This Sunday, we’re starting a new tradition at my museum. We’re going to be doing a continuous reading of Christmas scenes from classic children’s books. I CANNOT wait to do this. And I’m being generous and letting one of my volunteers read “Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves,” even though that is probably my first choice. Anyway, I thought some of you might like to see the list. Keep in mind that these choices needed to roughly fall within the museum’s time period of 1840-1910.
Without further ado:
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. (1860s)
Chapters 1-2: “Playing Pilgrims” & “A Merry Christmas”
Brink, Carol Ryrie. Magical Melons. (1860s)
Chapter 11: “The Christmas Costume”
Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows.
Chapter 5: “Dulce Domum”
Lovelace, Maud Hart. Betsy-Tacy Go Downtown. (1900s)
Chapter 10: “Christmas Shopping”
Heaven to Betsy
Chapter 17: “The Brass Bowl”
Montgomery, L. M. Anne of Green Gables. (1890s)
Chapter 25: “Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves”
Sawyer, Ruth. Roller Skates. (1890s)
Chapter 6: “Born is the King of Israel”
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House in the Big Woods. (1880s)
Chapter 4: “Christmas”
Chapter 26: “Christmas”
Little House on the Prairie
Chapter 19: “Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus”
On the Banks of Plum Creek
Chapters 12-13: “The Christmas Horses” & “A Merry Christmas”
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Chapters 19-21: “Christmas Eve,” “The Night Before Christmas” & “Merry Christmas”
The Long Winter
Chapter 19: “Merry Christmas”
* * * * *
Have any of you ever patiently waited for a child to grow up enough so you could give them a certain, much loved book? That day will finally come to me on Saturday! I don’t have any blood nieces and nephews, but I do tend to adopt little ones. My nephew loves books as much as I do (he’s my official Harry Potter buddy), but I can’t exactly give him all of my favorites. And none of my nieces are particularly bookish, as hard as I try. But Katie, the daughter of a college friend, is bookish and smart and imaginative and an all-around great kid. I last saw her about a year and a half ago and knew she was a prime target to pass Anne on to. After all, Katie even has red hair! Well, now Katie is 8 and will be at my house this weekend. And wrapped under the tree for her is the 100th anniversary edition of Anne, along with Betsy-Tacy Go Downtown. I hope, hope, hope she will love both of them half as much as I do.
Part of what makes the books I talk about here so great is that they are so frequently shared across the generations. The first copy of Little Women I ever read was a 1930s edition, complete with illustrations by Jesse Wilcox Smith. It had been my aunts’. And that made it more special (even though I quit reading at Part 2 when it got too mushy. I picked it up again a few years later and no longer found it mushy). At any rate, knowing that family had read the exact same book made it more special.
What books have you waited to share? Or are eagerly anticipating sharing with kids in your life?