Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

The Christmas Truce of World War I

December 16, 2013

Last year I discovered these three books about the famous Christmas truce that happened during World War I.  In varying degrees of illustration and text, all three books tell the amazing true story of the Christmas Eve in 1914 when the British and the Germans stopped fighting, sang Christmas carols together (in different languages),  exchanged small gifts and conversation, and even played a rousing game of football.  My fifth grade classes have truly had their eyes opened by this gem of a story, which gives us a glimpse of peace and humanity in the midst of the harsh, violent realities of war.

I’ve heard your favorites: here are mine!

December 17, 2009

The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Maine’s own Barbara Cooney is one of my holiday favorites.  I remember reading it to my daughter when she was little, and this year I brought it in from home and shared it with a 2nd grade class.  It is a story about holiday wishing:  a Christmas doll wants a girl, an orphan girl wants a doll  and a home, and a childless woman wants a child.   Do wishes come true??

Addy’s Christmas by Samantha Porter is part of the American Girls series.  Addy is a young girl who ran away on the Underground Railroad, and in this second book in the series, she and her mother are celebrating their first Christmas “in freedom”, but without Papa, brother Sam, and baby Esther.  Have some tissues ready for the end of this one!

The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Hans Christian Anderson’s famous story of the proper toy soldier who loves a paper ballerina from afar, is one of my library read-alouds  every December.  Watching the look on the students’ faces as the beautiful dancer flies across the room to join the soldier at the end is always so powerful for me.

Christmas in Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren (the author of Pippi Longstocking and other wonderful books) is the book that my children and I used to enjoy the most at this time of year.  It takes place in a tiny Swedish village with only three houses in it.  The children have so much fun preparing for Christmas and then celebrating the big day.  Every year my son and I say we are going to make the snowball lantern, which is basically a candle in the snow with a pile of snowballs around it. The light always looks so magical glowing through the snowballs.  Maybe this year we will do it!

What’s your favorite holiday book?

December 10, 2009

I hope you’ve noticed that it’s snowing on my blog!  Yes, it’s getting closer to Christmas. Time for trees, special cookies, presents…and holiday stories!  Click on “comment” below, and tell me about a holiday story or book that is special to you and your family at this wonderful time of year.

The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan

December 9, 2009

If you are looking for a Christmas story that celebrates the joys of family and community, look no further! The main characters in this short novel, siblings Liam and Lily, are spending time with their grandparents during December and Liam can’t stop thinking about the lone cow in his grandparents’ meadow. Is it lonely? Does it have feelings? How can he get a companion for the cow? The answer will involve some sacrifice, and the ending gave me chills. This is a feel-good Christmas story that explores what makes a true gift.