Have you ever noticed that most children’s stories are liberal stories? You never see a book that’s written for children that talks about “let them die if they can’t afford food” and “send undocumented immigrants back to where they came from.” So conservatives love to teach these values to their kids, even though they don’t practice them themselves. And in reality, they don’t teach them to their kids for REAL. Just as bedtime stories (or feel-good stories at church on Sunday).
Here are some great children’s books that you can buy for the kids of your friends and family. Be sure to tell the liberal story in front of all the adults and tell the kids “no matter what you learn when you grow up, always remember these stories.”
1. Frosty The Snowman byWalter Rollins
You gotta love kids. They accept people (even snowpeople) for who they are. They found a hat, Frosty came to life, nobody judged. Our (silk) hats off to you Frosty and friends for the joy and friendship you inspire.
2. The 12 Days of Christmas by Frederic Austin (words)/Vladamir Vagin (illustrator)
This book can build cooperation between people in various ways. Adults and children alike will enjoy the beautiful illustrations of this edition and when some kid comes up with the idea to sing every single verse just stand back and watch the bipartisan cooperation as everyone heads outside to build snowmen and make snowforts and snowangles and celebrate those special Christmas memories with all the family.
3. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
I can’t remember when I first read this book, but I immediately fell in love with the totally unlovable Herdman kids–Leroy, Claude, Ollie, Imogene, Gladys, and Ralph. You name it, the Herdman kids did it. Boy or girl they smoked, stole, lied, fought, and did pretty much anything they wanted. Toung Beth Bradley narrates this tale of how the Herdmans wind up in church when her brother Charlie brags about the snacks he gets during Sunday School Class. Then Beth and Charlie’s mother is put in charge of the Christmas Play and Herdmans, who had never heard the nativity story before decide they want to help. Miraculous mayhem ensues as the Herdmans manage to take over the production. (Even attempting to change the script to include a beat down of King Herod.) What everyone expects to become a disaster actually turns out to be a big lesson for the Herdmans and for the church members alike. As the Herdmans soften while they learn the story behind the play, the church folk begins to see the Herdmans and the nativity story in a whole new light– like the people they are portraying, the Herdmans are real people underneath, no different from the Holy Family nor different from the Bradley family or anyone else in the audience.
4. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Imagine, if you will, a quiet and calm Victorian Era Christmas Eve. The kids, on their best behavior, are in bed and gone to sleep. Pappa and Mamma are also supposedly settling in as well, but if they’ve managed to get the rest of the household down I would imagine they are taking advantage for a little, shall we say,”Victorian’s” Secret time. Heeheehee
Then the calm is broken by an awful noise on the lawn. Pappa heads for the window, opens the shutters, and throws up the sash. I’m not sure what he was doing eating the sash. That discussion is best left to the folks on My Strange Addiction. It probably is best that he threw it up as it would have been difficult to digest.
In a possibly sash induced haze, Pappa sees a miniature sleigh drawn by tiny reindeer. He seems amazed, but not really frightened. Perhaps he is wondering if the Cook put a little too much rum in the rum cake. Then, the driver of the sleigh comes sliding down the family’s chimney. Many folks would be thinking in terms of home invasion, but no, he’s sure it’s St. Nick. The man is covered in fur (does PETA know about this) and of course ashes and soot. He is a tiny elf-like man carrying a bundle of toys. Pappa admits the man looked like a peddler. Now at this time peddlers were often associated with thieves or gypsies. So for all he knows he has a miniature, white bearded, pipe smoking, cat burglar on his hands. But the guy just looks so jolly that all Pappa can do is laugh. Then St. Nick gives him a wink and he knows he doesn’t have to be afraid and he lets the old gentleman go on about his work of filling stockings.
