Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It must be done.  I've got to start blogging about Advent. I know it's not even Thanksgiving, but for all of you who like to plan ahead, you'll hopefully appreciate my broaching this subject so early.  For some of us who happen to be Eastern Orthodox Christians, Advent is just around the corner, starting on November 15th.  If you follow the Western tradition and start Advent on December 1st, you've got a little more time to plan and prepare...
photo source: dandeedesigns

Advent means "coming" or "arrival"; and if you observe Christmas as a Christian holiday, you know the term Advent refers to the birth of the Christ Child, not the arrival of St. Nick and presents. Many of us look for ways to help our children keep Christ's coming as our focus during the annual "Countdown to Christmas" that our frenzied culture of consumers gets so caught up in. So, here is a great way to think of others at the onset of this holy season...

Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child?  It is a project started by Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization.  They send shoe boxes (put together by families like yours) to needy children all over the world - filled with items such as small toys, picture books, school supplies, and toothbrushes.

Their National Collection Week is November 14-21, which coincides nicely with the beginning of Orthodox Advent (or it can be a great Thanksgiving project for those of you who don't start Advent until December 1st).

Click HERE to find out how you can send a Shoe Box to a child in need.
Before you pack up the shoebox, you might like to read one of these books with your kids...

THE MIRACULOUS CHILD, by Alvin Aleski Currier, illustrated by Nadezda Glazunova.
A charming, delightfully illustrated Russian folktale about a poor family who entertains an angel unawares. Although the story has a Christmas theme, it can be read at any time of the year, as an illustration of the text of Hebrews 13:2: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

THE MITTEN TREE, by Candace Christiansen, illustrations by Elaine Greenstein.
On a snowy day, an elderly woman named Sarah notices that a little boy at the bus stop does not have any mittens. Worried that he couldn't join in the winter fun, Sarah knits mittens for the little boy, placing them on a tree at the bus stop the next day. Each day thereafter, the children look for new mittens, and every day Sarah knits new ones. One morning she covers every branch with bright new mittens for the children. Though she has used up all her yarn, Sarah returns home with a full heart and discovers a wonderful surprise waiting on her porch.
AVAILABLE HERE:  AMAZON (or at your local library)


  1. I was just talking to my sister today about the Advent calendar book that I got from you last year!!! Each day is another little book with a story that leads up to the birth of Christ. It was from Chinaberry.com

  2. I'm posting about that next week, Martha! I'm glad you like it. :)