Monday, 10 December 2018

Three Christian-themed Christmas Books ... With A Twist!

This year we are doing our Book Advent again, as you'll know if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To mix things up I'm attempting separate books for my kids which is proving a challenge! But sorting through books to decide whose pile they should go in has reminded me of how lovely these books are.

As a Christian I like to share books with my children that highlight the religious meaning of Christmas, but there are only so many retellings of the Nativity I can read! However, the three books featured in this post bring something new to the Christmas story. Even if you're not a religious family I think these books are a good way of reminding children that Christmas is about more than presents.

Babushka by Sandra Ann Horn and Sophie Fatus

This is a telling of a Russian folk tale. Babushka is so busy keeping her little house tidy that she almost completely misses the wonders around her - a bright star travelling through the sky, kings arriving from afar and so on. But when she hears about the birth of a special baby, she sets out with gifts for him. On her way she encounters people who need those gifts, until she is left without anything to offer the baby - or is she? This is a lovely story about not being too busy focussing on the details to see the bigger picture, and about the importance of giving to others in need. The retelling is lively and fun for little ones, and Fatus's illustrations are so quirky and colourful, they really capture a festive feel.

The Fox's Tale by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen

Last year I wrote about the gorgeous 'Refuge', which tells the Nativity story through the eyes of the donkey. This book, a collaboration between two giants from the world of picture books, takes the perspective of a fox. The fox has his eye on a lonely lamb in the fields outside Bethlehem when suddenly a bright light fills the sky. He sees the shepherds being told to go to Bethlehem to meet a baby king, and follows them to see what it's all about. And the lamb? Well, it turns out to have a special role in the situation. This is a really interesting retelling, especially good for animal-loving children, and encourages the reader to consider different perspectives.

The Miracle of The First Poinsettia by Joanne Oppenheim and Fabian Negrin

Departing from the Nativity, this book is based on a Mexican legend. Juanita's family have fallen on hard times meaning she has no money to buy gifts, either for her family or to place at the altar at Christmas Eve Mass as her friends and neighbours will. But her mother and an angelic encounter help her realise that the best gift to give is a kind, loving heart. This book never fails to get me choked up, the words are so beautiful and the stunning illustrations complement them perfectly. It's a really good way of learning about Christmas as celebrated by another culture, and includes Spanish words in the text, with a glossary at the end.

Do you read books about the religious meaning of Christmas with your children? Which ones do you enjoy?

Linking up with #ReadWithMe hosted by Mama Mummy Mum.

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  1. I'm not religious and my kids are way too old for picture books, but I'm totally with you on reminding kids that Christmas is about more than presents!
    I used to love books by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen when my children were small.

  2. I think that it's important that anybody who celebrates Christmas, whatever their beliefs, knows why we celebrate which is why I think it's important to read books like Refuge with children. We love Brian Wildsmith's Christmas Story which is told from the donkey's child's point of view.


  3. These sound delightful. When the boys were small, we had a pop-up interactive nativity book which they loved, especially moving the star across the sky #readwithme

  4. All so different but all just as meaningful! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  5. They all sound lovely and great books to be included in a book advent. I fear this year is the last year for our book advent as my girls are definitely too old for the type of books we use.