Friday, December 19, 2008

'Tis the season

Here are some great books about the winter holidays:

Rosen, Michael J., and Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson.
Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas.
San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

Elijah's Angel is about the friendship between a young Jewish boy and an elderly African-American folk artist. Considering the subject matter, the story is surprisingly sap-free and believable.

Demi. The Legend of Saint Nicholas. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003.

I love that Demi doesn't worry about being politically correct. The author writes freely about religion and manages not to come across as preachy. This book is probably best suited for older readers as it includes some gory details about how St. Nicholas brought three children back to life after they had been murdered and marinated.

Demi. Mary. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2006.

This book is gentler than Demi's Saint Nicholas, but the writing style is a bit lofty for young readers. No matter. As with most of Demi's works, the pictures are what really counts.

And on the lighter side . . .

Seuss. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. New York: Random House, 1957.

Who doesn't love this Seuss classic? My favorite part is when the Grinch tries to disguise his dog as a reindeer.

Soto, Gary, and Ed Martinez. Too Many Tamales. New York: Putnam, 1992.

Personally, I don't think there's any such thing as too many tamales. I even like the frozen Goya ones.

Katz, Karen. My First Kwanzaa. New York: H. Holt, 2003.

This simple picture book is perfect for storytime. I kind of wish the author were African-American, though.

Kimmel, Eric A., and Trina Schart Hyman. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.
New York: Holiday House, 1989.

I love a good Hershel story. (There are also some good ones in Shari Lewis's One-Minute Jewish Stories.)