A Treasury of Wintertime Tales is excellent Christmas advent reading for children of all ages. Edited by Noel Daniel and produced by TASCHEN this book is similar to their other creations, being a perfect blend of engaging stories and exquisite illustrations.
The thirteen tales, written between 1822 and 1972, reflect storytelling traditions from different parts of the world including Christmas tales, imaginary winter lands adventures and real world stories of winter fun and New Year celebrations. Anyone who grew up with cold winters shall relate to the story of lost mittens in “Too Many Mittens” or the excitement of days off from school due to heavy snowfalls in “Winter and the Children”. “Nine Days to Christmas” tells of Las Posadas, the Mexican Christmas celebration, whereas “Moy Moy” of the excitement of children preparing for Chinese New Year and “Children of the Northlights” of Sami people brother and sister who brave the harsh Scandinavian winter.
One of my personal favourites is “The Red Horse” telling of Peter, the young boy whose Christmas gift was a traditional wooden horse called the Dala (made in Dalarna region in Sweden). Peter wishes (oh, so much!) to ride the red horse. He is stubborn and wouldn’t let go of his wish and one day to his delight the little horse comes to life. The horse takes Peter on an adventure ride of his lifetime and they finally meet the woodcarver who made the red horse. Many happy days and happy rides pass till the boy realises that he loves his dear Mother more than he loves his little red horse and that it’s time for him to go home…
The stories for this Treasury have been chosen not only to reflect the diverse winter storytelling traditions but for their inspiring artwork. Its authors and illustrators come from all over the world – Hungary, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia, Mexico and America. Many of these artists received Caldecott Medal for the artwork featured in these stories.
What would be your child’s favourite?
The Cowboy’s Christmas, written and illustrated by Joan Walsh Anglund (1972)
A Trip to Gingerbread Land, written and illustrated by Einar Nerman (1939)
Winter and the Children, by Hilde Hoffmann, illustrated by Beatrice Braun-Fock (1959)
Nine Days to Christmas, by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida, illustrated by Marie Hall Ets (1957)
Marilyn and the Snow Children, written and illustrated by Sibylle von Olfers (1905)
The Friendly Beasts, by Laura Nelson Baker, illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov (1957)
The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith (1912: text 1822)
The Red Horse, written and illustrated by Elsa Moeschlin (1935)
The Twelve Days of Christmas, written by anonymous and illustrated by Ilonka Karasz (1949)
Moy Moy, written and illustrated by Leo Politi (1960)
Too Many Mittens, by Florence Slobodkin, illustrarted by Louis Slobodkin (1958)
Children of the Northlights, written and illustrated by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire (1935)
The Ballad of the Snow King, by Tadeusz Kubiak, illustrated by Zbigniew Rychlicki (1968)
For more winter reading fun click on “Wintertime” tag on the blog’s homepage or the links below:
“Christmas Treasury” by Jan Brett
“Stille Nacht, fröhliche Nacht” by Julie Volk
“Winter Folk Rhymes” illustrated by Yury Vasnetsov
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