| | |

It’s Always a Storybook Year


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!


  1. This book looks so sweet, Kortney. I was wondering if the blue writing in your post should have been links? I couldn’t click through them 🙁 I’m very interested in the Shakespeare in Storybooks, especially after yesterday’s Master Class. 🙂

  2. Oh so fun! I love picture books, but I still have non-readers here. Then again, when I was a high school teacher I started the year off with a picture book or two!

  3. The early bird gets the worm! Maybe I will get the book! I know lots of little ones to give it to. You continue to amaze me with all the effort and expertise you so generously give.

  4. Can’t wait to listen to the podcast. I have 4 & 7 year old girls and we just love picture books. Never too old for them since I enjoy them too 🙂

  5. Oh how wonderful! I’m going to have so much fun with this list. I just adore picture books.

  6. Looking forward to listening to this podcast! And maybe if I win this book my children can use it for the #readaloudrevival challenge for May!

  7. I enjoyed the podcast, Kortney – lots of great recommendations to check out! And I’d love to add that book to our collection. 🙂

  8. I’m addicted to the RAR podcasts and picture books! It looks like a great book to put in my little kids’ room (even though I NEVER win these things!) 🙂

  9. <3 Thank you for what you do. What a delight!
    What a blessing you and Sarah Mackenzie are!
    And I love Sally Lloyd-Jones! Her book looks wonderful!

  10. Listened to the podcast and as usual my Amazon cart is full. Thanks so much all the great ideas and recommendations!

  11. Oh, this book is SO sweet! I am in love with the illustrations…and my kids love pointing out little details. Loving all the RAR podcasts lately…especially looking forward to finding some quiet moments to listen to the podcast about picture books.

  12. Wow! What a great idea. We love library books and now we can incorporate them even more into Christmas. Thanks!

  13. Kortney, how do you do it all??!!:) Wrapping library books- I’m definitely using that idea- summer reading just got so much more exciting!
    Thank you for all you do for us at the RAR!!

  14. Thank you for this opportunity. It looks like a sweet book! We do something similar at Christmas, and it has been a blessing to my family the last 6 years. 🙂
    God bless you and your family. I am happy to have found you tonight!

  15. Looks like such a great read! I’m always looking for more picture books to add to our collection.

  16. I listened to the podcast this morning during my early morning run! It was excellent! Picture books are my FAVORITE!!! I love listening to the podcasts while running… it makes the run so enjoyable. I get to the end of a run before I even know it!! You ladies talk me through it!! HA. Thank you for all your hard work. It is an encouragement to so many.

  17. Our library hold list filled up fast with so many of the great ideas shared on this RAR episode. My little girl (5yo) often overhears the podcasts and perks up when a favorite title is mentioned. She seems delighted to know that other people suggest the books we know and love too! Sally Lloyd-Jones’ book looks lovely too, we’d happily add it to our home library 🙂

Leave a Reply