While he may have been a little surprised when St Nicholas left the home by going up the chimney, he felt very good about the experience overall. It wasn’t just about the material things though. Pappa could have started yelling out another window to draw the attention of the local constabulary, hit the old man over the head with a vase, or even taken that sack of toys and been #1 Dad. Instead he kept his cool. The two man came from very different worlds. Nick was dressed like a peddler, considered on the low end of the social scale, but was actually a Saint and therefore way above ordinary guy Pappa. But without saying a word, the two men showed each other mutual respect. St. Nick did not judge Pappa for his sash addiction and Pappa felt no need to exhibit violence toward the stranger suddenly appearing in his home. When you think with you head and your heart people from all parts of society can live in peace.
5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
By now everyone knows the story of rich, miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge–scorned by his father but beloved by his sister. Obviously he is afflicted with what we now know to be self esteem issues, hoarding tendencies (gold), and obsessive compulsive disorder. Today he’d probably wind up with his own reality TV show or at least on an episode of Extreme Cheapskates. Sadly in that Victorian Era he was much maligned as people rushed to judge him as simply a mean old man who ignored his nephew Fred and was cruel to his employee Bob Cratchit. He also had a bit of an attitude with some folks collecting for charity. Are there no prisons Are there no workhouses?
Supposedly Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley. Eb isn’t really sure about this, believing that perhaps he’s suffering from some type of food poisoning. I rather go along with that thinking. I came out of TMJ surgery wearing an ice pack that went under chin around my cheeks and then went over the top of my head. (This is the way the winding cloth Jacob must take off before he can speak to Scrooge is represented.) Being a bit loopy on pain killers I spent a few days going around giving people the evil eye and slowly raising my arm and pointing my finger at them. As far as I know I didn’t scare anybody into turning their lives around. Anyway, Scrooge has a vision of Jacob Marley warning him that he better straighten up and fly right or spend eternity in chains of his own making. Oh yeah, by the way, Scrooge is going to get visited by three spirits and he’d better listen up.
So Scrooge, in his feverish state is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Past shows Scrooge as a boy ignored by a cruel father, an older Scrooge apprenticed to the merchant Fezziwig, and finally Scrooge sees himself as businessman in his own right. Yet he loses the love of his life when his hoarding of gold comes between them. Finally Christmas Past show Eb his love–now older and happily married with children and living the life that could have been theirs. Unable to take anymore, Scrooge takes Past’s hat and snuffs it out from the light emanating from its head on down. Splat!
Next comes the Ghost of Christmas Present. Present takes Scrooge on a trip through a snowy, holiday London and then on to the small home of the Cratchit family. For the first time he sees the conditions in which Bob and his wife and children live. For the first time he learns of the crippled child Tiny Tim. Scrooge is surprised that the family can be content with what little they have and is disturbed when the Ghost predicts a future empty chair where Tiny Tim should be.
Present, being kind of a party animal, takes Eb to a few more feasts and then to the party that Scrooges’s nephew Fred is throwing. No one can see him, but something sparks and he actually begins to enjoy himself. But, this is meant to be a life lesson or a nightmare so off to more desolate climes they go. Beneath Present’s robes are two emaciated children–Ignorance and Want. (Remember, Dickens intended this to be a social allegory so he wasn’t going for subtility here.) When Scrooge asks if nothing can be done to help, Present mocks him with his own words–Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?
We all know what comes next. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come–who is not messing around. He sees the Cratchit family after the loss of Tiny Tim. He learns that he also has died–alone and unmourned. Can’t take it with you Eb. He cries out and begs for mercy and suddenly find himself back safe and sound in his own bed having survived 3 ghosts or food poisoning. Either way he is a changed man.
In short order Scrooge is dancing and singing, ordering a big honkin’ bird for the Cratchit Christmas table, and contributing to charity. He’s probably lucky people didn’t think he’d gone crazy and put him in an asylum. The next day he gives Bob Cratchit a raise and makes sure there is more coal to heat the office.
Scrooge never marries but a nontraditional family is formed. He becomes such a part of the Cratchit clan that Tiny Tim thinks of him as a second father. Scrooge apparently lets go of some more dough for Tim’s medical treatment because the lucky lad does not die. In fact he lives, learns to play the ukulele, sings about tulips, and marries his first wife on the set of the Johnny Carson show.
God bless us, every one!