The book behind the virtual door of our virtual Advent calendar on Day Four is this adorable little book, written by Margaret Wise Brown in 1952. You remember Miss Brown from her classic bedtime books, Goodnight, Moon and The Runaway Bunny, both illustrated by Clement Hurd. This edition of Christmas in the Barn is illustrated by the equally famously fabulous Barbara Cooney; alas it is out of print. the link will take you to a more recently published edition (equally cute, but not evocative of my childhood the way this one is).
This simple little book tells the Nativity story for very young children, often using words from traditional Christmas carols and hymns. Mommy or Daddy might just start singing the words to this book during story time -- it's hard to stop yourself! A very satisfying book.
Here is Day Five's story, and oh, my goodness -- I love this book! Snow Party is written by Harriet Ziefert -- a favorite author in our family because she wrote our beloved A New Coat For Anna. Here, the simple story is really the backdrop for the gorgeous illustrations by Mark Jones (Zeifert waited to publish the book until she had the right illustrator -- what a good decision!).
This is one of those books that kids (even pre-readers) will pore over, because the level of detail in each image is so lovely. A fabulous find -- I just wish I had experienced it with my own urchins when they were small.