November 18, 2011

Countdown to Nativity

I know, it's not even Thanksgiving, but I am preparing for Christmas, too. I'm sure most of you are, by either making gifts or cards, or if you're buying gifts you have to budget, it's not best to buy at the last minute.I have been gathering the books in our house that have to do with the Nativity of Christ, along with some snowy ones that are particularly fun, even a couple with Santa (although we don't do Santa, just St. Nicholas) only if the story is really funny (like Ian Falconer's Olivia Helps with Christmas and the wordy & poetic Eloise at Christmastime) or there is a good message. We'll open one each day and read it together in the morning. Inspired by Babyccino.My favorites are:
  • The Story of the Nativity of Christ by Vesna Nikchevich is a longer story that used very beautiful iconic drawings to illustrate the story. One of my very favorites! Good for my children (ages 8 and 10).
  • Little Porcupine's Christmas by Joseph Slate, a very sweet story about animals celebrating the birth of Christ by putting on a play called "Baby in the Manger" and the porcupine who feels left out, until they decide they need a star (he climbs to the top of the tree and rolls up like a ball).
  • The Best Christmas Present Ever by Richard Scarry is wonderful, for his illustrations and story, of children getting presents, and then seeing Huckle's new baby sister (THAT is the best present)!
  • Christmas Joy compiled by Skip Skwarek, which is full of recipes, songs, poems and stories with beautiful illustrations.
  • Niko Chocheli's Prepare O Bethlehem because all the Orthodox church hymns are used throughout the book, the drawings are a bit dark and artistic, so a younger child may think they are a bit scary.
  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto reminds me of our summer trip to New Mexico and Arizona, cute story and a cultural experience...if you've never made masa for tamales, maybe after the feast you could plan a day to try to make them!
  • Leo Tolstoy's Philipok is illustrated by Gennady Spirin is not a Christmas theme book, but a book about a little boy who walks through the snow to school. Gorgeous drawings of the town, church and people!!!
  • I included a Christmas carol book that has several songs like "Silent Night" and "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing," some traditional songs that talk about the birth of Christ. We love to sing together!


wayside wanderer said...

I miss doing this sort of thing!

Rebeca said...

Ooooh, fun list! I'll have to check out some of those titles. Thanks!

elizabeth said...

all the best as you prepare for the Nativity fast!

Valerie said...

Very sweet, Marfa! I love that you are getting ready for the joys of the season. It's sure to be a special one with your girls :o)
x, Val

Wendy said...

Yay! They look so bright and cute all wrapped up. :) I'll have to go find THE PORCUPINE'S CHRISTMAS - that sounds adorable.

Xen Xen said...

We have a few of those books, but one we adore, The Miraculous Child, by Aleksi Currier. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, it is a wonderful story!

Cristina said...

Philipok was a much loved character of my childhood. Thank you for reminding me to tell my son about him ! Love, Cristina from Romania