Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Monday, December 10, 2007

Best (low-cheese) Advent Books For Kids

I confess to owning a few cheesy religious books -- you know, the ones that use short sentences packed with oversimplifications that aren't even childlike, as well as jargon that adults barely understand -- all of which make the story sound like a basic, almost pithy catechism to be memorized.

My son, bless him, has unfortunately become a big fan of Patricia A. Pingry's The Christmas Story, which in my humble opinion fits in the above-described category. I like to think my son has good taste, (what mother lacks this bias?) In order to maintain this belief, I am concluding he likes The Christmas Story on account of the rather lovely pictures of Mary and Joseph. My little boy likes to call the Holy Couple by name, pointing at them over and over, with shrieking delight. Gabe especially has a thing for Mary. He has, I fear, a crush on the mother of God.

Mary! That's Mary" exclaims almost two-year-old Gabriel, like he's in love, caught up in a sparkling epiphany of his own.

Like I said, the boy's got good taste.

Mary worship aside, I would like to introduce my kids to some better kids literature filled with the longing, truth and beauty of advent, with its crowning moment, the birth of God with us.

Here are my current favorites, all of which can be located on Amazon.

1. The Three Wise Women by Mary Hoffman, pictures by Lynne Russell

2. The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Daley Mackall, Illustrated by Buy Porfirio

3. The Little Shepherd Girl, by Juliann Henry, Illustrated by Jim Madsen

All these stories offer a unique perspective on their topic that brings alive the essential traditions we cherish, while expanding our eye's horizon and our hearts understanding in a way that is deep, yet childlike, although more applicable to kids four and up. The "up" includes people my age, and I'd bet my boots, well beyond.



Pistol Pete said...

Thanks for the recommendations. I'm getting tired of reading the "Blue's Clues ABCs" book every night.

Jemila Kwon said...

I hate Blue's Clues! I was so elated when my two-year-old ripped it to shreds, leaving nothing but the binding :)

Jemila Kwon said...

Exuse me, my ALMOST two-year-old. He's still got a week to go :)