Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon... Children's Holiday Books We Can all Love... And an iPhone App just for the Season!

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake...

The snow has finally fallen in Connecticut, which means throwing another log in the woodstove, settling down with
a great book and waiting for the Holidays to come! The celebration of Chanukah, the triumph of light over darkness, started Friday night! Happy Chanukah to everyone who celebrates! And Christmas is right around the corner! I was thinking about some of the great children's books that I enjoy reading this time of year, and some of the new books that look to be a wonderful addition to the season! So this weeks Sunday Salon will be about great Childrens books perfect for reading together this time of year... Plus, for you iPhone users, there are some great Holiday Apps! One of them is a "story Advent calendar" that is so much fun! We'll talk about that afterwards... Now onto the books...

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradion by Carol Aebersold & Chanda Bell... It seems like this book (and elf) has made a big splash this year in all the bookstores, but the book has been around since 2007. The book is charming! And comes packaged with an elf who looks just like the elf from the story! The Elf is Santa's helper and has the responsibility to report to Santa nightly the behavior of the children in the house he arrives at. (Naughty or Nice!) Each morning when the elf returns from the North Pole the job of the children is to find him! He'll be somewhere different each morning! The children aren't allowed to touch him because the magic might go away, and Santa may not hear him any longer, but the children can talk to the elf and tell him all their "secrets & wishes" for Christmas! On Christmas eve the elf's job is done and off he goes to live with Santa again until next year! There is even a special place online to register your elf's name, because everyone needs a proper name! Carol and Chanda are mother & daughter and wrote this charming book from the Christmas tradition they had in their home. The story is written in rhyming verse and the illustrations are beautiful! Carol Aebersold also writes, "Unwittingly, the tradition provided an added benefit: it helped the children to better control themselves. All it took was a gentle reminder that the "elf is watching"!

The Snowman's Song: A Christmas Story by Marilee Joy Mayfield... "The Snowman's Song is an enchanting tale of longing and fulfillment. A little snowman yearns to sing Christmas carols, but is desolate because he hasn't a voice. From the kindness of others, he dares to believe in the impossible and experiences a Christmas miracle. Beautifully told in melodic verse, this inspirational story shows that impossible dreams do come true and reminds us of the true reason for the season." The illustrations look beautiful and this heartwarming story includes a bonus CD contains a reading of the entire story told in the author s voice.

The Mitten retold and illustrated by Jan Brett... The Mitten is A Ukrainian Folktale retold by Jan Brett with her breathe-taking illustrations! This year is the 2oth anniversary of Jan Brett's retelling of The Mitten! And with good reason- it's a wonderful story! The tale is about a little boy "Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find the mitten and crawl in; first a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse, and what happens next makes a wonderfully funny climax."

Have you read any of these wonderful books? What other books are your Holiday favorites?! It's nice to relax with one of these children's books... Bringing back the wonder of the season through the beauty of the written word... and now for a 21st century Christmas treat...

A-Story-A-Day Advent Calendar iPhone App... A 21st century advent calendar! What a cute App for the iPhone! This Advent Calendar is not filled with a treat behind each door, but a story! And these are stories by Charles Dickens, O'Henry, Louisa May Alcott- all with a Holiday theme! Each day you press on the door you are opening and a story will appear. You turn the pages with a stroke of your finger. And there's NO Cheating! You can't open a door that is meant for 3 days from now! Here are some of the stories, the rest we'll have to find out together...The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, A Country Christmas by Louisa May Alcott, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by by L. Frank Baum, Christmas in Poganuc by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I'm a little behind in downloading this, but that just means I can read more stories while I catch up! For $1.99 any reader would appreciate it! Plus the iTunes App store has wonderful Christmas stories to download for free on your iPhone!

Have a wonderful Sunday! And a wonderful week! Happy reading... Suzanne

*P.S. Next week is Jane Austen's Birthday! We'll be celebrating with "Jane Austen Week"! Reviews and suggestions on all sorts of Austen inspired books and some great Jane Austen books! So stop by next week to see the great selection!


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Thank you for sharing your picks for holiday reads!

I've got a big list of them at my Sunday Salon post from last week. Take a look and see what you think, if you get a chance.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love the cover picture for The Mitten - I have to look for that, just to see the rest of the illustrations!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi readerbuzz!
What a terrific list of books you posted! Here's the link for everyone to take a look at:

Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi rhapsodyinblue! Jan Brett is a wonderful artist! Her illustrations are just perfect! I recently watched a video of her drawing and then coloring one of the characters from the book- it was amazing. And she also talked about how as a child she use to have a pet hedgehog, which is why there are many hedgehogs in her books!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

You selected what looks to be some awesome childrens books. I need to check out the illustrations. Thanks for the heads up on these.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Diane!
Even though I don't have children I love beautifully illustrated childrens books! A simple wonderful story and wonderful illustrations just brings me home to a childhood left behind years ago!

janetfaye said...

These are all beautiful books, Thank you!

Literary Feline said...

It's been ages since I last picked up a children's book to read. I have a few holiday children's books in a box in the garage. Since we haven't decorated for Christmas in the last couple of years, that's where they've stayed.

I do hope to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens this holiday season. And I've got a copy of The Christmas Cookie Club sitting on my desk to read as well.

Have a great week, Suzanne!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi JanetFaye!
Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Nothing like a beautiful illustration to make a book enjoyable!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Literary Feline!
I love reading A Christmas Carol every year! This year I have a copy of the special edition with the annotations about the origins of some of the images Dickens conjures up.

I have heard so many great things about The Christmas Cookie Club! It's on my TBR list! I'll look forward to your thoughts on it when you finish it!

Nishant said...

I have to look for that, just to see the rest of the illustrations!

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