Friday, December 10, 2010

Jan Brett's beautiful treasury

I discovered this little jewel compilation of Jan Brett's Christmas (or winter, really) works while on a trip to NYC a few years ago. I knew that my little Christmas baby would need this treasury so I lugged all 10 lbs of it on the plane home. Fortunately he loves it as much as I do, well actually, all the family does.

I love how the Christmas stories that Jan Brett tells are atypical from the standard Christmas tales. Between the trolls and the ornery reindeer, it's definitely not Norman Rockwell-esque story-telling. But there's a sweetness in each narration and a happy ending for all so it's nice to have a book of alternative stories.

Interestingly, Finn's favorite stories in the book are The Mitten and The Hat, both of which we had separately before this treasury. I also like that these books are included in the treasury despite the fact that neither is truly a Christmas book, more like a winter tale.

And of course, Jan Brett's illustrations are marvelous. The kids love how much there is to see in every picture. The left side bar reflection from the previous page and right side bar peek into the next page are particularly loved.

One thing that my kids find particularly delightful about Jan Brett's stories is the hedgehog that appears in so many of her illustrations, if not the stories themselves. Paulie has turned the whole family hedgehog-crazed so they squeal with delight upon finding an extraneous hedgie.

And it doesn't hurt that Jan Brett draws them so adorably!

Finn especially gets a kick out of the final page of The Hat when all the animals scatter wearing the little girls woolens. He often will pick up any woolens he finds laying around our living room and wear them on his head to join in the game!


  1. You describe this book so perfectly! It's a must have winter book in my opinion. Jan Brett is fabulous, have you seen her web site? Full of coloring pages to print and all kinds of cool resources.

  2. We just borrowed "Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?" for a first read this week from the library and loved it :)

  3. We got that book as a gift last year and when I pulled it out again for this holiday, it brought lots of excitement. Such beautiful illustrations!

  4. We love Jan Brett's stories because of her artistry! Her website id great too for go-alongs to the story!