December 14, 2015

Our Favorite Winter Books.

Cai loves to be read to. This week he has started bringing us books and sitting on the couch so we can read to him. He has some clear favorites, and so do I. We tend to read books over and over again for several days in a row. Partly because I'm lazy and don't feel like putting them away and getting new ones out. Partly because I remember hearing that little ones learn best through repetition. Partly because if we read different ones all the time I end up feeling like we read them all, all the time. Right now we've been focusing on Christmas and winter books, so we've been reading these often. 
Here are some of our favorites.

We bought this one last year in an effort to start a tradition. It's a collection of twenty four stories that you read leading up to Christmas. A mother bear is telling the stories to her little one, Benjamin. The stories are all about a little bear who is traveling to Bethlehem to meet the Child who will be born. He meets people and creatures along the way such as an eagle, a man in red, a beggar, a giant, a rosebush. Each story ends with a little moral or truth. Honestly, this one isn't my favorite. I LOVE the concept, but the execution could be better. If anybody knows of a better book out there with the same concept, let me know. Still, it's neat for all three of us to sit in Cai's room and read it before bed.

This one is a classic. I remember learning in my chidlren's lit. class in college that it was a big deal in the world of children's books when it was released because it has a black main character and because it is set in the city. I just like it because it helps you to see the snow through the eyes of a little one.

I just bought this one from Sam's Club a few weeks ago. It is a very simplified version of the Christmas story told in rhyme. It's basically pulled from the book of Luke. It begins with Mary and Elizabeth. The pictures bother me a little because they're a little silly, but other than that I really enjoy it. It does a good job of telling all of the major parts of the story. Steve liked that when the wise men visit Mary and Joseph and Jesus are living in a house, not the stable. I really like that it ends by telling of Jesus's death and resurrection, making the story complete.

This is a favorite from my own childhood. Technically we haven't started reading this one yet, because the board book version is in Cai's stocking. It tells the story of a little boy's lost mitten that becomes shelter for the animals in the forest. All of them. At the same time. I love the illustrations. My favorite thing is that each page has a border with little peaks of what is happening on the next page or what has already happened on the page before. 

This is another Jan Brett book, so it has the same great illustrations. This one is a twist on the traditional gingerbread man story. It ends with the little boy making a house for the gingerbread baby. The board book version has a little flap you can open up and see the gingerbread baby inside the house which Cai loves.

We actually don't have this one in our house, but I want to. This is another one from my childhood that I loved. It tells the story of the first snow of the year in a small town. I remember that one lady knew it was going to be a big snow because her big toe hurts. All the grownups act the way grown up do about snow, but the kids just enjoy it. I'd like to pick this one up for Cai.

This one is out of print, and it's quite dated, but I still love it. I think it's based on a true story. It's about a brother and sister who are staying with their grandparents while their mom gets settled in their new house. It's only November, so when the snow starts falling in the morning, Gramma says it won't amount to much and will melt quickly. But it doesn't! The repetition of the line, "But the snow kept on falling," is one I remember reading out loud with my mom when she read it to us. Cai like to see all of the animals on the family's farm. 

What about you? What are your favorite winter or Christmas books? Do you have certain ones you read every year?

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