So what do you think is the deeper meaning behind this particular arrangement of books on the shelves of my local Target??
And hey! Advent books!
Here is a lovely written version of the Gian Carlo Menotti children's opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors
. This story is written like a novella, but those familiar with the score can sing the words of Amahl, his mother, and the three strange and wonderful kings who visit them on their way to Bethlehem. Really, it's hard not to sing these beautiful tunes: "Don't cry, mother dear -- don't worry for me! If we must go begging, a good beggar I'll be . . . " Come on -- go ahead and sing!
On the first night of Chanukah, here is a great story, All the Lights in the Night
, by Arthur A. Levine. Two Jewish boys, Benjamin and Moses, are fleeing Russia and making their way to Palestine. They comfort each other by telling stories of Chanukah. With only a battered lamp to light their way, they realize their own miracle of lights as they journey to the Holy Land.
Here's a silly little story for the mommies and daddies: "Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit,"
by P.G. Wodehouse. Lovers of Jeeves and Wooster may already be familiar with this story, which was first published in magazines in December 1927, and later anthologized in Very Good, Jeeves
(1930). As the story begins, Bertie tells his disapproving manservant, Jeeves, that rather than go to Monte Carlo for the Christmas season, they will go to a friend's country house. Because " . . . does one get the Yule-tide spirit at a spot like Monte Carlo?" To which Jeeves asks, "Does one desire the Yule-tide spirit, sir?"
You'll snort with laughter!
, by Cynthia Rylant, is a pretty little book that describes all the things one can do on a snowy day. As with most storybooks, the illustrations are what make this a book to read before bedtime, as you dream of a snowy day.