This meme was started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. As I am a grandmother, who loves to read to her grandchildren, a mother who loved to read to and with her children, and a retired teacher librarian, this meme really attracted me.

It was a PD Day for my grandchildren on Friday, so the youngest two slept over on Thursday night and we spent the day together on Friday. That means there was some reading together over the two days. As we put up my Christmas tree, I looked for some Christmas stories that I could share with them. I have included their comments, reactions and interactions where appropriate. All ratings and opinions are our own.

Cats Don’t Like Christmas! by Andy Wortlock, Nahum Ziersch (Illustrator)

Published September 6th 2022 by Splash Books

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cat’s Don’t Like Christmas is a fun, humorous book for cat lovers and owners. I read this to my two youngest grandchildren and they identified with the cat in the story. I constantly heard, “Marmalade does that” or “Marmalade would scratch if you did that” etc.

It’s Christmas time, and the cat of the house doesn’t like it the least bit. The decorations and changes are a little too much for him/her. From the sticky tape, shiny balls, all the family that visits, and especially the noise. He can’t sleep so comes up with a plan to escape the merriment. The text is written in a rhyming pattern that makes for a great read aloud cadence. There are only a few words on each page, so there is a lot of time to look at and discuss the wonderful illustrations. They are so detailed, large and colourful. There is a ball of yarn and a mouse hidden on each page and before we got to the end to realize that we could go back and look, my granddaughter (6 YO) had already realized that the mouse appeared on every page. We went back and the youngest was also able to do some seek and find. This will be a Christmas favourite for any family that has a pet as part of the household.

First Steps, First Snow by Harriet Hodgson, Carol Hill Quirk (Illustrator)

Published September 13th 2022 by BQB Publishing

3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐

Although this one isn’t a Christmas story, it is a winter one, so I fit it in with this post. First Steps, First Snow is a story about first steps in the new fallen snow. A pair of siblings head out as the snow has fallen, the moon has risen and the world is still. They walk through the forest near their home and observe many animals that are out and about. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is quiet. I read this one to my grandchildren as a bedtime story, and it was calming, but they really didn’t connect to it. There was minimal text on each page, but the large, muted illustrations were beautiful. I spent a lot of time drawing their attention to the illustrations and asking them what they saw. This would be a great book for a classroom when teaching about seasons, especially winter. Although I enjoyed this book, it did not capture my grandchildren, which is the target audience.

Little Bird Finds Christmas by Marianne Richmond, Janet Samuel (Illustrator)

Published November 4th 2022 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved this picture book, Little Bird Finds Christmas. It combines the customs (presents, decorations etc.) with the Christian meaning of Christmas. Little Bird asks his/her mother where to find Christmas. Mother tells her that she will tell and show her the next day. When Little Bird wakes up alone, she heads off to find both her mother and Christmas. She observes the humans bustling around doing all the things we do to get ready for the holiday, but is sad that she doesn’t find Christmas. When she returns to the nest, mother arrives letting her know that she was following her all the time. They discuss what she saw and how this connects to the first Christmas through our hearts. It was a touching story, and one that reminded me how often I need to read the Christmas/Nativity story to my grandchildren so they don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas. The illustrations were lovely and we had some nice discussions about Christmas, the upcoming preparations and how to keep the true meaning front and center. This is a wonderful story for Christian families, Sunday School or church libraries.

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