Monday, December 22, 2008

A New Holiday Favorite:A Reminder About the True Spirit of Christmas

My dear friend Erin took a break from her busy teaching -- and holiday shopping! -- schedule to share one of her favorite holiday reads. It might just be the perfect, last-minute Christmas gift you're looking for:

Here's Erin:

Today I share just a bit about a book I'm in love with: Little Robin's Christmas, Little Tiger Press (Waukesha, WI), 1998, published in England as Little Robin Red Vest, Egmont Books (London, England), 1998.

There are so many fabulous Christmas tales available that I often wonder how one even begins to choose. I am forced, almost daily for two weeks, to make difficult choices about which holiday stories to share with my 3rd graders. Should I choose a classic like Twas the Night Before Christmas or pick a book featuring a favorite popular character like Frosty or Rudolph? I am always drawn to books with illustrations of cute woodland creatures so it is not surprising that one book is always on my "must read" list each holiday season: Little Robin's Christmas, written and illustrated by Jan Fearnley. Truth to tell, the British title is catchier: Little Robin Red Vest and I wonder why the American publisher chose to change it. But alas, it is a tale of incomparable Christmas spirit, so I should just accept "Little Robin's Christmas" as fitting.

The story starts with Little Robin in his house, washing and ironing seven vests to get him through the chilly days of the week before Christmas. Don't you love a man doing the laundry??? Yes, Little Robin is a boy and one with a very giving heart. Each day he ventures out in the cold with one of his snuggly vests on and happens across a friend who is invariably freezing. Without hesitation, Little Robin gives his vest to the creature in need that day: Frog, Otter, Rabbit (he's so big that the teeny vest is worn as a hat!), Mole, Mouse, Hedgehog, and Squirrel. When he's given his last vest away -- the warm orange one -- he finds himself huddled on a roof, far from his nest, too tired and cold to get himself home. Santa comes to his rescue and flies him to the North Pole in his sleigh to show Mrs. Claus this generous little fellow full of the Christmas spirit. Mrs. Claus decides he deserves a very special gift so, with Little Robin all snug and cozy in her lap, she pulls a thread from Santa's red coat and knits a magical vest. The vest will always keep Little Robin warm and when anyone sees him in it, they too will be warm. In the end, Little Robin perches on a tree branch and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.

I must warn that my dear friend and fellow educator Elizabeth was not as moved by the story. She conceded that it was cute, but didn't get why I was ga-ga over it. I just can't explain it. There's something about Little Robin with his rosy red cheeks and sweater vests that fit like dresses that makes my heart melt! So, if you're a softie for cute fuzzy critters, generous hearts, and the good little guy getting the big reward, then you too will enjoy Little Robin's Christmas.

I'm sure we'd all love to hear about what everyone else reads to the kiddies at Christmas time!


The UnStrungSisters - Amy and Erin said...

Hey Kristen, I found your blog! It looks great and I will be back to read more later- Amy

noexcuses said...

Thanks for stopping by Kristen! I comiserate with you about the 10 pounds. It's winter, there are too many celebrations between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it's too cold outside to exercise. How's that for excuses???

I'll be happy to pray for your efforts to take off the 10 pounds. Would you be interested in sharing accountability with each other? Sometimes having a buddy with similar goals can be very beneficial. I have more than 10 pounds to lose, but for now, 10 pounds sounds very reasonable.

Let me know what you think.

I love your review of "Little Robin's Christmas. I wish I had little ones who could enjoy it. My little ones are 16 and 17 now.

NervousGirl said...

Kristen, I keep checking your blog looking for new posts!

Teri K said...

In our family we always read A Christmas Carol and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever out loud during the holidays.

Little Robin reminds me of another favorite -- Claude, the Dog. Claude is a well-loved basset who has a scruffy friend named Bummer, who never had a blanket, or a toy... You can guess what happens. My Mom taught 3rd grade for years, and this was one of their favorites, too.