Sunday, December 04, 2016

Treasury of Christmas Stories

Treasury of Christmas Stories. Edited by Ann McGovern. 1960. Scholastic. 152 pages. [Source: Bought]

Treasury of Christmas Stories was a delightful discovery for me, a true vintage find. The book was published in 1960, and it features stories and poems mainly published in the 1930's and 1940's. I liked that it was a blend of everything: fiction and nonfiction, stories and poems. I enjoyed the black and white illustrations as well. The illustrator is David Lockhart. Overall, both text and illustrations have a lovely, vintage feeling.

My top three poems would be, "Presents" by Marchette Chute, "Day Before Christmas" by Marchette Chute," and "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore. My top three stories would be: "A Piano by Christmas" by Paul Tulien, "Christmas Every Day" by W.D. Howells, and "A Miserable, Merry Christmas" by Lincoln Steffens.

Secret in the Barn by Anne Wood (poem)
It's nearly Christmas--it's Christmas Eve!
And it's snowing all over the place,
The roof of the barn is sugary white--
Its eaves are lined with lace.
A Christmas Gift for the General by Jeannette Covert Nolan (1937) (story)
Kennet, at the window, thought that the day was not at all like Christmas. The street he looked into was silent, almost desolate; the few people passing walked quickly with bent heads, as if they were cold, or sad--or both.
Christmas by Marchette Chute (1946) (poem)
My goodness, my goodness,
It's Christmas again.
The bells are all ringing.
I do not know when
I've been so excited.
The tree is all fixed,
The candles are lighted,
The pudding is mixed.
Christmas Every Day by W.D. Howells (story)
The little girl came into her papa's study, as she always did Saturday morning before breakfast, and asked for a story. He tried to beg off that morning, for he was very busy, but she would not let him. So he began: "Well, once there was a little pig--" She put her hand over his mouth and stopped him at the word. She said she had heard little pig stories till she was perfectly sick of them. "Well, what kind of story shall I tell, then?" "About Christmas. It's getting to be the season. It's past Thanksgiving already."
Ashes of the Christmas Tree by Yetza Gillespie (1946) (poem)
When Christmas trees at last are burned
Upon the hearth, they leap and flash
More brilliantly than other wood,
And wear a difference in the ash.
The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson (story)
Once upon a time there was a pretty, green little Fir Tree. The sun shone on him; he had plenty of fresh air; and around him grew many large comrades, pines as well as firs. But the little Fir was not satisfied.
Presents by Marchette Chute (1932) (poem)
I wanted a rifle for Christmas,
I wanted a bat and a ball,
I wanted some skates and a bicycle,
But I didn't want mittens at all.
A Miserable, Merry Christmas by Lincoln Steffens (1931, 1935) (excerpt from an autobiography)
What interested me in our new neighborhood was not the school, nor the room I was to have in the house all to myself, but the stable which was built back of the house.
The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe (poem)
Hear the sledges with the bells--
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
Yuletide Customs in Many Lands by Lou Crandall (1941) (nonfiction)
Christmas in May? It sounds strange, doesn't it? And yet in the early centuries of Christianity, the birthday of Jesus probably was sometimes celebrated in May, sometimes in other months; certainly it was often observed in January. This was because the exact date of the birth of Christ has never been known.
Lord Octopus Went to the Christmas Fair by Stella Mead (1934) (poem)
Lord Octopus went to the Christmas Fair;
An hour and a half he was traveling there.
Then he had to climb
For a weary time
To the slimy block
Of a sandstone rock,
And creep, creep away
To the big wide bay
Where a stout old whale
Held his Christmas Sale.
Christmas Tree by Aileen Fisher (1946) (poem)
I'll find me a spruce
in the cold white wood
with wide green boughs
and a snowy hood.
Silent Night, Holy Night (traditional song)
Deck the Halls (traditional song)
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (traditional song)
O Christmas Tree (traditional song)
Wassail Song (traditional song)
The Birds (traditional song)
Shepherds, Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep (traditional song)
The Jar of Rosemary by Maud Lindsay (excerpt from a book)
There was once a little prince whose mother, the queen, was sick. All summer she lay in bed, and everything was kept quiet in the palace; but when the autumn came she grew better.
One Night by Marchette Chute (1941) (poem)
Last winter when the snow was deep
And sparkled on the lawn
And there was moonlight everywhere,
I saw a little fawn.
Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935) (excerpt from a book)
The days were short and cold, the wind whistled sharply, but there was no snow.
Day Before Christmas by Marchette Chute (1941) (poem)
We have been helping with the cake
And licking out the pan,
And wrapping up our packages
As neatly as we can.
A Piano by Christmas by Paul Tulien (1957) (story)
There was one thing Billy's mother had been wanting, and that was a piano. Mother liked to play, and before her marriage she had played on her sister's piano every evening.
A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore (poem)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
How Santa Claus Found the Poorhouse by Sophie Swett (1956) (story)
Heliogabalus was shoveling snow. The snow was very deep, and the path from the front door to the road was a long one, and the shovel was almost as big as Heliogabalus. But Gobaly--as everybody called him for short--didn't give up easily.
Golden Cobwebs by Rowena Bennett (poem)
The Christmas tree stood by the parlor door,
But the parlor door was locked
And the children could not get inside
Even though they knocked.
The Gift of St. Nicholas by Anne Malcolmson (1941) (story)
Three hundred years ago in the little city of New Amsterdam lived a young cobbler named Claas.
A New Song by Ernest Rhys (1946) (poem)
We will sing a new song
That sounds like the old:
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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