Library Books Enjoyed, 1/2/2014

Happy New Year! Around here, it’s also still Christmas, so here are some Christmas library books we enjoyed before the New Year:

The Little Drummer BoyThe Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My son wants to learn to play the drum and, this Advent, has become fascinated with the Little Drummer Boy song. So when I saw that Ezra Jack Keats had made a picture book of the song, of course I checked it out. It was a hit. I’ve only been asked to read it once, but he has sat and looked through it over and over. The pictures are very familiar as being by Keats, and it’s a pretty traditional adaptation of the song.

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas StorySilver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I checked this out from a library display, partly because the picture appealed, and partly because it was by Cynthia Rylant. I had to suggest it to the kids for the first reading, but after that they requested it several times. I thought it was a touching story, and it’s interesting that it’s based on a true phenomenon (the Christmas train). The kids loved the train, and the older two were able to understand that the boy who’d always hoped for a doctor kit eventually became a doctor.

The Night of Las PosadasThe Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love all the Tomie dePaola Christmas books that I’ve read, and this one was no exception. It tells the story of the Las Posadas procession that takes place on Christmas Eve in New Mexico, and about a miracle that happens during a snowstorm one year. Like many of dePaola’s books, it’s influenced strongly by his Christian faith. The kids enjoyed that it was essentially a Christmas pageant, since they are gearing up for ours at church.

Llama Llama Holiday DramaLlama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Llama llama is back again, this time caught up in the holiday rush. I like Llama alright, but my kids LOVE him, and we had to reread this one several times. This is a good one if you need a classroom holiday story, because no mention of any particular holiday is made.

Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days (Henry and Mudge, #5)Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days by Cynthia Rylant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry and Mudge enjoy the first winter snow, Christmas Eve dinner (a fancy dinner that, at first, Mudge is not invited to…), and a winter walk. Henry and Mudge have been around since I was a kid, and we are just getting to the point where the kids can sit through the slightly longer books (although, with chapters, we can always just read one chapter in a sitting). They are a charming pair, and they have the kind of adventures normal kids have. We reread this one several times.

Welcome ComfortWelcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patrica Polacco has never been a favorite author of mine–I recognize both her skill and that her stories resonate with lots of kids, but they just don’t usually click for me. This one did. It’s a sweet story, and the adult main character is based on a real person, but this is a magical Christmas story. I’ve just read it once so far, but I think my kids have gotten their dad to read it already, and I won’t mind reading it again. It’s a little long for a bedtime story, unless it’s the only one you read.

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