Yippee, it’s December, the sun is officially past the festive yard arm and it’s time to crack open all the Christmas classics, assuming of course that you’re not all too busy playing Adventivity!
And to start things off we’re going with a book that probably wouldn’t make it into any top 10 classic children’s books for Christmas. It’s not A Christmas Carol or The Night Before Christmas or any one of a dozen Christmas bible stories. But it is a story I remember from my childhood.
And that of course makes Angelina’s Christmas an instant classic.
Technically if memory serves me right I think the original Angelina’s Christmas was my sister’s rather than mine; a glossy white hardback that was almost certainly a birthday present from the era when we both spent Saturday mornings working our way through renditions of ‘happy toes, sad toes’ under the stern instruction of Mrs Duckworth.
I certainly wasn’t ever much of a ballerina (too tall and far too uncoordinated) and while I can’t speak for the rest of the family, I do know that neither of us ever harboured professional aspirations in that direction. I think Angelina might be the closest we ever got!
But the story of Angelina’s Christmas stayed with me through the years, the visit to Mr Bell, the retired village postman and his stories of Christmases past, delivering parcels by sledge and nearly missing the village in the snow on his return journey, the friendship that grew up between him and little cousin Henry, and of course the final scene, the school Christmas party with Angelina dancing the Nutcracker and Mr Bell dressed up as a certain someone handing out parcels.
The illustrations are gorgeous too; so delicate and detailed and completely and utterly Christmassy.
Our copy is Kitty’s, a present from Grandpa last year, who it seems might just have fond memories of reading Angelina stories to two little girls, and was both well loved and well read. It’s also got the added bonus of being not one but two stories; the Angelina’s Christmas that I remembered and Angelina Ice Skates.
It’s no great secret that I love snow – I’m making up for a remarkably snow-free childhood (seriously, how often do you think it snows at the beach?) – and this second story is one of everything that is magical about winter weather; snow, outdoor ice skating, and everyone working together to put on the best New Year’s Ice Dance ever seen; it was always going to be a hit wasn’t it.
From being a daily read last January, Angelina’s spent quite a bit of time on the shelves over the summer and it’s lovely to pull it back out again, to cuddle the girls up in quilts and settle down to create a little winter magic.
Last week was a week Vickie’s little girl was not only enjoying Again! but had also found and befriended the dragon – hopefully she’s being a good influence on him in the matter of bedtimes and not the other way around! And Jess was also on a bedtime theme with the gorgeously illustrated Little Bear Won’t Sleep which Rachel found the book you really don’t want to pull out just before bed but which looks fantastic for spending a happy afternoon pouring over in the form of Spot a Lot Animal Escape!
And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little or not so little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. Alternatively if you’re after ideas for Christmas presents, I’ve updated the What We’re Reading Booklist, which has every book anyone has ever recommended on it and is therefore very dangerous to my credit card!
The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!