We have great luck checking out holiday books from the library. I reserved them online and we have been picking up a book every few days for a while now. We really enjoy the Moomin comics after reading through all the books. Reading “The Family Under the Bridge” to Emma for the first time this year. We haven’t begun “The Christmas Carol” mouse book but last year she watched the “Muppets Christmas Carol” so she is a bit familiar with the story. The “Lighthouse Christmas” has a sweet story with a real flying santa and the Chirri and Chirra books are our new favorite picture books. The “Lost Christmas” book (picture below) was so pretty but easier to enjoy outside in good lighting. “Christmas in Noisy Village” is also a favorite (last photo) and we read chapters from our books at home each year to hear about their traditions.
We have been reading a lot more since school is out for the holiday and our activities are on hold. It has been nice to visit the library with more frequency and we have read so many great books lately. Usually I will find many new picture books and a few non-fiction and Emma will pick up a stack of the short character stories like Strawberry Shortcake and Peppa Pig and we will read through them all. Here are some of the holiday/winter titles that we have been enjoying at home and from the library.
At home we own many books by Jan Brett as we love her illustrations. “Gingerbread Baby” and “The Mitten” are favorites. I also picked up this tiny copy of the “12 Days of Christmas.” The way she uses borders around the main pictures in all of her books is so brilliant.
I recently ordered a copy of a book from the Noisy Village series that we did not yet have. I know there is a “Christmas in Noisy Village” but I had read that you could get the same story by getting the longer chapter book. We have not read the whole thing yet but skipped to the chapters in the middle where they celebrate Christmas and it is wonderful!
Emma is in love with the book about “The Dolls’ Christmas” by Tasha Tudor. I picked it up at the library knowing she would fancy it and I had no idea that it was a true-ish story! Such a sweet little read.
We were sad to be missing “The Nutcracker” this year (although the holiday concert was a fantastic event) but still read the story often. We own a copy but have to look at other versions whenever we find them because the illustrations are always so good.
Of course we also have “The Snowy Day” and LOVE the new animated version so much. Ezra Jack Keats’ story and style of illustration is so beautiful and the new animated one is up to par.
Thinking about reading the chapters in “Mary Poppins ” where they go downtown to the big department store to buy Christmas presents. We love the part when Maia the star comes in to get things for all of her siblings. Also the part about the gingerbread wrapped in paper with stars gets me every time. It is so memorable.
We took BART and walked to Japantown in San Francisco.
We stayed at Hotel Tomo. Both the elevator and our room had this really cool mural.
The room was cozy and colorful. We did our best to share the big king sized bed.
The hotel cafe also had a cool mural.
We ate a lot of great places on our trip. Emma loves to eat udon noodles!
We looked around in lots of different shops. We got Sakura pastels, a furoshiki wrapping cloth and a bucket hat. A little something for each one of us!
We had tea service at Crown and Crumpet. Emma ended up getting apple cider that was served with whipped cream. I would love to make that at home. <3
Afterwards we were happy and full from tea, sweets and little sandwiches. It was all so good!
Rainy afternoon but it did not affect our plans at all.
Walking on Fillmore Street.
A book in Kinokuniya, about Truck Furniture in Osaka, Japan.
Shopping for clothes with maiki in Sou Sou.
Checking out and going home.
Picked up a Christmas cake for home. Every good trip is all about the food and this time we ate like kings. Would definitely go back to Dosa and Udon Mugizo!!!
Enjoying time with my little Berkeley family. It is wonderful and peaceful and happy. Missing out on the big Christmas Eve bash that my extended family in LA throws but feeling present with the ones here that are closest to my heart.