Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Advent and Christmas Favorites - 2016

Advent is upon us! 
Below are some of my current favorites for Advent and Christmas.

Advent (for younger children)

 The Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider and illustrated by Maja Dusikova is great for families with young children. The book has 24 stories that follow Benjamin Bear as he opens the doors on his advent calendar and learns stories about another little bear and his adventures on a journey to Bethlehem. 

Available through the Carnegie Library and Amazon.

The Angel and The Christmas Rabbit by Brigitte Weninger is a book of  short stories for each day of Advent with beautiful illustrations. A little angel has been chosen to find the best Christmas present and doesn't know where to start. The wise old rabbit offers to help and they exchange tales of gifts and deeds that illustrate the spirit of Christmas. 

Available through the Carnegie Library and Amazon.

Advent (for older children and adults)

Bartholomew's Passage  by Arnold Ytreeide is an engaging story that guides families through the Advent season. Young Bartholomew's adventures start when Roman soldiers destroy his village and disperse his family, continue through his enslavement to a tyrannical master and his escape with his new friend Nathan, and end with a reunion with his family in Bethlehem.  This engaging story contains some violence that might be scary for younger children. 

Available on Amazon. 

All Creation Waits by Gayle Boss is a unique way to move through Advent with twenty-five short stories depicting how wild animals  adapt when darkness and cold descend.

This one is available through Amazon, The Thoughtful Christian, and I have a few copies at the church if you would like to borrow. 

Advent in Narnia by Heidi Haverkamp is a devotional that could be great for a family reading through Advent. 

Based on C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the devotions alternate between Scripture and passages from the novel to prompt meditation on Advent themes. Each devotion also includes questions for reflection.  

Available through Amazon and The Thoughtful Christian.

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season are short stories by Katherine Paterson, (author of Bridge to Terabithia) Stories of real people such as a shopping mall's night watchman, a lonely widower, a pregnant teenage runaway, a political prisoner in China, a grieving mother, and a privileged American, who have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas because of loss, pain, greed, or circumstances.  
Available through the Carnegie Library, Amazon, and The Thoughtful Christian.

God is in the Manger is an Advent devotion that guides readers through the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas. It is supplemented by an  introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer's letters, and passages from his Christmas sermons.

Available through the Carnegie Library, Amazon, and The Thoughtful Christian.

Other Christmas Book Favorites

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff is my favorite board book for little people.  The animals prepare a cozy welcome for the baby Jesus. "Who is coming to our house? Someone, someone," says Mouse.  All the animals are eager to welcome the baby Jesus to their home.
Available through the Carnegie Library, and Amazon. We also have this one at the church!

The Christmas Pageant by Tomie dePaola is an old one (1978) but has always been one of my favorites! Text and illustrations retell the story of the Nativity as performed in a children's Christmas pageant.
Available through the Carnegie Library, and Amazon. We also have this one at the church!

Refuge by Anne Booth is brand new and a new favorite. It follows Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus as they travel in a strange land, hoping to find refuge in the kindness of strangers. $1 from the sale of each print book sold until October 2017 will go to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

This book is a beautiful look at the that's very relevant today - exploring today's very real asks readers to consider the modern day implications of being forced to flee your home country.

Available through Amazon and I just order a few copies for the church. 

Last but not least is the Storybook version of Maya Angelou’s poem Amazing Peace.  Angelou which she first read the poem at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony In this simple story, a family joins with their community—rich and poor, black and white, Christian, Muslim, and Jew—to celebrate the holidays. 

Available through the Carnegie Library, and Amazon. We also have this one at the church!

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