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…

Christmas Playlist 2

Last year I shared a playlist of Christmas music I was listening to at the time. I'm still enjoying all of that music (especially Downe in Yon Forrest which is officially my favorite Christmas album ever), but there is also another sort of Christmas album to consider. These are the albums you listen to, not when you're sitting and enjoying a peaceful meal or sitting in front of your lit tree, but when you're in the hustle and bustle, wrapping, laughing, decorating, cooking. The fun, bouncy music that sets the mood for the season. This year, I'm posting a list of the fun, bouncy holiday music for the boisterous parts of the season.

1. Barenaked for the Holidays
I've been a Barenaked Ladies fan for a long time, and they never do things by halves. Their Holiday album is no exception. It is jam packed with fun, happy renditions of favorite Christmas songs, and a few of their own thrown in. This is one of our family's favorites at Christmas time (or Hannukah time for that matter).

2. A Very She & Him Christmas
This is the most low-key of the selections on this list, but when She & Him sing classic pop Christmas songs, they often do them better than the original. Their gender-swapped version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is hilarious.

3. Christmas with the Chipmunks
A true Christmas classic. I remember that even ALF listened to this for Christmas. (And if you're too young to remember ALF, I feel sorry for you.)

4. Veggie Tales Holiday Pack
Okay, so I'm cheating here. I like so many songs from both of the Veggie Tales Christmas albums, that I decided to choose both. "The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree" and "A Very Veggie Christmas" are staples in the Davis house.

5. Boogie Woogie Christmas
This is new to us this year, but I predict that Brian Setzer's  swing/blues renditions of Christmas songs are going to be with us for a long time. Our kids especially love his version of Jingle Bells.