12 Days of [Children’s Literature before] Christmas

The 12 Days of [Children’s Literature before] Christmas is a semester break special borrowing from the traditional 12 Days of Christmas (that occur after December 25th). The point is to get you into the spirit of the season by recommending one book per day leading up to Christmas. The books can be read by children of all ages (when do we really stop being children?) and to children of all ages (who says a newborn doesn’t understand what you read to her/him?).
Comments are always welcomed.  May your days and wintry evenings be merry and bright as you cuddle-up with a blanket and book, and maybe in the company of other children. Enjoy!

8 Days before Christmas: A Christmas Carol / Charles Dickens

It’s the weekend. If your tree is up then it’s time to sit down and read THE AUTHENTIC version of A Christmas Carol. There are too many wanna-be versions that try to capture the essence of this novel. However, if you want the real deal, then this is THE ONLY version you should be reading. Per the afterword in the book, “On December 27, 1853, [Dickens] gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol for charity…. for his first public reading , he judiciously edited the text for maximum dramatic effect.” He continued to read in public and continued to make changes until he had the right choice of words and the best dramatic effect.
So that’s why, this is really the only version you should read aloud to your listeners. BTW, the illustrations are good, but I’ve yet to see a good representation of Dickens’ ghosts, in either books or movies. This is the one exception where you should let the words create the images, only because the author was a literal master. (Today’s children’s lit is an integration of words and images, so I ain’t diluting the worth or merit of contemporary books for the young.)
I believe this selection qualifies for Great Books emphasis, but I’ll let you classical readers weigh in on that.

High-five to the book worms at Camp Realist who are assisting me with the list.

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