Saturday, November 19, 2011

Picture Book Saturday: Christmas books are arriving!

Every other year I've waited until the weekend after Thanksgiving to post about holiday books, but this year I thought I might start a little early. I've had the chance to check out a lot of fabulous books and I want to make sure you have plenty of time to get your hands on them! Parents, I know you'll be at your bookstores and libraries looking for books to make the kids happy this month, so take a look at these and hopefully you'll see something intriguing.

Oh, What a Christmas! by Michael Garland

I've always really liked Michael Garland as both an author and an illustrator. His books are funny, have silly illustrations, and get the reader hooked from the first page. His "Miss Smith" books are still some of my favorite to recommend.

This one is all about Santa losing his reindeer! Just as they are set to take off for their night of gift delivering, the sleigh separates from the flying reindeer, leaving Santa stranded. Luckily, he and the sleigh crash-land right next to a barn filled with animals, all very willing to help Santa out for the night.

A sleigh led by pigs, sheep, and cows may not be conventional, but the animals do a great job and are handsomely rewarded by Santa at the end. Cute!

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Oh, What a Christmas!
Michael Garland
40 pages
Picture Book
Scholastic Press
September 2011
Review copy provided by publisher

Joy to the World: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe by Saviour Pirotta and illustrator Sheila Moxley

I love reading of other traditions from around the world during the holidays and this story collection would be a nice family read leading up to Christmas. It has stories from Mexico, Ghana, Malta, Syria, and Russia, definitely giving global coverage!

Some of the stories are a bit long for younger children to sit still and listen to, though the vibrant illustrations may help to hold their attention to the page. A great author's note is included, expanding on the specific country traditions and where the stories came from.

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Joy to the World: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe
Saviour Pirotta
48 pages
Picture Book
Frances Lincoln
July 2011
Review copy provided by publisher

Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker by Mary Engelbreit

I love the story of the Nutcracker (though I've never seen the ballet or a theatrical production) and Engelbreit's illustrations are some of my favorites. The story is not a whole lot different than other renditions I've read, except possibly being a bit more on the whimsical end, great for reading aloud as a family before the holidays!

The addition of the super-detailed illustrations Engelbreit is known for makes this a great gift to give for the holidays or to present to a young child before going to see the ballet. Some of the books I've seen have a tendency to lean towards the darker side the story, but this is bright, magical, and a lot of fun. A lovely book!

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Buy from Powells

Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker
Mary Engelbreit
40 pages
Picture Books
November 2011
Review copy provided by publisher

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