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Top 10 Children's Books for the Holiday Season

By Katie Behrens. Dec 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, there’s something magical about receiving a children’s book as a holiday gift. Whether it's a story you knew and loved as a child, or one you're passing on to a new generation, children's books stir old memories and create new. You open up the wrapping paper to find a beautiful story that transports you to a different place and time.  It is also a meaningful experience for the gift giver, wanting to pass along a character or story that they loved as a child. And for those merely ‘young at heart’, what a joy to receive a rare copy of a book that you haven’t seen in years!

     
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Book Spotlight: Wag-by-Wall by Beatrix Potter

Beloved children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was a staple in many childhoods. Perhaps best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, Potter was a prolific writer with familiar, enchanting illustrations. In 1944, Wag-by-Wall, originally intended for The Fairy Caravan, was published for the first time in The Hornbook Magazine. When published as a book, illustrations were omitted since Potter did not include them in any drafts. The setting of the book is based on the Lake District Potter lived in and loved. Her detailed descriptions of the setting and characters serve as an excellent example of Potter’s skill as a storyteller and her magical ability to enrapture readers of all ages.  

     
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The Real Man Behind Santa Claus (And the Books That Made Him Famous)

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 6, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books

At this time of year, it is common to hear cheery adults ask wide-eyed children, “What do you want from Santa Claus?” In the lead-up to Christmas day, one can find a white-beard wielding, red suit wearing, rosy-faced man at most every shopping center and holiday event, and whether the young children are excited to tell him their Christmas wishes or run screaming in terror at the thought of sitting upon his lap, imagining Christmas without Santa Claus is incredibly difficult. Indeed, Santa has become so intertwined with the Christmas holiday that for many, he takes center stage on December 24 and 25. What are the origins of the modern day Santa Claus? Who was the real St. Nicholas? And who helped bring the image of the man in the red suit into popular culture?

     
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Six Books You Should Give as Gifts This Holiday Season

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 23, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Book Gift Ideas, Christmas Books

Happy Black Friday, shoppers! We hope you all enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. If you are hitting the sales early this morning or easing in to the day, we have compiled a brief list of classic Christmas books that make for stellar gifts. Put one (or several) in your virtual shopping cart, and start checking names off your list. In case you missed it, last Friday, we rounded up all sorts of books that we think make excellent gifts. You can find that post here. Enjoy!

     
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Ten of the Best Quotes from Charles Dickens

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 7, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Christmas Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Charles Dickens is widely considered to be the most important writer of the Victorian age. Dickens' success came, despite the odds being stacked against him. He had to work in a factory from a young age to support his family; his father was in debtors' prison. Dickens was eventually able to spend two years in school after which he worked at a law office. An interest in theater eventually led to a job as a freelance reporter. He published the majority of his novels as weekly or monthly serials, beginning with The Pickwick Papers in 1836. He was an immediate success, reaching an unprecedented level of popularity at the time.

     
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Influential Images: The Night Before Christmas

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 24, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books, Poetry, Children's Books

"A Visit From Saint Nicholas” has the distinction of being perhaps the most well-known American poem. Also known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “'Twas the Night Before Christmas”, the poem was originally published anonymously in 1823 in the Sentinel, a newspaper out of Troy, New York. It was an immediate hit and was soon reprinted in papers across the country. Though there has been some controversy over the authorship of the poem (with some believing it to be written by Henry Livingston, Jr.), it is most commonly attributed to Clement Clarke Moore who eventually included the poem in a collection of his own work.

     
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Ten Beautiful Christmas Poems

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 25, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Christmas Books

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty.
—Edgar Allan Poe
 
Merry Christmas, everyone! Truly, Christmas is a lyrical holiday—one that is experienced through the stories told from days past and hopes strung together for the future. Whether it be through bible verses, Christmas carols, or the written word, there's no better way to celebrate the beauty of today than with some classic Christmas poetry. Here, we’ve compiled excerpts from ten Christmas poems. Enjoy the “rhythmical creation of Beauty” on this Christmas Day.
     
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Three Victorian Ghost Stories for a Spooky Christmas

By Nick Ostdick. Dec 21, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Christmas Books

Imagine Christmas Eve: Snow sifts down from the night sky, the fireplace glows red and crackles with warmth, and a stately looking family gathers in the living room with food and drink to regale each other with tales of the undead coming to life and psychologically taunting characters until they are driven to madness from fear. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night? Yes indeed. Sweet dreams, little ones.

For as odd as this scene might sound, the telling of ghost stories on the night before Christmas was and is a common tradition in England and throughout much of Europe.

     
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Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

By Matt Reimann. Dec 9, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Stories are to be found everywhere on this narrative-inclined Christmas holiday—in movies, songs, even in its decorations—but nothing endures quite like the stories that were read to us by family. As we age, it becomes our job to pass on that holiday cheer to the younger spirits in our lives. There is a rich selection of children’s literature to choose from, including classics like Eloise at Christmastime, and modern gems like Angela and the Baby Jesus. Here, we explore the many books available for parents and family members wishing to brighten a young child’s holiday.

     
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The Night Before Christmas: A Pop Culture Rundown

By Nick Ostdick. Dec 6, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Christmas Books

For some, it may be years since they’ve heard it recited. Others, on the other hand, may have never had the chance to hear the classic Christmas tale from start to finish. But this doesn’t mean The Night Before Christmas is in any way a relic of Christmas past—a poetic ghost clinging to some kind of existence in this world rather than passing on to another.

In fact, as families gather together this Christmas season, the references and allusions to this 1823 work may be more prevalent than you think.

     
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