The libraries are basically safe havens when 1. it’s too cold outside to think straight anymore and 2. the kids are out of school. It helps keep them occupied and offers a change of scenery (because the whirlwind of misery that is going to the park in frigid winter isn’t always possible). It took me awhile to get several of these items shipped over to our local branch, but it was worth the wait.
For the magical mood of the season, I recommend for younger readers the novel “Icefall”by Matthew J. Kirby, and “Winter Bees & Other Poems of Cold” by Joyce Sidman. “Icefall” is a Nordic princess novel (think strong princess, think severe winter) and my nine year-old loved it.
“Winter Bees” works better for slightly younger readers like my son, I would say ages six to eight, and is a collection of poems about the natural world in winter. The pictures are lovely, the words are vivid, and even if your kid is not a poetry lover, this is a great winter book that won’t overdraw their patience for that art form in any way.
For the even younger crowd, a not-overdone classic that has a lot of interaction in its pages-Eric Carles’ “Dream Snow”. My toddler enjoyed putting the clear sheets of show over the pictures and had a great time with the musical button at the end. At the same time it is not over-the-top annoying, and has the nice, calming tone of Winter that a great deal of books are missing. We can generally count on Carle to deliver that.
And, this being the stressful time of year it is, I needed something just for me.
“I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas” opens with Lewis Black (who, if you didn’t know, is Jewish) smacking himself in the head hard enough to worry people when asked to write another novel, a novel about Christmas. It’ll make you smile. It’s also self-reflective about being who you are and doing what you want in a holiday season that tries to convince us that surely we are doing it all wrong. He’s one of my heroes, and his stand-up comedy is wonderful, but if you get a chance to get one of his books, GRAB IT. It’s a fun, dark humor read in a season that could well use more of both of those things.
“Anybody who likes writing a book is an idiot. Because it’s impossible; it’s like having a homework assignment every stinking day until it’s done. And by the time you get it in, it’s done and you’re sitting there reading it, and you realize the 12,000 things you didn’t do. I mean, writing isn’t fun. It’s never been fun.”- Lewis Black
Happy Holidays, Merry book-hunting.