The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin

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Title: The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Premise:

Carol Bird is born on Christmas Day, a wonderful gift to the rest of her family.  Her health is rather poor and never improves throughout her childhood.  This Christmas, Carol makes it her mission to bring joy to someone else and chooses the Ruggles children who live in poverty in a small house behind her family’s mansion.  Carol and her family make grand preparations so that the Ruggles children can have a magical Christmas experience.

My thoughts:

I read this book some years ago and it’s one of my favorite Christmas stories.  I’ll warn you, it does end sadly.  The story is so sweet and old-fashioned, with charming drawings scattered throughout the book.  Carol uses her last Christmas to bring joy to other children, and I believe that’s a thought worth sharing during the Christmas season.

Really, you have to take the story at face value or you could get caught up in a discussion about why the Bird family doesn’t provide aid to the Ruggles family the rest of the year.  That’s a perfectly valid criticism of the story, but the story wasn’t really written as a manual on civic responsibility.  It’s just a feel-good Christmas story which keeps everything surface level.  The one redeeming point is Uncle Jack’s proclamation that should something happen to Carol, he vows to take the Ruggles family under his wing.  Thank heavens for Uncle Jack!

I recommend The Birds’ Christmas Carol as a touching story that’s perfect for the Christmas season.

Possible Objections:

  • In one scene the Ruggles children play “Deaf and Dumb Asylum”

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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4 Favorite Children’s Books #2

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Here are more of our favorite children’s books coming your way!  Are any of these your favorites, too?

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

This book is an absolutely charming collection of poems which celebrate childhood.  Some of the phrases are dated–such as when it talks about getting dressed by candlelight, but most of the poems talk about things that are familiar to all children.  You can find many different versions of this book, so it might be best to find one with illustrations that you particularly enjoy.

My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis & Daniel Kirk

My boys really liked this book when they were younger.  A truck that is hauling a load of bones gets stuck in a giant pothole.  As a whole series of vehicles driven by dogs lines up to help pull get the stuck truck out, a bunch of wily prairie dogs take the bones from the truck.  It’s a cute and simple rhyming book that helps small children learn their numbers.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s illustrations are one-of-a-kind and they are what really make this book special (okay, they’re what make all of his books special).  The simple text and colorful pictures help kids learn their colors.  Our kids can recite the book by memory now–they’ve read it so many times!

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons

Tosh learns about the history of his grandma’s delicious tea cakes recipe.  His great-great-great-great grandma made them when she was a slave, and she would occasionally sneak them to her kids.  The tea cakes helped remind her children to look forward to the day when their people would be free.  When Tosh’s grandma starts forgetting things, it is up to him to carry on the family’s tea cakes story and tradition.

Star Wars ABC-3PO: Alphabet Book by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy

abc-3po

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Star Wars ABC-3PO was lounging on the “new” shelf at our library.  It is Star Wars and it’s a kids book–so I had to check it out!

Premise:

Each letter of the alphabet features a Star Wars character–some well-known, others somewhat obscure.  Short rhyming verses tell you a bit about the characters and there is a cute illustration on each page.

My thoughts:

As a Star Wars fan, I think this book is super cute!  It’s a fun way to introduce the characters and story elements to young kids, while keeping it at their level.  My girls aren’t at the age yet where they can watch Star Wars movies, but they can get a head start by reading this book.  The illustrations make the characters look like they belong in a children’s cartoon show–all big eyes and general cuteness.

It’s also commendable that they are trying to teach little kids their ABC’s.  It’s not just another book of fluff, but it actually serves a purpose.  That’s always refreshing to see.

I recommend ABC-3PO to Star Wars fans who want every conceivable themed item, but more importantly to those who now have their own kids.  It’s a fun, nostalgic way to teach your kids their ABC’s and introduce them to the Star Wars world at large.  Happy reading!

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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5 Literary Gift Ideas – #2

Here’s my second installment of hand-picked literary gift ideas!  The last item, the arm warmers, are something that I use when reading in the winter months. For a person with poor circulation, these are a godsend when reading!

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I Have Too Many Books T-Shirt

Magnetic Bookmarks – Crazy Cats

Stickmen Bookends

Rainbow Bookshelves Mug, 11 oz.

Knitted Long Arm Warmers

5 Literary Gift Ideas – #1

I’m starting a new series of posts, probably monthly, to showcase some really fun gift ideas for people who love books and reading.  (Like myself!)  I hope that these posts will be helpful for those of you who have a tough time finding thoughtful gifts for your book-loving friends and family.  Enjoy!

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Just Clip it! Quote Bookmarks – I LIKE BIG Books, BIbliophile, GO AWAY, I’m reading

Agate Geode Halves Bookends

Purple Women’s Hard Eyeglasses Case & Bonus Cleaning Cloth

A Room Without Books 18 X 18 Cotton Pillowcase Cover

I LIKE TO PARTY – Two Tone Black Mug, 11oz.

Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the LEGO Minifigure by Nevin Martell

Standing Small-w

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Son number two loves this reference book!  Standing Small is a book that really celebrates the LEGO minifigure–for all those addicted to collecting them.  (That would describe our boys!)  It starts with the origins of the minifigure, and then shows figures from some of the major series.  This includes Star Wars, Knights, Space, City, etc.

With some of the figures they show how they changed throughout the years.  That’s interesting to see.  There’s also a double-page spread in the back that shows some fan-built minifigures.

I would recommend this book for those who are obsessed with LEGOs, like my boys are.  This book is by no means exhaustive, but it is a fun addition to any LEGO library.

Until next time…

Lori