We finally finished listening to the unabridged recording of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising. The 10 and 11 year olds loved it, the 8 year old liked it, and the 4 year old couldn't stand it. We took many Frog and Toad breaks along the way. It's a great story about Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son, who discovers that he has been destined throughout history to be the Sign Seeker. His role is to find the seven signs and bind them together before the powers of the Dark take over. The setting of the story is Buckinghamshire, during the Christmas season. I am looking forward to the motion picture adaptation to be released this weekend. http://www.ump.com.eg/MovieDetails.aspx?Id=98 Highly Recommended.
I don't usually review picture books, but What Happened to Merry Christmas? by Robert C. Baker is a contemporary classic. Sam discovers that Christmas exists in "holiday" imagery like snowflakes, and even in secular language. This book has gorgeous illustrations, and has also been reviewed by Cardinal O'Malley of Boston and Bishop Doran of Rockford, Illinois. St. Nicholas brings each of my children a book on December 6th, and I'm sure that this will be among his gifts this year. http://www.cph.org/cphstore/product.asp?category=&part%5Fno=562426&find%5Fcategory=Books&find%5Fdescription=&find%5Fpart%5Fdesc=baker