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Advent and Christmas Books for Families

Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan Richardson (Wanton Gospeller Press). This book includes the author’s original artwork, reflections, poetry, and prayers, which draw the reader into the quiet spaces of a busy season.

The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen (Houghton Mifflin). When 14-year-old Hannah Salwen was stopped in her tracks by glaring disparity, her parents knew they had to act on her urge to do something. What began as an outlandish scheme became a remarkable journey that transported them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. In the end they learned that they had the power to change a little corner of the world and found themselves changing too.

Old Testament Prophets for Today by Carolyn J. Sharp (Westminster John Knox Press). This book includes brief introductions to each of the Bible’s prophets and looks at how their prophetic message is relevant for us today. The book includes study questions for groups and individuals to use.   

Simplify and Celebrate by Alternatives (Wood Lake Books). This short book includes a wide variety of ways to experience Advent and Christmas in ways that enhance our spirituality and help us step away from some of the commercialism and busyness of this season.

Countdown to Christmas: 24 Fun Advent Activities to Celebrate the Season by Trish Ambrose. Easy, inexpensive activities for your family to do to prepare for the Christmas season.

United Church of Christ

Books for Children
Worm Watching and Other Wonderful Ways to Teach Children to Pray

There is nothing more refreshing than seeing the smile on the face of a child who has seen the beauty of God in creation. Children love to play and their innocent curiosity can open the door to fresh new beginnings. Worm Watching, a delightful new book from award winning sibling authors Ingalls and MacDonald, shows parents and educators how to help a child develop the habit of prayer through play.

In God’s Name
by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 1994).
This wonderful storybook for children lists many names of God, and invites the community to realize God’s diversity.

What Is God’s Name?
by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 1999). 
This is an adaptation of the above book for infants and toddlers.

9 Ways to Bring Out The Best In You and Your Child by Maggie Reigh

Many parents are waking up to the fact that parenting is not about controlling their children, but about empowering themselves and their children. 9 Ways to Bring Out the Best in You and Your Child is about turning power struggles into powerful relationships. It is about raising children who are full of spirit and life, and about teaching them to be caring human beings.
Maggie Reigh teaches that parenting is a matter of the heart. Combining profound insights with practical ideas, Reigh shows parents how to raise respectful, responsible, and resilient children, and at the same time, add more life and laughter to their children's lives and their own.
This is a book about raising children full of spirit and life, and teaching them to be caring human beings.

The Other Way to Listen

by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall (Aladdin). As we learn other ways to listen we begin to hear things like wildflower seeds bursting open and the mountains singing. As we slow down we can hear the rocks murmuring, and remember that God’s spirit is alive in all the world.

The Giving Tree 
by Shel Silverstein (Harper and Row). This story is a powerful parable for children and adults. It celebrates the gift of giving and invites acceptance of someone else’s capacity to love.

Mr. Carey’s Garden
by Jane Cutler (Houghton Miffin Juvenile Books). A man’s neighbours all have insect- and slug-free gardens and they learn to appreciate the beauty and wonder of a garden full of holes and patterns left by insects. This is a wonderful tale of people who were very distanced from each other coming together as community.

After the Beginning 
by Carolyn Pogue (Northstone Publishing Inc). As the Divine Family celebrates the work of creation, Little Angel challenges them to go a step further and create a wonderful world filled with differences. Margaret Kyle’s illustrations help place the reader inside the story.