December 22, 2009
A Cooney Christmas
It's not Christmas until I snuggle into one of our squashy couches with a piping hot mug of tea to read The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree and The Story of Holly & Ivy, both with illustrations by Barbara Cooney (1917 -2000), a Maine illustrator and author of children's books. The stories celebrate the importance of family and love at Christmastime. Their emphasis is more on appreciating all that you have been given rather than materialistic wants. Cooney's delicate, quiet illustrations provide comfort and authenticity to these tales.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree is a tale of how little Ruthie, a feisty little Appalachian girl with coal-black curls, and her mother manage to procure the town Christmas tree despite her father being away fighting in Europe during World War I. The Story of Holly & Ivy takes place in England, where a little orphan girl, Ivy, on her way to stay with a family for Christmas, steps off the train a bit early at Appleton, a tiny village ,and encounters a new friend, Holly. Appleton is a charming town captured with all the magic of the Christmas season with Cooney's deft hand. Both stories are ones to cherish! I hope you can enjoy them and share them with those you love! Happy Christmas reading!
Image found here and here.