Sunday, December 5, 2010

Children's Book Monday-- Together Books

Summer means long days for my grass-cutting man.  Though it goes against my grain to serve dinner without him, we often have to eat before he arrives home for the day, thirsty and tired.  We still try to gather around the table while he eats his meal with grass in his hair and I give the kids a snack   He hurries into the shower and sometimes we play a game with the kids or watch them ride their bikes before tucking them into bed.  

Christmastime ushers in a slower pace on the job, as most days he is home before nap time is even over and he can lend a hand in getting dinner on the table and doing the dishes.  As often as the schedule has allowed these past two years, we have spent our December nights sharing a chapter or two of a book together.  Instead of reading and telling back to Daddy, December means we absorb the words together.   

My mom used to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson aloud to us almost every year at Christmas.  Despite laughing through the first six chapters of the book, when we got to the final chapter, she always cried.  Though I was also touched by the story, I couldn't understand what made her cry every year until I read it aloud with my family two years ago and choked out the last few words of the book.  We'll probably read it again this year...and I'll probably cry again.

 I had never heard of The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer until I read a review on another blog.  I'm not even sure whose it was, but we were looking for a Christmas book and the story looked okay so I reserved it from the library. The book was written in the 50s when my dad was born and the little boy in the story was named Ronnie which is my dad's name.  He didn't have an Aunt Martha that I know of, but I thought of him as I read each of the four chapters.  Unless you, too, have a dad named Ronnie, that won't draw you to this book, but with only 64 pages and a story about turning disappointment and betrayal  to joy and contentment, it is a worthy read!
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski is not a chapter book, but it has enough text that it could be stretched to fill more than one night.  That was our intention until we got too caught up in the story to stop.  (If you don't like teary eyes during Christmas, don't read this book either.)  The simple words-- a story of man and boy and wood and loss and redemption- go deep.  Children who cannot sit for long stretches of words can fill their eyes with the gentle watercolor illustrations.

I'm still searching for a new book to devote our reading minutes to this Christmas.  The season is too short to waste it on empty words.  If you have  a book that is dear to your heart, please take a minute to tell me about it.   And as always, Elise has books to share every Monday

1 comment:

  1. This is our second year of reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", and I both times have been a sobbing mess during the last chapter. My girls look at me like I'm crazy! :) Maybe it's a mom thing.


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