Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

What’s Old is New Again…

Annual Toy Drive: The Underground Toy Society

Written and illustrated by Jessica D. Adams

This book is a delightful new version of The Underground Toy Society. This society is a group of toys that are no longer being used by their former owners. Together they work as one to find new homes to love them.

Children will love these adorable toys that act like human characters. When the toys find their way to a toy store, they are excited to find a donation box for Christmas toys. Their hopes are dashed when they discover the toys must be new.

I love the section that describes how these toys make themselves new again. Will these toys find a way into the hearts of new children owners?

Adorable illustrations and characters will make this book a new holiday favorite. Recommended for a Christmas story or any time of the year.

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THE TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

Belle’s Christmas Surprise

Written by Carrie Joy Schafer Krause

Illustrated by Stef

This children’s picture book is beautifully illustrated with soft colors and detailed images of a close-knit family living in a small cabin on the Canadian prairie at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Belle is one of eight children living with her parents. Christmas is nearly here. She is excited. Each family member receives one small gift. Belle cherishes her delightful wiener treat. When she wakes up the next morning, her gift has disappeared! Will her Christmas be spoiled? Read the heartwarming tale to find out.

This multicultural book entertains and educates children. They learn a bit of history, culture and family traditions. Bonus activities include a find the hidden picture on each page, discussion questions for parents and teachers to use after reading, a Christmas cookie recipe, and instructions for a walnut Christmas decoration.

I recommend this book for elementary school and middle school children and their families or classrooms to share.

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SHORT AND SWEET

The Mystery of Santa Claus

Written by Paul Moxham

Will is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at his grandparents house. His three best friends, Joe, Amy, and Sarah have joined him.

The foursome venture out to check out the scene of a recent accident in which a tree fell on a vehicle narrowly missing killing the driver. They are distracted when their dog follows another dog. Of course, they need to investigate the urgency. When they come upon a man dressed as Santa Claus in the snow, the mystery deepens. It’s Christmas Eve and the snow is falling. How will the children be able to rescue the injured driver and solve the mystery?

This thirty page short story is a page turned. Although it is written for middle-grade audiences, I could not put the book down. American readers should note that this book is written in British English, but it is an easy read.

I highly recommend adding it to your holiday reading list.

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THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS

Ninja Life Hacks 12 Days of Christmas

Written by Mary Nhin

Illustrated by Jelena Stupar

What a delightful holiday edition to the Ninja series!

In this book, the Ninja’s send their holiday wishes to Santa. Following the format of the Holiday Song, one wish is added for each of the twelve days of Christmas. This children’s wish list includes a vacation to the beach, pet wishes, toy wishes, and favorite foods.

Readers can read or sing along while they interactively count the objects in this picture book to checkup whether the author is correct. A fun book for older and younger siblings to share or for a classroom read aloud to celebrate the upcoming holidays.

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#Reality Check

Unicorn for Christmas: Teach Kids About Giving

Written by Sigal Adler

Illustrated by Abira Das

Christmas is nearly upon the castle. Princess Lily already possesses every material object she could want or need. When she decides to request a unicorn for a Christmas gift, the king and queen scour the kingdom to fulfill her request. Up to now, her demands have been met.

To their chagrin, the royal couple cannot fulfill her request. The king commissions the royal seamstress to make a unicorn costume. He places the costume on various animals to deceive the princess. She is not pleased. After many days pass, Lily realizes how hard her parents tried to please her. She hugs them and gives thanks to them for being wonderful parents.

The illustrations are vivid and expressive. They communicate the underlying message. My one criticism is that I would have liked to see her change in point of view explained more clearly in the text.

Parents of preschoolers and primary grade children who are exasperated with children who expect too much will love this holiday book. Suggested as a read-aloud or bedtime story.

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PERFECT GIFT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

The Tree Within the Tree

Written and Illustrated by Sally Huss

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Sally places her message for this story right on the cover: The Importance of Appreciation. Alexander and Charlotte have only two dollars between them. They are walking through a Christmas tree lot on Christmas Eve. The owner informs them that they only have enough money to consider a tree on a pile of rubbish in the corner. There the two children discover a scraggly tree that desperately wanted to become a Christmas tree to make a family happy. The family is poor but determined to embellish their tree. As the tree gazes at the worn furniture and scanty possessions, it is amazed by how family members gather popcorn, aluminum and personal possessions to transform the scrawny tree into the most beautiful tree inside and outside.

