The geese are getting fat!
(Did anyone else learn that song from the Muppet Christmas record?)
Tons of winter holiday stories are published every year. Given the sheer number of Christmas books in our collection, I look at the new titles with a critical eye. I'm looking for Christmas/Hanukkah books that have something unique about them. I'm hoping that children and parents will find these books an enjoyable part of their holiday reading:
12 Days of Christmas
We have several book versions of this popular Christmas song, so buying yet another version requires that the book has a unique perspective. Fortunately, this version is by Rachel Isadora, well-known for bringing new perspectives to classics. The carol has an African setting (not changing the lyrics), which makes for a vivid presentation. The illustrations are bright, lively, and fun, in Isadora's typical style.
The 12 Days of Christmas in Virginia
Through a series of letters to his younger sister, William shares his knowledge about Virginia landmarks and facts while spending 12 days in Virginia.
Captain Sky Blue
Jack receives an awesome toy action figure, Captain Sky Blue, for Christmas. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm separates the two, causing Jack to go on a great adventure to rescue Captain Sky Blue.
Dewey's Christmas at the Library
Did you think I could pass this up?
The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories
I don't know a lot about this one; apparently, it's a collection of Christmas comics from "comic's golden age (which I'm guessing is 1930s-50s?)." Lots of comics about Santa, elves, Christmas trees, etc. Sounds pretty cool; I'm eager to see it.
It's Christmas, David!
A new David story, and a Christmas one at that!
Jackie's Gift: A True Story of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson's neighbor tells him that he doesn't have a Christmas tree. Being a warmhearted guy, he buys a tree for his neighbor, and then learns the real reason why Steve's family doesn't have a Christmas tree. Based on a true story and written by Sharon Robinson, Jackie's Robinson's daughter, this is a lovely story of cross-cultural understanding.
La Noche Buena
When Nina visits her Cuban-born grandmother in Florida, she learns about her father's favorite childhood Christmas traditions and food. Not only is this a darling multicultural book, it's one of the few Christmas books that isn't awash in a winter wonderland. As someone who grew up in southeastern Louisiana, this is something that I notice!
Llama Llama Holiday Drama
My sister asked me for a book gift recommendation for the toddler daughter of her high school friend (and my "big sister" in my freshman year of high school). I recommended Llama Llama Red Pajama, and thankfully, it was a huge hit, requiring several immediate rereads. And for good reason; it's just one of those books that toddlers *love* with crazy abandon. It's a fantastic read aloud, and the llama is a funny guy (plus, it's fun to say llama). Luckily, the little llama dude is back for some holiday fun.
Merry Christmas, Merry Crow
A crow gathers shiny discarded things for a Christmas tree. I haven't seen this one yet, but the reviews say that it's a beautiful story. Appelt is well-known for her evocative language, so that's no surprise.
If you're looking for Christmas gift book suggestions for children, teens, and adults, pick up our annual booklists for ideas when you're next in the library.