It all started with 24 books in 24 Days–a way to celebrate the coming of Christmas with a new seasonal storybook to unwrap every day. When I first heard of this, I was a little mystified. Who has 24 Christmas story books? And time to wrap them? And all that wrapping paper? Then one year we tried it. I had a few books and got the rest from the library. Turns out, library books wrap as nicely as any we own.
The sense of expectation, of unfolding, of unwrapping a gift every day during Advent, of slowly filling our basket with more stories than we could ever read, the abundance and richness of each day steeped in story–I could never have anticipated the effect transformation it would work on our Advent observances.
From then on I knew, storybooks would always have a place in our family no matter how old the children got. We’ve traveled the storybook year. I created Kindergarten plans for studying a different saint and a different author/illustrator each week of the year. I read 100 picture books in 6 months. And, of course, there’s always Shakespeare in storybooks.
I had the privilege of talking about storybooks with Sarah Mackenzie from the Read-Aloud Revival and Kara Anderson from Quill and Camera. It’s one of the perks of my job, little sweetness for all the early mornings of hard work before the rest of the house wakes up! It’s an episode that is full of recommendations! Three pages full. (And I’ve got more that I never even mentioned on the show!) Go listen already. It’s a gift for you this Springtime morning.
And how about another gift? To celebrate the podcast, I’m giving away a copy of Baby Wren and the Great Gift, the new storybook by Sally Lloyd-Jones. It’s a sweet story about each of us giving voice to that unique gift that we bring to the world. The cut paper and watercolor illustrations by Jen Corace add whimsy and wonder. It’s a keeper! Just leave a comment on this post, and I’ll select a winner on Saturday!