My Holiday Favorites

For years, I’ve collected holiday books that intrigue and entertain me. The words within each book, the touch and smell of the pages, and the emotional high they deliver are the many things that help make my holiday experience magical. During the year, I keep those special books in my office library. During the holiday season, I display them in all the nooks and crannies of our home. My hope is that a family member or a visitor will pick one up and feel the same emotions I do when they read them.

Here are three of my picture book favorites.

Santa’s Favorite Story written by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantschev. Soft watercolor illustrations help Santa tell the forest animals about the first Christmas and its true meaning – the gift of love.

An Ellis Island Christmas written by Maxinne Rhea Leighton and illustrated by Dennis Nolan. The Petrowski family has left Poland to travel to America to join their father. They arrive at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve and must go through the entry process before being reunited with their father. To young Krysia, the sights, sounds, and food are a new and, sometimes, frightening experience. A feeling of joy embraces Krysia when Papa arrives to take them to their new home. The illustrations, done in subdued colors, do an admirable job in depicting the immigrant experience of coming to America.

We Were There: A Nativity Story written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Wendell Minor. Bunting’s lyrical text and repetition provide readers with a look at some of the unusual creatures that might have traveled to see the Christ Child on that special night. Combined with Minor’s amazing paintings done in gouache and watercolors, author and illustrator have created a simple but memorable Nativity story that will captivate readers and keep them guessing where the creatures are headed.

 

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