A Few More Winter Snapshots

A Few More Winter Snapshots

Bella’s slide, snowbound.

I’d hung our bird feeder on the back door, but I think it’s too exposed. It hasn’t had any visitors yet. Still, I noticed a few birds who would swoop by the back door as if on reconnaissance. I even saw them hopping about on the doorstep and found some little prints in the snow. So I swept off the step and scattered a bit of seed. Soon we had a regular stream of guests.

I haven’t yet identified these little guys; but other than one sparrow, I think all of our visitors have been the same species. They’re dark brown or gray with a white belly and a yellow beak. I’m hoping they’ll get to the point where they’re a little less easily startled by our moving about in the dining room so I can get a better look.




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  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art offered a beautiful book and cd several years ago.  I don’t know if it’s still available.  The pictures are paintings from their collection.  The title of both the book and cd is:  Carols for Christmas.  The musical arrangements are by David Willcocks.  Try the Met’s website to see if it’s available.

  • Other than the book I just mentioned, which isn’t technically a picture book, but a book of carols with lovely art, the only picture books of Christmas carols I know of are one song per book.  Tomie de Paola has a good one of The Friendly Beasts.  Susan Jeffers illustrated a lovely version of Silent Night.  Jan Brett did a beautiful version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Jamichael Henterly illustrated a very lovely version of Good King Wenceslas.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I’ve got some good places to start. Amazon can be overwhelming when you only have a vague idea. Specific titles really help me get going.

    You put me on the right path. I found a collection by the same author as Go in and out the Window with artwork from the Metropolitan Museum. That looks excellent. Maybe not technically a picture book, but exactly perfect for us. I love books with real art in them. On my wish list.

    I’d already ordered the Good King Wenceslas book for Bella—It’s going under the tree—and I do like some of the single-song books; but I do want a couple of good collections as well.

    Oooh, that Hark the Harald Angels book looks gorgeous! Definitely going on the wish list.

    I think the Usborne one might be good for us too. I try to avoid pop up books, though I know little ones love them. The thing is, I’m a little neurotic and freak out about the moving parts getting broken. Silly, isn’t it?

    Funny on the Amazon reviews someone complained about the lyrics only book. They said they couldn’t imagine anyone could want such a thing. Well, the fact is I don’t read music but I do like to have all the words so I can sing to my wee ones, so it is actually perfect for me.

    I think what I’ll probably do is get a few different books. One or two with nice pictures and one or two to fill in the gaps so I can have the words to the songs I don’t know.

    I think the next step might be coming up with a list of what songs I want and then making sure I’ve got them all covered. I’ll post my list when I’m done. That should be fun.

  • I feel the same about pop-up books, but occasionally I let one sneak in. My guess is that this one would be very nice, as Frances Lincoln is a very reliable publisher – Hark the Herald Angels is one of theirs, too. I thought you weren’t looking for music and that the Usborne one might do nicely. I think it would make a good pair with Hark the Herald Angels – one for beauty and one more of a work horse.

  • I think this may be the sort of thing you are looking for:

    There is a review here:

    While looking for that book (I knew the publisher, but couldn’t remember the title) I found this new pop-up book that looks rather fun: Dong! Merrily on High
    It includes 18 carols, each with a picture from the National Gallery of Art in London. It gives music as well as lyrics – a simple piano setting and guitar chords.

    Usborne also do some Christmas carol books, like this one:

    … and this, which is lyrics only:

  • Several years ago I bought a book called “Traditional Hymns” published by Henry Holt and Company. It is a beautiful, small book with illustrations from early Renaissance and late medieval artists. It was on the remainder table at Borders and cost me $4. It has a lot of Christmas carols and is divided into sections according to the liturgical year. It was originally published in England. You would probably enjoy it more than the girls at this point, though Bella will like the pretty pictures.
    For a reference book for the words to carols, you can’t beat “The Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols”.