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CHRISTMAS BOOK REVIEW: advent storybooks day 18, 19

Got a pair of nice book reviews for you today!  

DAY 18 – Richard Scarry’s The Night Before The Night Before Christmas!

Mr. Frumble comes to the rescue in this hilarious adventure from the Richard Scarry storyverse! It’s a few days before Christmas, and Mr. Frumble just wants to be helpful … but no one is very happy with the mistakes he makes! So he has Mr. Fixit fix his pickle car with skis … and drives away to the north pole to be one of Santa’s helpers! Unfortunately, Mr. Frumble knocks a page off of Santa’s calendar, which makes Santa leave a day early for Christmas! Realizing his mistake, Mr. Frumble and Santa’s helpers must bumble through delivering all of Busytown’s gifts on the biggest night of the year!

This is a great Christmas story that could spark discussion about intention and determination. The Busytown residents can't see past Mr. Frumble's bumbling, and many are relieved when he leaves for the north pole ... I wonder how they would feel if they knew that Mr. Frumble saved Christmas that year!!  


DAY 19 – The Legend of the Poinsettia – Tomie dePaola

Lucida lives happy life with her family in the mountains of Mexico … she helps her mama make meals and clean their house; she helps take care of her younger siblings; and she helps her papa with the chores on their farm. Lucida also loves the feast days in her village, which center around processions at their little church. Each year, the village celebrates Christmas with a special procession: everyone brings a gift to decorate the nativity scene in the church … and this year, Lucida’s mama will weave a special blanket for the baby Jesus! But Lucida’s mama gets sick just a few days before Christmas, and Lucida wonders if they will finish their special present in time. When Lucida tries to fix her Mama’s blanket, she tangles the wool and feels like she has ruined Christmas because her family won’t have a present to bring to their church service. That night, Lucida is visited by a mysterious old woman, who encourages Lucida to think about the act of giving, not about the specific presents she is bringing. So Lucida brings an armful of weeds to church … which bloom miraculously into beautiful star-shaped flowers!    

Okay, I promise this is the last dePaola book on this list – I just couldn’t resist such a sweet book! I love hearing about different legends and miracles that form the traditions of Christmas – this one was new to me, and I feel like the simple tenderness is so special. Lucida’s story reminds us how special celebration together can be, and encourages us to look for magic where it is least expected.


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