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A Chapter Book Christmas December 19, 2011

Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line.

Most of the Christmas books out on the coffee tables in my house—and leaning on shelves and standing on bookcases—are picture books. However, I do have a few favorite chapter books set at Christmas time that are a bit less well known.

Mrs. Coverlet’s Magicians by Mary Nash is the sequel to When Mrs. Coverlet was Away, a story of three siblings who take care of themselves while their housekeeper/substitute mother is gone for the summer. In this winter story, Mrs. Coverlet is again called away, and the two older siblings, Malcom and Molly, must take charge and somehow make Christmas happen for their stubborn six year old brother Theobold (otherwise known as The Toad). Finding a tree, cooking dinner, and buying presents all become more complicated when combined with a nosy neighbor, a freak snowstorm and some possible magic. This is a great read aloud, with a heartwarming message of the importance of families creating holiday magic out of love for each other. As one character says toward the end “I believe in magic at Christmas…The amount of good will which is set loose every year at this time is quite unaccountable.”

Another childhood favorite was The Christmas Dolls by Carol Beach York, part of her series of short chapter books about the orphan girls at the Good Day Home for Girls. Like the other books in the series, this one focuses on Tatty (Charlotte), who occasionally gets in trouble for being forgetful, but always triumphs due to her empathy and kindness to others. Similar to The Story of Holly and Ivy, (do you get the sense that  dolls and orphans were a main theme of my childhood?), I loved the quiet adventure Tatty goes on to fix the two dolls, Florabelle and Lily who have been set aside due to missing hair and shoes. Even characters such as the stern board member who chastises the heads of the orphanage for their extravagance in decorations and presents, turns out to have some good in him after all. This is a great read for children still gaining confidence in reading chapter books and it’s perfect for any child that loves dolls.


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