One of the fun things about childhood is that it is usually full of books and reading. Bedtime stories read to us by our parents, books we read huddled under the covers, and libraries filled with picture or story books. The winter holidays are a particularly good time for books, with something available for any holiday you celebrate, or just the winter months in general. I have come across some fantastic books recently, published by Minedition, that are worth checking out.
Filled with stunning color illustrations by Lisbeth Zwerger, the stories in this new version of Tales From the Brothers Grimm are somewhat overshadowed by the art. Accompanying stories familiar (“Hansel and Gretel”) and not-so-familiar (“Hans my Hedgehog”), the art is moving, dramatic, and beautiful enough to have on a wall. This picture book of Brothers Grimm tales is fantastic to share with children and adults alike.
One of my favorite stories about love, sacrifice, and generosity is O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. Beautifully illustrated by Sonja Danowski, this traditional story of giving a gift to your most precious loved one comes to life in muted tones and flowery script. Though it is about giving gifts at Christmastime, it is filled with important messages for any time of year.
Also traditional are the stories of Aesop. A new book of some of Aesop’s Fables is illustrated by Ayano Imai, and is in a different format from what we’re used to with books. You lift the cover upward, instead of to the left. Instead of a left page and a right page, you have a top page and a bottom page. Filled with 13 traditional tales, the stories are abbreviated heavily, and are accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, also of the type that is well-suited to hanging on the wall. If you have a very young child to whom you want to introduce Aesop, this book is a great candidate.
Solidly in the Christmas book category is Santa Claus: All About Me, by Me compiled by J & J Atkinson. Tied close with a ribbon, this book is filled with Santa’s previously unpublished journals and includes features such as doors to open, flaps, popups, and minibooks inside. Basically a history of Christmas, it shares knowledge about Christmas around the world, information on the elves, Santa’s wardrobe, The Ministry of Flight’s Sleighway Code book, and even anecdotes about Christmas during World War I and World War II. There is a gingerbread recipe, pictures of traditional Christmas foods, crafts, music, ballets, and even a sixpence coin! This book is so much fun, and you and your kids will pore over it for hours.
And lastly, for the smallest among us, is We Love Each Other, a board book about love. It shows how there are many different kinds of animals out there, and they all can find someone to love. And (warning: spoilers), the book wraps up with a couple of cats who love their kitten. The book is full of windows to see through, where you can unite all of the animal couples. It’s adorable and a great way to show your kids that you love them.
Any of these books are great gift ideas, or are worth checking out at the library. What are your favorite wintertime books to share with your children?
Note: These books were provided for review purposes.