Do you remember Golden Super Shape Books? We have Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
in that form. Here's a photo from an etsy seller's site
The shape is pretty much the best part of this book, aside from the idea that one of the reindeer is charged with playing with the Christmas kittens in the lead-up to Christmas night.
Somehow, we got three media tie-in books in this batch of advent books: Plain and Peanut and the Missing Christmas Present
(Yes, the M&Ms), The Care Bears' Night before Christmas,
and Elmo Saves Christmas.
Also in this batch, a weird board book: The Teddy Bears' Christmas Cake,
which was so short and seemingly random, the three of us sat staring at the last page in bafflement.
The cream of the crop, IMO, were A Gift from Grandpa
by David Mazel (Weekly Reader Books, 1981) and Little Benjamin and the First Christmas
by Betty Forrell (Concordia Publishing House, Arch Books, 1964). I'm certain I've written about A Gift from Grandpa
before, because I absolutely love it, and it is so sweet, it even brings a tear to JJ's eye. Grandpa Zalman Podkovnik, a garbage collector for 30-some years, takes his grandson Davie out on his route one morning, asking "How would you like to see me lift the world?" Grandpa describes a clothesline of sheets and shirts and socks as dancing together to keep warm, and Davie asks, "Are you a poet?" Grandpa says, "How else could I lift the world? Muscles alone aren't enough." At the end, Grandpa gives Davie a beautiful violin he found in the trash. His explanation about lifting the world is priceless, and because the author's name is David, I like to think that this is a true story.Little Benjamin and the First Christmas
is a retelling of Luke 2:1-18, but it's done with such a light touch and such mythic illos by Betty Wind, that I'm happy to share it with Tweetie, regardless of my atheism. For one thing, the story is told from the point of view of the innkeeper's son, who has long heard promises about the coming Prince of Peace--so long, in fact, he's become incredulous. When Benjamin is told by one of the visiting shepherds that the newborn in the stable is the long-awaited prince, Benjamin's first reaction is "O rly?" Unmentioned in the text but constantly at Benjamin's side in the illos is the family dog, who is not thrilled about all these new arrivals (presumably unpaying), especially not the "rough-looking" shepherds. As a side benefit, this book helped Tweetie contextualize the live nativity she saw at a local church, where she'd mistaken the angels for fairies.
Right now, she's watching ThunderCats. Sometimes I wonder how kids juggle all the stories they hear all day long...