And because its only two weeks until Christmas Eve, it's snowing here in Toronto right now and I'm feeling very festive today, I'm going to have my first giveaway here at Small Home Big Start. One lucky winner is going to receive a handmade Christmas book bag with three storybooks inside. Details are at the end of this post.
Written by Laura Numeroff, Illustrated by Felicia Bond
This is a charming story of a demanding mouse and the little boy who acts on his every whim in preparation for Christmas. "If you take a mouse to the movies, he is going to want popcorn. If you buy him popcorn..." he's going to want to go to the tree lot, and then make a snowmouse, and so on and so on. Children will love watching the chain of events unfold, and adults will get a chuckle out of the short-lived obsessions of a child. This Special Christmas Edition also includes songs, crafts and recipes.
Those of you who are not familiar with this series of books, we are first introduced to the energetic mouse in the tremendously popular debut, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Its a fantastic book to give to any child, and I can say this with confidence because it was one of my most-loved books when I was growing up. It is such a big part of my family's pop culture, that if someone in my house keeps making multiple requests we all chime in "If you give a mouse a cookie..." as a gentle reminder.
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
This is one of my absolute favorite children's books of all time. It tells the story of Christmas Eve, as Santa sees it, in a fun comic-strip style drawn by the author-artist who gave us The Snowman.
Interestingly this story was removed from school libraries for Father Christmas' negative attitude toward the holiday, but really it shows him as being much more human than we've ever seen him before. He's grumpy about getting out of bed the morning, living in the North Pole and squeezing down chimneys. The detail in the images is incredible, and will delight children and adults alike. A great book to pair this with is Brigg's delightful sequel Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, as this much-loved character searches for the ideal holiday spot.
Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Hobbie
Cute, adorable pigs at Christmas time? I think thats all the introduction that this story needs.
Toot goes to a family reunion in Scotland, promising Puddle that he''ll be back in Woodcock Pocket in time for Christmas. But a huge snowstorm strands him far away from home on Christmas Eve! As Puddle waits anxiously for his friend, another holiday traveler helps Toot find his way to Woodcock Pocket, just in time. This used to be the favorite of some little boys that I babysat, and I just had to include it in the list.
Written by Kay Thompson. Illustrated by Hilary Knight
Eloise is a lively six year old girl who lives in the "room on the tippy-top" floor of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her exhausted nanny, a pug named Weenie, and an turtle named Skipperdee. Its Christmas Eve and Eloise is busy rushing around the hotel spreading Christmas cheer, "Fa la la la fa la la la lolly ting tingledy here and there" and writing Merry Christmas on the walls.
First published in 1958, this story has not lost any of its infectious charm. Hilary Knight's beautiful pen and ink pink-and-black illustrations perfectly depict the spindly-legged scamp has she delivers Christmas gifts, ties tassels to the thermostats and slumbers while sugar plums dance over her head. A charming story that is sure to delight readers of all ages. As little girls, my sister and I loved to be read this book and would picture ourselves running up and down the halls of the hotel, dashing into elaborate parties and playing dress up with our mother's accessories. We even named our rescued baby turtle Skipperdee (the next one was Skipperdoo....very original, eh?)
Written by Clement Clarke Moore. Illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith
Moore's famous poem has been a holiday classic ever since he wrote it in 1822. This edition with Wilcox Smith's illustrations, was first published in 1912, and is considered by many to be the definitive version of the story.
We used to read this every Christmas Eve when I was little. I remember one year after reading about the reindeer "prancing and pawing" on the rood, I was convinced that I heard reindeer hooves in the middle of the night and saw a read nose peek out over the eavestrough (turns out it was a red bulb on a string of lights outside my grandfather's house). For a really interesting analysis of the classic story, take a look at this article by Jonathan Crossfield.
And now time for the....GIVEAWAY!!!
For Small Home Big Start's very first giveaway, one lucky winner will receive three children's Christmas stories packaged up in a cute reusable handmade holiday book bag, ready to share with a child. I don't have sponsors or anything like that, I just want to show you readers how much it means to me that you come by to visit.
To enter, all you have to do is answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:
"What was your favorite Christmas story when you were a child?"
Did How the Grinch Stole Christmas get you in the holiday spirit? Or was Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol a perennial favorite?
One entry per person.
No entries after Friday December 11th at Midnight EST.
The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Saturday December 12th.