A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.
The man who never reads lives only one.

George R. R. Martin

The advent season is upon us. I love it.

One of my favorite traditions we have as a family is to place all our Christmas picture books under the Christmas tree and all month, those are the books we read during story time. We have more than 25, and that’s good since my kids like to reread some of them throughout the month, and we read more than one a night. 

I wonder if we will graduate to reading short stories as my kids get older, but for now, we still love our family picture book time. 

I have some that are longer, which are better for my ten year old, and shorter ones that are better for my younger ones.

Here’s a few of our favorites:

We have other Christmas advent traditions as well. One we started with some church friends years ago was a Jesse tree, which tells the Bible story from Genesis through Jesus’ birth with a new ornament every night. 

My kids love hanging the ornaments, and we tell the Bible story each night. The issue with this one is when we get to the prophesies about Jesus, the ornaments are a bit wierd… maybe it was the ones our group decided to make or something, but it’s a bit wierd in the middle. (I guess I could always change those ornaments out for new ones… but I haven’t.)

So, because of that our main devotional is actually one we got when we visited a different church close to Christmas. It’s called “Kids Read Truth Advent Conversation Cards” and it’s available from shopshereadstruth.com

Advent Conversation Cards | Kids Read Truth

It has a cute Christmas image on each card, with a big idea such as “God Sends His Son”, then a Bible verse. It also gives you a longer Bible passage to read to go with the idea, and 3 levels of questions to talk about the idea.

It’s easy to use, and I love that it makes participating together so easy for different ages of kids. I highly recommend it if you want a Christmas family devotional.


I added some new YouTube videos this month. I was trying a few different things, including some preschool fingerplays. I actually got some nice views on my “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” video. I’m pretty excited about that and might try to make more of that type of video, even though my picture book reviews were my first idea.

Books I’m Reading and Recommending:

Picture Book:

The Collectors

by Alice Feagan

This book was picked by my kids EVERY night for storytime the week we checked it out of the library. It has great pictures, and two friends who go on an adventure, escape a bear, and discover natural wonders all around them.

Entering the forest to look for something extraordinary, two brave and clever girls observe the everyday wonders of the natural world before finding remarkable specimens in a nearby cave.

Middle Grade:

The Fellowship of the Ring

by J. R. R. Tolkien

We finished The Hobbit and my daughter immediately demanded The Lord of the Rings. I was a little hesitant, thinking it would take us forever to read-aloud, but we’re working through it at a good pace. She loves it. My son does too, though I don’t know how much of it makes sense to him yet. But there’s swords and it’s all boys and full of danger, so he’s in. 

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power—the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring—the ring that rules them all—which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.


Murder at the Seven Dials

by Cara Devlin

I started reading this book, probably as an Amazon First Read or something for free, and I ended up reading all of this series that has been released so far (5 books) all this month. It’s fast paced, set in regency England, and has twists and romance.

A murdered opera singer. A duke drenched in her blood. For Bow Street Officer Hugh Marsden, the brutal killing is a straightforward case. Ever since his exile from polite society, the chance to arrest a high and mighty peer of the realm has never presented itself. Hugh won’t snub the opportunity now.

But Audrey Sinclair, the Duchess of Fournier, is certain her husband is wrongly accused, and she’s determined to prove it to the arrogant Bow Street officer, even if she must employ her most peculiar ability—or perhaps curse—to guide her investigation. After all, a duchess can do as she pleases.

Exasperated with the meddling duchess, Hugh is convinced she is protecting her own secrets, and the duke’s. But when Audrey’s discoveries persuade him to believe the true killer is still at large, he has no choice but to join her in the hunt—if only to keep her from becoming the next victim.

Until next time,

Charlotte J. Glaze