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Barbara Cooney Christmas Books

December 16, 2008

dsc_00012I first discovered writer/illustrator Barbara Cooney as a child when my mom read us Ox-Cart Man. My very favorite book of all by her is Miss Rumphius. Others include Hattie and the Wild Waves and Emily.

But in this season, two of her Christmas themed books are delightful read aloud books for children. I actually just checked them out of the library to read to myself! The first is The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. This is the first time I’ve read this story from the perspective of the mother, and I couldn’t help but tear up. It’s about a little girl living in the Appalachian mountains waiting for her father to come home in time for Christmas after serving in World War I. It’s her families’ turn to provide the village with a Christmas tree and she and her father picked it out in the spring before he left. Will he make it home in time?

The second is Rumer Godden’s The Story of Holly and Ivy. It’s a sweet story with just a touch of fantasy about a little orphan named Ivy who acts on her wishes for a family and a doll. It’s also about a doll who wishes for a little girl to love her. You’ll have to read the story for yourself to discover how Holly and Ivy come together.

Happy reading . . .

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2008 9:51 pm

    I loved Ox-Cart Man! Just recommended it to someonee this week.

    Hey, the Perfect Christmas tree–how long is it? Could I read it aloud to my class in one sitting? We have just finished WWI this week and I was wanting a good book to read them. We have a half day Friday with a party and a some piddly tests so there is some “filler” time that’d be perfect so the teachers — i mean students–don’t go bonkers with all that unstructured time. (I know, I’m a hard nose.)

  2. December 16, 2008 9:54 pm

    Oh yes, The Perfect Christmas Tree would be an easy read for one sitting (Holly and Ivy is a good bit longer). Definitely check it out and see if it would be a good fit!

  3. December 16, 2008 10:45 pm

    these look great. i will have to check them out at our library visit next week… thanks!

  4. December 17, 2008 7:13 am

    I LOVE LOVE Miss Rumphius, too! Another book along the lines of Miss Rumphius is My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston. (Gosh I wish I could underline titles int his little comment box….it’s in my blood.)

  5. December 17, 2008 7:46 am

    Oh I LOVE “My Great Aunt Arizona” too. I dressed up the part and read that book for storytime at the library back when I was in High School and was volunteering at the library! How’s that for a funny little known fact about me! 🙂

  6. December 17, 2008 7:47 am

    I didn’t realize that “My Great Aunt Arizona” and “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” were written by the same author, though, until right now.

  7. Ashleigh permalink
    December 17, 2008 11:24 am

    We have “Miss Rumphius.” My girls love it!!!

  8. Bethany permalink
    December 17, 2008 7:08 pm

    Oh these look fun and beautiful art….I will have to check them out

  9. December 22, 2008 1:08 pm

    We’re big Barbara Cooney fans; in fact, she’s one of the artists we’re studying in school. I really loved …Holly and Ivy, and recently found Eleanor, about Eleanor Roosevelt. Really good! I’ll be looking for Emily and …Christmas tree, so thanks for the tips!

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