Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter's Gift

The first holiday book I owned was given to me at Christmas when I was nine. It was a tiny un-illustrated book of Dicken's A Christmas Carol, which I still have. But today I'm sharing a handful of other long time favorites, beginning with Winter's Gift, by Jane Monroe Donovan.

It's a melancholy tale of an old man who has recently lost his wife and the joy of the season until a fateful encounter on Christmas eve. I love the snowy illustrations and the farmhouse setting.

The story has a bit more depth then the conventional fare for kids, and has universal appeal.

I first saw my 2001 edition of the Robert Frost poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, illustrated by Susan Jeffers, in Victoria Magazine. The powers of the universe laid it in front of me in a thift shop one day several years later.

Everything about it is sumptuous with it's slant toward Christmas, which of course is not found in the text: "Whose woods these are I think I know/ His house is in the village, though/ He will not see me stopping here/ To watch his woods fill up with snow..." 

"...The woods are lovely, dark and deep./ But I have promises to keep/ And miles to go before I sleep."

Picture books are one way to have a white Christmas!

Another volume in The Foxwood Tales (sorry, out of print!) is the Foxwood Surprise, by the Patersons.

Beauty, beauty everywhere!

The British are perfection in their animal tales!

Finally, we come to Brambly Hedge, Winter Story, by another Brit,  the enchantress, Jill Barklem (out of print).

My own rabbity-roomed house reflects the character of the little mouse rooms of her books.

I own this fireplace, these chairs, the overhead beams. My mate brings me dinner just like this every night (I think I am living in Brambly Hedge).

This is my sideboard...

And the kitchen I would have if I could!

Wishing you a cozy season with lots of pretty books for company!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ciao! for now!


Linked to Food For Thought for the Holiday Books party.
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays


  1. All of the books look wonderful! I never heard of A Winter Story but it sounds really interesting. Love all the illustrations as well. I could just imagine curling up in front of a fire to read these!


  2. When books are as good as those are you wonder why they ever stop publishing them!

  3. "I'm with you on that sideboard. These photos are so gorgeous and Robert Frost is one of my very favorite poets. I really enjoyed this post. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  4. Absolutely gorgeous and so, so sweet!! Love all those beautiful and adorable illustrations. Also, your previous "pink" post was fabulous. LOVE that white sofa. I know it must have a prettier name than sofa, but it is so gorgeous!!
    Love, Kay

  5. Books are the best! These look like wonderful ones!
    Be sure to stop by, my 2nd Hand Collections Party has begun!
    Hugs- Tete

  6. I love the Robert Frost book and had forgotten I had it. So I now have it our and will enjoy it this winter.

  7. I love children's books and as a former primary teacher I have quite a few...the ones you show here are all wonderful...I particulary like the Brambly Hedge series.(-:

  8. foxwood tales and brambly hedge my daughter took all hers with her and at the moment her daughter is not allowed to touch them her husband is not sure why I will have to haunt the second hand shops in the hopes of replacing them here thanks for your lovely posts and enjoy christmas

  9. Beauty, Beauty everywhere in this post! What a fabulous collection of books...don't you love when the powers of the universe lay a treasure in your path?! Love all your delicious whites you paired with your books~

    So nice your mate brings you dinner every night...I want to live in Brambly Hedge :-)

  10. What a wonderful collection of children's books, Jacqueline! I bought the Brambly Hedge 4 Seasons series for my daughters. I just loved the sweet stories and the beautiful artwork that filled the pages.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Jo :)

  11. I LOVE these illustrations! They are beautiful and I could look at them all day! Thanks for sharing!

  12. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep" is probably my all time favorite poem by him. The words are just so lyrical.

  13. Jacqueline, each one of these pulls at my heartstrings. The winter whites ~ so perfect for Cabin & Cottage. And the British ones for children have long been favorites of mine. I adore animals dressed for the occasion going about their day as if they lived in our world. Your choices are perfection. Thank you for sharing this joy! ~ Sarah

  14. Love the Brambly Hedge books. What a beautiful vignette. Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  15. Don't yoiu just love books? There is nothing better

  16. What a wonderful collection! Thanks for sharing it with us..I can't find my Winter Story so it was nice to see yours! I also have The Secret Staircase and it is wonderful too! It's fun to find ways to display them so I don't forget to look at them from time to time... so many books, so little time!

  17. oh i love this post... so many sweet books with your gorgeous photo's. cute cute cute! i love your mousey lifestyle~

  18. What a lovely collection of books. Serendipity was at play for sure when you found that book. I love the photos. Merry Christmas.

  19. I too LOVE Winter's Gift. I have a feeling you would love "The Christmas Cat" By illustrator/author, Tasha Tudor's daughter, Efner Tudor Holmes. Tasha did the illustrations and it is as heartwarming as can be. My 2 year old daughter has asked me to read it at bedtime every night now for 2 weeks. I happily oblige.

  20. I've never seen Robert Frost's poem illustrated. I'd love to find that book too. Aren't Christmas books wonderful? I love the images you've shared.

  21. Beautiful winter stories, I loved reading and collecting them for my daughter when she was young.

    Love this post, poetic in itself.

    Joyeux Noel.

  22. Usually it is the artwork that captures my attention. Cup of hot cocoa & a snuggly ... I'd enjoy these books for sure.

    Christmas hugs & wishes ~
    TTFN ~ Marydon


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