Looking at this list, I started to wonder what I would choose for twelve books of Christmas. So I set myself a challenge: if we were going off into the wilderness (like moving to a remote cabin in Alaska without electricity), what would be the twelve Christmas and Advent books I would choose for our library?
12. The Little Drummer Boy illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, because it's beautiful, and I remember my grandmother reading it to me.
11. Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegmeyer, because no Catholic Advent with children would be complete without this wonderful saint. I like this book, which I purchased a few years ago. I've also always wanted to read The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Demi, but have never found a copy.
10. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, because it's an American Christmas tradition. There are many illustrated version available. We have one by Anita Lobel and will be reading one by Matt Tavares this year. The Robert Sabuda version would probably be worth the money if I were really only choosing twelve Christmas books to take into the wilderness.
9. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, because Advent is a time of healing and hope.
8. Marta and the Manger Straw by Virginia Kroll, illustrated by Robyn Belton, because when we sacrifice to share what we have, we receive the graces of God. This is a new book for us this year and I think the children will love it.
7. Why the Chimes Rang by Raymond Macdonald Alden, often found in collections like this one, because our sacrifices please God and comfort others.
5. The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury, because Christmas is a time to worship the Lord, and because laughter is pleasing to the Lord.
1. The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton, because we would need an exquisitely beautiful illustrated version of the Nativity story.
So what are the twelve picture books you would choose?
If you're looking for more books to read this Advent, here's a post I wrote earlier this year of the new and noteworthy picture books we read last year. It includes links to all the other Advent picture book posts I've written.
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