Guest Author - Deanna Joseph
Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit
I had searched for years for the perfect Christmas book for my family. You know what book I’m talking about; the Christmas book that you take out every December and read to your children from. It’s a book with the most beautiful illustrations and the best of the best of all the Christmas stories and poetry. It is the book you cherish, year after year, as part of your holiday traditions. To your children it will kindle memories of evenings by the fire drinking hot cocoa, and you will cherish the memories of being with family.
Yes, I finally found this book. It’s the “Believe – Christmas Treasury,” illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. It contains a beautiful collection of Christmas stories, quotes, poetry and carols. At 160 pages, almost every page is illustrated.
Some of the more well known Christmas stories include:
Gifts of the Magi
A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore
Christmas carols (written as prose, of course) featured are:
A Christmas Carol (In The Bleak Midwinter)
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Let There Be Peace On Earth
Poetry about the holiday season includes:
I Believe in Santa
Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight
’Tis the Season
There are also quotes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, David Grayson and Dylan Thomas.
This is just to name a very few. The table of contents lists 61 entries. Gifts of the Magi is about the longest story (11 pages), and most stories range from one to four pages.
The book itself is a beautiful red color with a brightly illustrated picture of Santa and three children up at the North Pole. It is very readable, and it is not necessary to read the book from cover to cover, you can just flip it open and read any story that catches your fancy. The book is so beautifully illustrated that it is a pleasure just to sit and look at the pictures over and over again (which I have done many times!).
Mary Engelbreit is a very gifted artist, and her works grace greeting cards, calendars, stationary and other childrens’ books. I have even seen her artwork on tote bags and pajamas!
I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to enrich their holiday traditions. I leave mine out on my coffee table, and just about every evening I sit with my children and we take turns reading from it. It makes an absolutely lovely gift, and the memories it helps to create will be priceless.