On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love read to me, this beautiful work of art!
This book is the perfect end to my list: lovely, quiet, and magical. Reading this story is akin to watching the snow fall on a clear winter’s evening. In it, Santa is presented as a fragile but capable man who takes his responsibilities, both magical and mundane, very seriously. This book focuses on the feelings of wonder and awe that accompany the season. Although it features Santa Claus going about his daily business before taking off on Christmas Eve, this book is not about presents or toys, but that Christmas feeling that is oh-so-difficult to capture in book form. Where others have tried and failed, Thompson and Muth suceed with flying colours.
I am an enormous Jon J. Muth fan. His illustrations are both breathtaking and subtle. I own all of his Zen books (Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, Zen Ghosts) and I cry everytime I read his most recent collaboration with the formidable Mo Willems, City Dog, Country Frog. His illustrations perfectly capture the wonder and magic of Lauren Thompson’s simple but evocative text.
And so ends my twelve books of Christmas. Once I started compiling the list, I realized there are so many more titles I wish I could have included, so here are some honourable mentions: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Dr. Seuss), Silver Packages (Cynthia Rylant, ill. Chris K. Soentpiet ), The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Susan Wojciechowski, ill. P.J.Lynch) and Pippin the Christmas Pig (Jean Little, ill. Werner Zimmerman).
Merry Christmas to all; I hope you find a book to share under your tree or in your stocking this Christmas. As always, happy reading!