Christmas baking is well under way! I wasn't joking when I said my family makes candies and cakes and cookies galore around this time of year.
(I have even forgotten to take pictures of a few! We have also made pecan shortbread tea cakes and some fudge ... YUM.)
Book reviews are here as well! Fashionably late, but we're gaining steam haha.
Day 09 – Red and Lulu – Matt Tavares
A heartwarming story about a pair of cardinals who take an unexpected journey! Red and Lulu live in a magnificent spruce tree in a little neighborhood. They love living in the cozy branches, watching the years pass through subtle changes in their surroundings. One day, Red leaves to find his normal breakfast ... and when he returns, there is a horrible sight! His tree has been cut down and packed up on a truck! Lulu is nowhere to be found, so Red rightly assumes she is riding with the tree. Red follows the tree all the way to New York city. Just when the journey feels hopeless, he finds his tree in Rockefeller center, decorated in glorious fashion, and is soon reunited with Lulu.
This is another book I got specifically for the pictures. Tavares does a wonderful job with tone and light, leading the eye though a wonderland of muted winter scenery with Red’s bright color! The pages are also broken up into panels in a few areas, which makes the action read in pleasant beats.
Day 10 – Home for Christmas – Jan Brett
The story of Rollo the troll and how he lost his tail for Christmas. Rollo is a troll who lives with his troll family in the wild north country of Sweden. Rolo NEVER does his chores and is always naughty; his family bemoans his behavior and worries that he will never lose his tail (which will only fall off if he is well-behaved). Rollo runs off one day, intending to find a new family. But when he doesn’t fit in with a family of owls, bears, otters, lynx, and even moose, Rollo isn’t sure what to do! So he goes finds his way back home and discovers that a life there isn’t so bad after all. This story encourages readers to practice contentment and gratitude for family; alongside that, Brett has imagined very charming troll-traditions, that make the conclusion feel so cozy and satisfying!Jan Brett is another favorite author/illustrator of mine. I have strong memories of two of her books from my childhood: The Mitten, and Annie and the Wild Animals – with those as a springboard, this book did NOT disappoint! The decorative border elements are one of my favorite parts – early readers will enjoy following the story through the hidden elements and patterns woven in around the scenery, telling the story from an alternate perspective and hinting at what’s to come!