It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
Since this is Christmas week, in behalf of the GatheringBooks team, I would like to greet you all a very Merry Santa-filled, magical Christmas.
Santa Bruce [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written and Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
Published by Disney-Hyperion (2018)
ISBN: 1484782909 (ISBN13: 9781484782903). Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
I am quite familiar with the Bruce series, having read and enjoyed Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce. I was excited to see that there is a Christmas edition of the curmudgeonly Bruce.
The image above made me smile, as I have a bit of Bruce in me during the holidays. While there is nothing else that Bruce wanted during the winter but to hibernate and sleep (as bears are wont to do), his family will have none of this.
As the chittering mice and geese are all agog preparing eggnog and decking the halls with holiday decorations, Bruce tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, while doing his part in carrying out some of the more useful tasks around his home such as shoveling thick snow. But as luck (or fate or misfortune, depending from whose perspective you are looking at this) would have it, he was mistaken for Santa with his thick red clothing and snug hat. Despite his numerous protestations, all the animals seem convinced that Santa came to town!
Truth be told, I ended up feeling sorry for Bruce more than halfway through. He clearly did not enjoy pretending to be someone he is not and feigning a cheer that he does not seem to feel at all, but hey the show must go on – with a perpetual scowl on Santa Bruce’s face of course. Overall, still an enjoyable read and a perfect present for the Santa Bruces / Scrooges of the family.
Dasher [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written and Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Published by Candlewick Press (2019)
ISBN: 1536201375 (ISBN13: 9781536201376) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
While most people are familiar with the famous red-nosed Rudolph, very few may be aware of the significant role that Dasher played in forming Santa’s posse of flying reindeers and how it all came about in the first place. This is the story of Dasher and his family, and how Santa came to meet them.
There is a cinematic quality to the storytelling that appealed to me, the events unfold leisurely as seen from various angles or perspectives, heightening a suspenseful atmosphere – one that is filled with quiet anticipation and excitement.
I suppose what really made the story work for me is that it seems touched with that Polar Express magic. The muted colours, the blanket of snow, the sense of awe and wonder are just so vividly captured here. It really does feel like Christmas as one reads Dasher’s story. This is a perfect Christmas read.