Friday, 5 December 2014

Blogmas: 5th Dec: Christmas Reads

The Christmas period is a great time to kick back with a good, easy reading book. It's December and everything must be Christmassy so here are my favourite Christmas reads.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
I've mentioned it before and it's a Classic. Every child must have this read to them on Christmas eve. Preferably a lovely old fashioned copy that is full of incredibly detailed pictures. The one I had as a child was illustrated by Douglas Gorsline but Christian Birmingham and Robert Ingpen both do some lovely, detailed modern alternatives. You might think children like cartoon pictures but all the books I loved as a child were beautifully illustrated.

Grimm Tales For Young And Old by Philip Pullman
This is a lovely collection of the classic Grimm tales, which as the title suggests is perfect for any age. The tales include some of the classics we all know and love along with many you will never have heard of. Pullman is one of my favourite children's writers. He has a wonderful gift for storytelling and it is shown perfectly through these short tales. It isn't strictly Christmassy but there are festive stories in there and I always feel like fairy tales have a sort of Christmas magic about them.

(Signed copy!)

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson
I can't tell you how much I adore Beatrix Potter, her stories and her beautiful drawings. This new story by Emma Thompson retains the magic of the original tales in this special Christmas story full of beautiful pictures that are quite remarkably similar to Beatrix's own creations.

(Can you tell yet that my favourite module at University was Writing For Young People?)

(The Snowman (1982). Copyright Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Snowman
Again, a classic. You can't have Christmas without the film but the book is beautiful too. I've called this "Christmas Reads" but I think I'm more impressed by artwork than anything else!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is probably the closest we're going to get to adult literature. This story has everything and explores both the light and shade of Christmas. Dickens is famed for brilliant characterisation and storytelling. We loved him back then and we still love him now. If you've never read a Dickens book, read this one this Christmas.

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
If you love words, you're going to love this one. It's beyond poetic. "All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hand in the snow and bring out whatever I can find." That sentence just makes me melt. It's a beautiful read but the audiobook is lovely too so if you're pushed for time this Christmas and you love a Welsh accent this is one you can listen to. It is actually an illustrated children's book but there's no reason why anyone won't love it, and if you're Welsh, well it'd be rude not to!

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