Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Timeless Christmas Classics

For the children, we have the usual family-favorites;

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
The Night Before Christmas

All wonderful and read many times during the Christmas season.

These books have become as traditional as their television counterparts, I still adore those as well.

Our newest addition to the Christmas Book Treasury is The Polar Express.

Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite children's authors. he wrote 16 books, including The Polar Express, Zathura and Jumanji.

According to an interview in 2004, Chris Van Allsburg said his Caldecott Medal-winning book The Polar Express originated with the image of a train standing alone in the woods. He then asked himself, What if a boy gets on the train? What does he do, and where does he go? 

The story is about Christmas and Santa Claus but, ultimately, it has become a story of Faith.

Chris Van Allsburg defined Faith as believing in things that makes us feel differently about the world we live in.

We can believe that extraordinary things can happen. We can believe fantastic things that might happen. Or we can believe that what we see is what we get.

For a child who has believed in someone like Santa in a way that was absolutely fabulous for seven or eight or nine or ten years of his/her life, the fact that that Santa may not be real, not only changes how he/she feels about Santa, but it also changes how he/she feels about the world. Everything that was not absolute and rational and factual goes away. If all that I believe in is what I can see, then the world is a smaller, less interesting place. It's like your imagination only is indulged with daydreams that cannot inform your real world.

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