Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A simply wonderful Christmas: A Literary Advent Calendar

A simply wonderful Christmas: A Literary Advent Calendar

Margret Rettich, Andreas Schlueter, Gesine Schulz
Illustrator:  Silke Leffler 
For ages 6 to 10
North-South Books, 2006   ISBN: 978-0735821002

The days leading up to Christmas Day are always exciting, full of secrets, events, and plenty of scarcely contained anticipation. Many of us have an advent calendar hanging in the kitchen ? a calendar with little windows that open and sometimes there are little presents inside each of the windows. This book is also an advent calendar of sorts. For each of the twenty-four days leading up to Christmas Day there is a little story to read, a story which captures the atmosphere of the season.

Some of the stories are funny, like the one about a mother who decides to ?go on strike? at Christmastime. Mom, fed up with being taken for granted, decides that she is not going to do a single thing for Christmas this year. Suddenly her husband and children are forced to come to terms with the fact that preparing for a ?traditional? Christmas takes a lot of work and that the work should be a group effort.

Then there are the stories which describe a special Christmas event, like a description of a visit to a local Christmas market or the story of a little girl who plays the part of a Christmas tree in a school play. And, of course, there are the stories which have that special touch of Christmas magic. In these stories animals can speak and little Christmas miracles occur.

With whimsical illustrations on every page, this collection of stories will give families a new tradition to share - the reading of an advent story every advent day. The publisher has included several blank pages in the book so that the reader can write in his or her own Christmas memories, recipes, and stories.