Had been planning to pop these on the website earlier but events rather over took me! Anyway there are many many beautiful wintery stories around, Christmassy ones too old and new. This is purely ones that we own os very biased towards our own festive season but there are also some in there used successfully for peaceful, absorbing assemblies AND festive writing too. Doesn't all have to cotton wool and glitter after all!!
Tolkien's Christmas letters are lovely and would be great to inspire some writing at KS2. I defy even Year 6 not to be swept up in the North pole antics of Father Christmas-it is really sweet. I think this could be balanced with a previous blog mention on 'lightingcreativefires'....but with a Christmas twist-'The Jolly Christmas Postman'-make your own. Lovely for a whole class book or a different kind of Christmas card with little slots of mini letters in.
I don't mind reading 'The Box of Delights' every year though (which reminds me I must go and bring my copy back up the road) since I watched the BBC adaptation a loooong time ago. OOOh just remembered have the DVD for that too :-) Kay Harker is coming home for the Christmas holidays but the characters he meets on his return are not as straightforward as they first appear. 'The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe' has, of course, that very magical heart warming description when the power of the White witch starts to weaken and the children hear sleigh bells in the distance.
I think I lost my hardback copy of 'The Last polar bears' by Harry Horse to one of the schools I've visited in the past. I had to seek out another one as this mostly seems to be available in paperback these days. However, the illustrations about an adventure to the North pole with supplies and equipment in a golf trolley are wonderful in the picture book version. This one you could EASILY use in January too-what would you pack in your golf trolley when you went off on your adventures? No Christmas collection would be complete without that oft 'assemblied' 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas' by Clement C. Moore. The one featured here is a fairly recent version with eye catching black and white illustrations by Matt Tavares. It's unusual to find something so Christmassy without colour in a way but I think that makes this book all the better-it's a beautiful pairing with this famous poem to share at bedtime or otherwise.
Yet what I can I give Him... give my heart."
Lastly a lovely re telling of the Christmas story by......Michael Morpurgo. Another enchantingly illustrated lovely sized book ( something about those square ish 'holds') from the point of view of a little shepherd who has to remain to look after the sheep when the other shepherds follow that star. However, he doesn't really get left behind, far from it-he travels 'On Angel wings' to make his way to the stable.
Happy Christmas reading (and beyond into winter) and writing I hope....even a little bit this week :-)