This post is for letter “H” in the 2016 ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series, click here to see all posts.
I have a love affair with children's books. It began when I was an undergraduate student studying to become an Early Childhood Education teacher. I had a professor that just instilled a grand love for beautiful children's books in me and it has never let go. I bought them by the ton for my classroom back in my teaching days and I continue to buy them my the tens of tons for my children today. Perhaps one day I'll go back to school and become a children's library. Until then I play library at home and stack my house to the rafters. My poor husband. He's a good sport.
I do have my favorites, however, that we pull out every holiday season. Even my oldest son who is now 11 looks forward to these special books every year. All of my children (even those who are perfectly capable of reading to themselves) beg me to read them aloud. I thought I'd share my absolutely favorites today.
Let me start with a couple of Thanksgiving books for you. Yes I know tomorrow marks the big turkey day but perhaps you are headed to the library or out for some early Christmas shopping. If you can snag a couple of these books I'd highly suggest it.
First up… P is For Pilgrim. This is far more than just another alphabet book. “Across the Atlantic Ocean, a lone ship on a vast sea. Ablaze with new hope, all praying to be free.” Each letter is accompanied by some wonderful poetry and further information and historical bits are also provided in a sidebar. The illustrations are beautiful. It's a great book to start off the Thanksgiving holiday.
Next I highly recommend Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage this book, as well as the next one on my list were created in a collaboration between National Geographic and Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts. Great care has been taken to depict the truth, as (the good and the ugly) about what went on in the Plymouth Colony and the feast the has come to be known as “The First Thanksgiving.”
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving is a beautiful book full of wonderful and vivid photographs taken at Plimouth Plantation, which is a fantastic living history museum. It is a place you should certainly consider visiting if you are ever in the area of Massachusetts. This book tears down some of the stereotypes that prevail in our culture about both Native Americans and the Pilgrims. Even if you are finding post after the Thanksgiving holiday I highly recommend you get your hands on this. It is just a resource.
Let's move on to Christmas
Dream Snow is the first on my list. My heart does a little jump each and every time I come across a book by Eric Carle. I am just absolutely drawn to his artwork and simple stories. This book is so beloved in our home. This is the story of a sweet farmer caring for his animals (One, Two, Three, Four, and Five) on Christmas Eve. Eric Carle has painted snow flakes and drifts on clear plastic, inserted before each page, which when lifted reveals the farmer or one of his animals on the page below. It is just a delightful and fun book to share as a family.
If He Had Not Come is a book that oh so special during the Christmas season. This is the story of one young boy who discovers what this world would be like if Jesus has never been born. This book provokes all kinds of discussions in our home each and every year. The back of the book provides additional resources for families and Sunday Schools as well. I wrote a detailed review here that you may enjoy reading. If you don't get any other book on this list this year get this one.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is absolutely exquisite book. The illustrations are breath taking. The story is that of a man who has lost those he loves. He cuts himself off from the world which now views him as a cranky old man. Through the story of Christmas and the kindness of a mother and son Jonathan learns to love again. Like all of the books I am sharing today, this too has become a traditional read in my home every Christmas.
The Crippled Lamb is yet another book with beautiful illustrations. I won't recommend a book that doesn't. This is the story of a young lamb who feels out of place in the world because he is just not as “perfect” as the other lambs. His friend Abigale teaches him just how loved by God he is.
In case you'd like a book that might take more than one sitting to complete you'll want hunt down The Candle in the Window. Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, this is another children's picture book about the true meaning of Christmas. This is the story of a lonely and miserable German cobbler. This man does what he can to prepare a welcome for Christ however all of his gifts end up going to others in need. A young girl shows him just how valuable his actions are because as Christ says… “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Crystal blogs is a wife and homeschooling mom to four who blogs at LivingAbundantly.com
I’m a daughter of the one true God, a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter of my parents. I homeschool. I disciple my children. I serve my family and my husband. I encourage and support other moms (especially the homeschool ones). I care for my mom. I live life, according to God’s will, one day at a time… sometimes one moment at time. Follow me on Social Media on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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