Illustrations are simple and classic; this book will not only place smiles on the faces of preschoolers and primary school children, but remind children and adults alike to appreciate the little things and not become embroiled in the materialistic side of Christmas. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud for students and families to share.

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IT’S A DOG’S LIFE X 5

A Night at the Animal Shelter

Written by Mark J. Asher

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Sweet Christmas tale centering on the plight of five dogs who now find themselves at Blithedale Animal Shelter on Christmas Eve. These five animals narrate the story: Maizie, a four month old Black Lab puppy, Dutch, an eleven year old mixed breed, Raider, a three year old pit bull, Peg, a six year old lame Chihuahua, and Georgie, a seven year old Golden Retriever. Each of these animals have been given up for various reasons they deem to be no fault of their own. On Christmas Eve, their favorite volunteer Ginny is feeling blue, but willing to spend time comforting the animals. Maizie discovers her cage door is left ajar. She will soon be persuaded to let her friends out for a few hours of fun and mischief. Christmas comes and goes; none of the animals seem destined for adoption. In January a visitor to the shelter will leave them behind once more, but provide them with an unforeseen opportunity.

The personification of the animals and their dialogue is both humorous and realistic. It is obvious that the author has a good handle on human and canine behavior. He has written nine books about dogs. This short, sweet and heartwarming tale is a good choice for a holiday read or for any age reader, especially one who loves dogs.

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OF CHRISTMASES PAST AND PRESENT

Christmas Healing (Healing the Regime Book 1)

Written by Morris Fenris and Jasmine Bowen

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A bittersweet holiday novella that combines elements of paranormal, horror and romance within a holiday setting. Eighteen year old Annalise led a carefree life as a pretty, popular teen until she was diagnosed with leukemia. Unable to pay her mounting medical bills, she assumes the unusual post of teaching modern technology and cultural customs to a family of vampires. Dr. Hever, the head of the Hever clan becomes her physician. Her life is turned upside down once more when she is summoned by the King of the Vampires to teach his brother Arthur, who has just awakened from a 1000 year sleep. Annalise is terrified. She slowly falls in love with Arthur, but her illness proceeds rapidly to Stage IV cancer. When she is whisked away to the hospital, both she and Arthur are devastated.

The plot sounds far fetched, but the authors succeed in making it palatable, for the most part. Reader’s emotions rise and fall as the conflict tears the two families apart. Annalise thought she was in love with Tony Hever; her fleeting life has been turned upside down by her deep feelings for Arthur. The ending is a surprise. Wonder what will happen in the second book of the series.

Recommended for young adult and adult audiences looking for an unusual but entertaining short holiday read.

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MONKEYING AROUND

The 3 Monkeys Christmas Treehouse (Monkey Tales Book 5)

Written by Rob “Nanook” Natiuk

3Monkeys,pic

This is my first time reading a book in this series. Delightful story about three monkey siblings, Booey, Fooey and Hooey and their Jungle friends. The book is an interactive reading experience with ample opportunities for the reader to pause and allow the listeners to blurt out their responses by repeating, singing, or animating the sounds and actions of the characters in the stories.

In the first tale the three siblings receive a gift from their Grandpa Monk. At first they are puzzled by the red, white and green Christmas balls and stringed lights. Booey, the female, figures out they must be ornaments for a Christmas tree like the one she saw in the town. So they set off to find the perfect Christmas tree. Readers will meet some of their friends like the gorilla, crocodile and turtle. In the end, they find the perfect tree right under their noses. Tale two finds our friends looking over their Christmas list. As they travel to Coconut Town, they sing clever monkey songs adapted to familiar Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” They knock on doors of animal friends seeking to find the true meaning of Christmas. Finally, they discover that, “ A friend in need is a friend indeed.” In tale three, wise old Grandpa Monk tells his grandchildren the story of Santa Paws in the Jungle with his circus wagon pulled by eight zebras. Will the siblings find presents under the tree? The fourth tale speaks of the let down feeling many of us experience in the days after Christmas. Our friends have already tired of their presents; they ponder their New Year’s Resolutions. What do they share with their readers?

This book is perfect for elementary school children. Older siblings can read to younger brothers and sisters or the family can share the reading experience. Young children will love the repetition and songs. I will be reading other books in this series. Very entertaining, clever, and highly recommended.

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