When I was little, I remember being so excited about the approach of Christmas that I could barely contain the anticipation. Christmas is also my birthday, so it was like a double helping of expectation. Here is a book review and author interview for a book that helps spread the fun of expectation, “Ten Days Till Christmas.”
This same insight led children’s author Carine Roch to launch her series of picture books called “Ten Days Till.” Each book is centered on anticipating a different moment that is special in kids’ lives: a vacation, a birthday, the birth of a new baby, and the newest, “Ten Days Till Christmas.” The books are all cleverly designed so that you can hang them on the wall and flip one page each day, helping your child keep track of how many days are left until the big event
The Christmas book is out just in time for this holiday season and will be a great addition to your family’s Yuletide traditions. The bright and colorful illustrations are by illustrator Marilia Poggiali and cover lovely scenes related to the big event that kids will find relatable. Check it out at https://www.tendaystill.com/ten-days-till-christmas/.
Carine shared some insights with me about her inspiration for the books here:
What was the original inspiration for the series?
Many Christmases ago, I was hoping to find a Christmas story to fill my little girl’s advent calendar. (What a strange idea you may be thinking. Well, I felt she had had enough chocolates. And she loved stories.) But I couldn’t find such a story (divided into 25 parts, one for each day). So I wrote it! I made it a little shorter though, and came up with the book series “Ten Days Till…” Today my daughter is a grown-up, but she’s still happy to give me feedback on the story.
What is it about these books that your readers like about them particularly?
I think kids like counting down and anticipating a special event. It makes the special moment last longer than just one day! I remember when one of my daughters turned 4, she had been waiting and waiting for her birthday. At the end of that beautiful day, she suddenly realized “what? Is it already finished? When I wake up tomorrow, my birthday will be gone!”
Did you do anything as a child to mark the time leading up to big events?
No! When I was a child, we were not really anticipating special events, and as a parent, I have tried to get my kids more involved in the preparation of events, because I feel that a lot happens during “the waiting and getting ready”. We can get very excited!
With your children, do you have any activities that you do to increase their anticipation before big events?
We do a lot of crafts, for example we had fun (and it was so easy!) making pointy hats for my daughter’s last birthday. We’ll bake Christmas cookies and make Christmas cards. Christmas is the perfect time of year to get children involved. There are so many ways for them to be active in its preparation! And they’re proud to be able to help.
Are there any details in your books that have special meaning just for you or your family?
Yes, there are lots of details, big or small, that have special meaning to our family. The summer vacation book reminds me of my summer vacation as a little girl: the wonderful French market, the sea and sand castles. I also valorize the idea of sharing simple and inexpensive activities with our children. I try to keep the content of my books as simple as possible. The magician in the birthday book is not a professional magician. It’s Dad, playing a puppet show. The bug box in the summer book is fun and anyone can make it. No need to spend money to have fun. A lot of the Christmas scenes are what I call “quality time”. Baking with Grandma. Singing. Being with family.
As a teacher, I also like to play with words. In every book, I you’ll find something different: synonyms, words ending with the same letter, an acrostic, colors… This is an encouragement to play with words, anytime, anywhere.
If you’d like to know more about the book series, please visit https://www.tendaystill.com/
About Carine Roch:
Carine Roch taught creative writing literature in Switzerland and has led numerous writing courses and workshops over the years. She has always tried to develop and encourage good writing and reading habits by playing and having fun with words, with their sound, shape or meaning.
She now lives in San Francisco where she is on staff as a storyteller in French and English in the most inspiring children’s bookstore.
Above all, as a mother of three, she has fun anticipating big and small moments in life.