Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Reading Assignment 12/16/11: Christmas

I don't read much holiday themed literature, but here is a list of my favorites, such as it is.  Most of these are children's books.

The Doll's Christmas by Tasha Tudor.  I have always been in love with Tasha Tudor's illustrations and I love this sweet little book in which two girls and their dolls enjoy a Christmas party.

Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor.  Tudor's "Becky" books are charming and I used to love reading this one (and The Doll's Christmas) out loud to my children.  This is a nostalgic look at a traditional American country Christmas, greatly enhanced by Tudor's delicate illustrations.

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden.  An orphan, an unwanted doll and a childless couple come together in this story that would be awfully sentimental if it weren't written by Rumer Godden, whose other doll books I loved as a child, especially The Doll's House and Impunity Jane.  Excellent illustrations by Barbara Cooney.

The Christmas books of Miss Read.  I believe all the titles are Christmas at Thrush Green, No Holly for Miss Quinn, Village Christmas, The Christmas Mouse.  I don't know if I've actually read all of these, but I started reading Miss Read during a dark period of my life in which our move to Virginia followed hard on the heels of my mother's death.  Miss Read, whose real name is Dora Saint, writes gentle stories of life in country villages in England.  When we first moved to Virginia, while I was still relying on Miss Read for comfort lit, I was indignant to find that Miss Read's books were shelved at the Charlottesville library under "R" for Read instead "M" for Miss as they were in Buffalo.  I took this as a sign of a backward society.  (That, and the appalling discovery that the public libraries here use the Dewey decimal system instead of Library of Congress.)  Yes, I am a nerd, but I worked in a library in high school and all through college and my grandmother was a librarian, so I take these things more seriously than most people.

What are your favorite holiday books?


  1. We are just getting into Tasha Tudor and I, too, find the Miss Read books very comforting. {I didn't know that there were Miss Read Christmas books, though!}

  2. Several years ago a friend sent me a copy of General Lee and Santa Claus, which I think is absolutely precious. Of course, we got the "adaptation," which probably means it was slightly more politically correct than the original.

  3. I bought a new copy of A Doll's Christmas for Molly her first Christmas (at Clayton's).

    I don't really have a favorite holiday author, although when it comes to children's literature, I am a huge fan of Eloise Wilkins and Joan Walsh Anglund illustrations.

    One new Christmas story I have enjoyed recently because Tommy loves it so much is Christmas City by Michael Garland. It's done with a catchy rhyme (which I typically don't care for) and has a mystery to unravel hidden in the bold graphics.

  4. Aside from the obvious Dickens novel I always liked the Truman Capote short story entitled, "A Christmas Memory." This story can be read online here:

  5. I love looking at kiddies Christmas books, it brings back all of the gentle Christmas innocence that is just so lovely.

    However, you could help to educate the little rug rates by getting them this.

  6. The Story of Holly and Ivy was one of my childhood favorites.