Saturday, December 12, 2015

Advent Reading Round-Up: Week Two

Our second week of Advent reading is complete! See below for this week's titles and our reactions! 

Day 7 (12/5/15)

Sarah Laughs 
by Jacqueline Jules

Our Jesse Tree ornament for this day featured Abraham, so we read this kid-friendly version of his story. It was a bit much for Little Miss Muffet, but she seemed to like the pictures. There aren't many picture book versions of Bible stories, so I don't really have anything to compare this to, but I liked it and would use it again.

Day 8 (12/6/15)

by C. Nash

Little Miss Muffet got this book for Christmas last year, and since this was St. Nicholas Day, we brought it out again. There's not much to the story, but she loves that you can "clack" the book and she seems to be a fan of the illustrations. There's also some good onomatopoeia in the text that she likes to repeat. We continued reading this one on and off all week. 
Santa Claus Forever 
by Carolyn Haywood

We bought this book at the library's used bookstore based solely on the author. It's pretty wordy for a toddler, so Miss Muffet didn't pay a lot of attention to it. The story is about Santa Claus deciding to retire and then changing his mind when he meets the greasy salesman who wants to replace him. I didn't like the artwork very much

Day 9 (12/7/15)

Jacob and Esau
by Mary Auld

We added Jacob to the Jesse tree on this day, which is why we read this book, which we got from the library on the recommendation of The Bleeding Pelican. The content of the story probably went over Miss Muffet's head, but I was impressed by how preschool-friendly the writing was. The art was somewhat generic, but Miss Muffet was willing to sit for almost the entire story, mostly because the pictures kept her interest, so that was a plus. I would be interested in seeing how she reacts to this story in a few years.

The Twelve Days of Christmas
by Jane Cabrera

Cabrera's books are hit or miss, and this was a big miss. She has rewritten the words to this traditional carol so that they make even less sense, and the illustrations are generic animal scenes in her usual style. I read this with Miss Muffet only once and told her she would have to just look at the pictures. (This was a library book and a late addition to our reading list. I have another version of the actual song to share later in the season, after Christmas Day.)

Day  10 (12/8/15)

by Brian Wildsmith

Wildsmith occasionally takes artistic liberties with his Bible stories, but this one doesn't seem that far off from what the Bible says. It's the story of Jacob's son, Joseph, who has the coat of many colors, and who was on our Jesse Tree ornament for this date. The book is long and the illustrations are really intricate, so I tried to just read a little bit to Miss Muffet, but she insisted on finishing the whole book, so we did. I think it will be a good resource for learning about this Bible story when my kids are in elementary school. We may not look at it again until then.

Day 11 (12/9/15)

by Maud and Miska Petersham

This book is very wordy, but it's an excellent telling of the life of Moses, especially for early elementary audiences. Had I realized this sooner, I would have brought it to read to my 3rd grade CCD class instead of their textbook. I knew it would be asking way too much to expect Miss Muffet to sit for this one, so I read the first part of it to her as she ate her lunch, stopping before the parting of the Red Sea. I don't think she got much out of it at all this year, but I'm glad to own this one for future use.

Day 12 (12/10/15)

Merry Christmas, Ollie!
by Olivier Dunrea

Little Miss Muffet is a huge Gossie fan, so when we saw this at the library, I knew we absolutely had to borrow it. We did read about Samuel (our Jesse Tree figure for today) from The Catholic Children's Bible before settling down with this one, but this book made much more of an impression than any of the others we've been reading this week. It has a simple plot - all the goslings are waiting for Father Christmas Goose to arrive - but the pictures are charming and Ollie's impatience and loud expressions of frustration make me laugh every time.

Day 13 (12/11/15)

Morris's Disappearing Bag 
by Rosemary Wells 

This is a book I owned as a child - and it was my childhood copy that I read to Little Miss Muffet. I don't have any real memories of it - and I had a really negative experience meeting Rosemary Wells that has colored my reading of her books ever since - but Miss Muffet was a big fan. She kept saying, "Morris hiding!" and wanting to flip through the book on her own to try and find him. It's a strange book, in the sense that it introduces a magical element more than halfway through the text, but it's a great wish fulfillment tale for youngest kids who feel overshadowed by older siblings. (It's basically a holiday-themed Noisy Nora.)

We're only halfway through Advent! Check back next Saturday for more of our reading list!
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