Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The First of Many Things

First Day of December, First Day of Hanukkah, First Snowfall
All in one beautiful winter's day!

The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
I have long been curious about all of Gaarder's titles (e.g., Sophie's World) but this is the only one I've read so far. Gerry's mom placed it beside my bed when we went to England for Christmas 2002, so I read it to myself that year, and then the next year to Ben and Sam as a read-aloud for Advent 2003. The cover is brightly illustrated to resemble an Advent Calender, with miniature pictures of angels, castles, ships, sheep. Each chapter begins with a similar illustration, opening the door to another place and time. We followed along on a world map to track the fascinating progress of the characters, as each day they crossed another threshold, disappearing into world history. We learned so much on this intriguing journey and could hardly wait to see how the mystery would resolve itself on Christmas Eve.
See my book blog for more Holiday Favorites.


  1. Dear Kitty,
    This is one of our favorites too, and we also once made a ritual of reading a chapter every night. Our cover is different though. I never saw the Advent Calendar. Flannery was so distressed that our copy had disappeared that she ordered a used copy online, which arrived just before she went back to school after Thanksgiving. So you know there's at least one other person in Indiana reading the first chapter today.
    Happy Advent!
    xxx Ann

  2. Dear Ann,

    That makes me so happy to know that we have this book in common! Does Flannery's new copy have the little pictures? There are SO many editions! The copy Gerry's mom gave me is blue with just 12 of the pictures on the front. I ordered my next one from amazon used (the one scanned above) and got all the pictures, front & back. But it didn't show that way on the amazon order page; it was just good fortune.
    Happy Advent to you too! XO, K.