Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Advent Poem 6

There are, and have been for many years, well-meaning but misguided Christians who believe that celebrating Christmas is sinful: Oliver Cromwell, the pilgrims at Plymouth Plantation, people who have Banner of Truth books on their shelves, etc... Jeff Meyers has been taking time on his blog to debunk their arguments. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 For those who are not up to wading through the whole discussion, Chesterton's good friend Hilaire Belloc wrote a much shorter, more playful response to Christmas detractors.

From Four Men
by Hilaire Belloc

Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
A Catholic tale have I to tell;
And a Christian song have I to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pray detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink audit ale in heaven with me,
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel!

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