Every year I add to my collection of books about or for Christmas, and this year I discovered a real jewel of a story book: The Virago Book of Christmas, edited by Michelle Lovric. Published in 2002, it's definitely in print and definitely a wonderful collection of women's writing about Christmas-- poems, short stories, excerpts from well known books, letters, journal entries.
Writers in this compilation include: Sue Arnold, Isabella (the famous Mrs.) Beeton, St. Bridget of Sweden, Vera Brittain, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, Colette, Emily Dickinson, Stella Gibbons, Nancy Mitford, Kate Cruise O'Brien, Sue Townsend, Virginia Woolf -- and many more.
Editor Lovric has written an intelligent and brief introduction to each entry, with details about the writer's life and the piece itself.
This book is crammed full of beautiful writing, with some of the descriptions of childhood Christmases particularly wonderful for reading to children. There are also some wonderfully intimate entries in different genres from writers well known for one form, for example, a letter to her best friend from poet Emily Dickinson.
Carl's Christmas, by Alexandra Day. The Carl books are
lushly illustrated stories without text, and are
wonderful for very young children and their parents to
read together. In Carl's Christmas, the paternal
Rottweiler takes the toddler on his back for a Christmas
adventure. The illustrations show the dog dressing the
baby, the baby riding his back to the toy shop, finding
gifts and having other small adventures. It closes with
Carl, the baby and the mouse (with its present) sleeping
in front of the fireplace.
Good Dog Carl is the first in the series, and introduces
the characters. The series includes Carl's Birthday, Carl's
Sleepy Afternoon, Carl Goes to Daycare, You're a Good Dog Carl (different from the first book), Carl's Summer Vacation, Carl Goes Shopping (one of my favourites), Follow Carl!, Carl's Masquerade, Carl's Afternoon in the Park. These books are fantastic gifts for the little ones, and are a joy for the grown ups to look at because the illustrations are so beautiful.
©2007 R K Silipo. All rights reserved