My very favorite holiday book is, sadly, out of print.
The Ernest and Celestine books by Gabrielle Vincent are, quite frankly, the cutest books I’ve ever read. I will forever thank my mom for somehow tracking down Ernest and Celestine, Ernest and Celestine’s Picnic, and Merry Christmas, Ernest and Celestine when I was an infant, since they seem almost impossible to come by nowadays.
Ernest is a bear and Celestine is a mouse. Are they father and daughter? Just friends? Why are all the “adults” bears and all the “children” mice? Are they really adults and children? These questions are irrelevant. In all the books, the story text is entirely dialogue, with the detailed and engaging illustrations providing the rest.
Merry Christmas, Ernest and Celestine finds my favorite animals at the brink of economic crisis. How can they afford to make a nice Christmas for themselves and their friends?
In fact, they don’t need money—all they need is the simple belief that good acts will inspire love and enjoyment, a true Christmas lesson. They take a tree from the woods, decorate their house with paper chains and ornaments, and draw pictures as present for their little mice guests. Everyone has a great time!
Alright, let’s take a beat. After rereading this post, I realize that my summary reads a little snarkily. I really don’t mean it that way! I just don’t encounter such genuinely sweet books often enough to be able to justifiably write about them.
In all honesty, if you can get your hands on a copy of an Ernest and Celestine book, buy it immediately for the most special little person in your life. Or yourself. I promise you won’t regret it.