Beverly Lewis is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 90 books, including THE BRIDESMAID, the second installment in her Home to Hickory Hollow series. Here, she recalls the Christmas Eve when she and her three children fell in love with Jan Brett’s THE MITTEN as they read it together by the fire.
I couldn't help it. I simply couldn't wait for Santa's arrival.
So, I gave my three young children an early gift that Christmas Eve.
My three J's (including one set of boy/girl twins) curled up next to me in front of the fireplace and unwrapped the book. Very soon we found ourselves enraptured by Jan Brett's dazzling illustrations and remarkable storytelling in THE MITTEN.
The twins' little eyes grew wider as each new animal squeezed into the mitten. All of us held our breath, watching...waiting as the story unfolded, accompanied by my silly change of voice for each animal as it appeared.
"Mommy's so funny," my oldest daughter said, giggling.
"Shh!" the twins shushed her, leaning closer to the magical pages.
Of course, this wasn't the first book I'd ever given my children, but it was the most captivating to date. Through the years since, we've collected nearly every one of Jan Brett's masterpieces.
I'll always remember the Christmas Eve we lit extra candles on the mantel, placed several more logs on the fire, and let Julie, Janie and Jonathan unwrap a very special early gift. While the snow silently fell that lovely night, we joyfully embraced our tradition of reading as a family while waiting for Santa. And together, we quite happily fell into THE MITTEN.