Blogger Angela Reynolds

’tis the Season

Christmas books. Shiny new green and red covers, and old scuffed favorites. It is a joy when a new holiday book arrives and I actually like it. Over the past few years, I’ve found some favorites that I always want to revisit. With Christmas books, my critical eye clouds over, and I just enjoy them for what they are — warm fuzzies wrapped in paper. My most recent find is The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole, in which a big-city turkey named Alfred really stirs things up. Cole always spins a fine, silly yarn, and this is no exception.

You may think you don’t need another Twelve Days of Christmas, but Laurel Long’s jewel-toned Renaissance-inspired paintings make this one a worthy addition to Christmas book collections. And there’s Melrose and Croc: A Christmas to Remember by Emma Chichester Clark. Croc has ventured out to the big city to see the sights of Christmas. Melrose (a golden dog) has just moved to the city. He is decorating his new apartment and realizes that Christmas would be so much nicer if he had someone to share it with. When Melrose and Croc literally bump into each other on the skating rink, a friendship is born. The illustrations have an old-fashioned feel and the paper is thick, for an all-around pleasurable read.

A few years ago, while weeding the collection, I stumbled upon another gem, published in 1974 – The steamroller : a fantasy by Margaret Wise Brown, in which a little girl named Daisy gets a steamroller for Christmas and proceeds to roll over most of the town. Bizarre, yes, but I just adore this book. I cannot read Cynthia Rylant’s Silver Packages without bringing a tear to my eye. It must be my Kentucky background because this story of the Christmas Train bringing gifts to children in the Appalachian hills always makes me a tiny bit homesick. And I still love The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. The timing, the illustrations, the story, all are perfect for my holiday sensibilities.

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