
Isabel C. Byrum 1995
illustrated by Margaret Evans Price

The Wild Christmas Reindeer

Jan Brett 1998

Another offering from Jan Brett. More Nordic inspired illustrations and a story about one of Santa's helpers, a girl named Teeka, who gets the job of taking care of Santa's reindeer. She has to prepare them for their Christmas Eve flight but they prove wild and unruly at first. Like all her other books, Brett has extra illustrations that tell a story along the edges of the page. The ones in this book show toys being made and a countdown to Christmas day.

The Twelve Days of Christmas a Christmas Carol

This is a Little Golden Book illustrated by Sheilah Beckett.  The costumes and the black-haired girl remind me of Olivia Hussey in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet.

illustrated by Sheilah Beckett 1992

Twas the Night Before Christmas- Jessie Willcox Smith

Here is another reproduction of the poem with Jessie Willcox Smith's beautiful pictures.  Our copy is a rather small paperback.  I would love to have this with much larger pages to enjoy.

Clement Moore
illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith 1912

Holly Hobbie's Christmas Book

Holly Hobbie was around when I was a little girl.  (I remember having a gazebo playset with Holly Hobbie dolls.)

Holly Hobbie 1980

This book is a collection of her distinctive country/victorian pictures and various Christmas poems, recipes, carols, and sayings. I really just like looking at the drawings and wishing that I could dress Charlotte like them!

The Night Before Christmas- Gyo Fujikawa

Clement C. Moore
illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa 2004

I absolutely love Gyo Fujikawa's illustrations.  We started a steady collection of her books a few years ago.  We have several versions of this poem by Clement C. Moore and each one is fantastic.  (I'll try to list them all).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas in the Country

Cynthia Rylant (see also When I was Young in the Mountains) tells a homey story of a little girl living with her grandparents in the county and how they celebrate Christmas in simple, special ways. 

Cynthia Rylant 2005
illustrated by Diane Goode

Winter in the country is so quiet. The snow slows everything down. Birds are silent and serious. Dogs stay in their warm houses. Children want cocoa and blankets. Everyone is ready for something really special.