Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What We're Reading for Advent and Christmas

The Story of Christmas
Sweet devoted Saint Joseph, pray for us.

I bought this book in Christmas 1994 and has been an annual favorite, not read only at Christmas. The gold trimmed illustrations are colorful and engaging: very well done. When we read, we  just read it slowing and stare at the pictures while we ponder and discuss the familiar story of Christ's birth. Beautiful artwork by Jane Ray and words from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts 
We have read and enjoyed  other books by Margaret Hodges (especially St George and the Dragon and Legend of St Christopher).
This story is particularly enjoyable as it's about one of my favorite saints and one of my favorite places. The story richly tells of events of St Francis's life and how he started the tradition of the Christmas crèche because of his love of animals and love for Christ. 

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. 
This is a sweet story of the faith of a child melting the heart of Jonathan Toomey, a craftsman who had experienced much loss and sorrow in his life's and had tired to harden his heart.  Thomas needed Mr. Toomey to carve pieces for his Christmas crèche and helped him see the animals as they would have looked upon Jesus with joy. This time together starts to melt Mr. Toomey's heart.

Paco's Miracle by Ann Nolan Clark.

A familiar author of ours. This chapter book is a little different angle of Christmas time story. Paco lived with his aging grandfather isolated in the mountains, growing up surrounded by nature. One winter his aging caretaker fell ill, Paco spent the time before Christmas with people in the village where he learned and experienced much, developed  friendships and enjoyed the Christmas celebration of  La Posada. Paco shared his own gifts with the village. 

Now for something truly fun
The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton

Francis had wanted to marry Annaple but he wasn't "romantic" enough for her. So with a few ideas and encouragement from her family, he crafted charming gifts to change her mind about him leading up to the Epiphany. The whole village enjoyed the gifts leading up to the twelfth night after Christmas.
I promise if you read as a read aloud they will ask for more. 


  1. They all look good! My sister's name is Anne Nolan so I am surprised I haven't seen that author before.

  2. These look so sweet - looking forward to searching my library catalog for some!

  3. I will have to check out Francis and the Friendly Beasts--we loved St. George and the Dragon!