>> Friday, December 6, 2013
We've spent the past three years reading a lot of Tomie dePaola books for advent. I love Tomie dePaola, but I needed something new this year. Here are our five favorite so far.
(I spent the extra time to make the links affiliate - it really is a pain since I have to add all these "nofollow" tags - so if you click those links and purchase something, anything at Amazon, I earn a small commission which feeds my curriculum habit, which allows me to write honest and truthful reviews about what works for me and my family, and I am very grateful to those who use these links, because they really are time consuming to create!)
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
Frankie always looks forward to the day they get their Christmas oranges to place on the mantel, but then he accidentally loses his! His family come up with a creative way to surprise him with an orange. I love how generous Frankie is and think this book speaks volumes on kindness and the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
This books tells the story of how a husband and wife are brought together after decades apart through a series of providential events involving a dilapitated church wall and a tapestry found at a thrift store. I actually had no clue what the book was about going into it and that made the ending so much sweeter.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston
This book speaks of love and sacrifice. Every year, one family in this Appalachian community is responsible for getting a tree for the church. This year, it is Ruthie's family's turn, but her dad must go to war. Will they manage to get the tree? The book is about so much more than that simple story line, though. I was really struct by how much love emanated from the book. You'll know exactly which page I mean, too, once you read the book.
A Letter to Santa Claus by Brigitte Weninger -
We actually discovered this one last year. It's a beautiful story of a little boy who wonders if Santa Claus has never visited him because he has never wanted anything. He writes a letter to Santa asking for a new lamp for his mother, some mittens and boots for him, but if he can have just one wish, it's the lamp for his mother. He ties the letter to a helium balloon someone gave him as a gift and lets it fly, hoping it will reach the North Pole, but it doesn't. The balloon loses air and lands in a grumpy man's yard, which leads to a wonderful outcome.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A widow and her son hire woodcarver Jonathan Toomey, a widower who has become quite the grouch, to carve their nativity scene. It's a beautiful tale of how is sorrowed heart is healed by the kindness of the widow and her son.