Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Picture Book Round-up: Christmas Edition II

TEN MORE Lovely Christmas-themed Children's Storybooks
See our TOP TEN from 2012 here.

Santa Claus and the Three Bears, Maria Modugno
Scrumminess, hot off the press, this year!  This gorgeous title didn't feature on last year's top ten list because it wasn't published yet!  It came out this September, and was only added to our public library collection a week before I reserved it.  Haki even commented on the illustrations.  It is a fantastic twist on Goldilocks.  In fact, I think it kind of superior...given there is no real cause for a certain blonde's home invasion, whereas the man in red has been invited in, worldwide, has he not? /wink  Also, Santa is more Clement Clarke Moore and a little less Coca Cola and there's some priceless humour.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Susan Wojciechowski
Illustrator P.J. Lynch is one talented human.  You know from that cover this is going to be good.  Check out the kid's concentration-tongue!  And Susan Dub. deserves such artwork to accompany this beautiful story, to be sure.  Sometimes I find other-time tales (and their vocabulary) become less accessible, with time (the next title on this list requires a lot of "translating" by you, as a parent...heck, I needed to google a few expression before I knew what was goin' on); not so with the Toomey tale.  Careful reading this if you're hormonal or missing someone in your life, you might just cry.  P.S. This has great nativity content that feels relevant and magical.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, Gloria Houston
A touching labour-of-love story, while dated by its language (see above), well worth reading.
Slinky Malinki's Christmas Crackers, Lynley Dodd
I had to include a NZ title, and Lynley Dodd is a champion.  Slinky Malinki isn't my favourite of her characters, but there is something special about her illustrations and rhymes.
A Perfect Chirpy Christmas, Kyle Mewburn
Another title new to our library's shelves, this one is quite different.  The spirit of Christmas is in here in a very real sense, but for all of the chirpiness and colour within, there's quite a mighty moral to be gleaned!
Dream Snow, Eric Carle
Aw, Eric Carle, we go way back. You, my friends, will know Brown Bear, Brown Bear or The Hungry Caterpillar, I'm sure (and no doubt more).  This is a great one for younger readers (who will enjoy lifting blankets of snow, within), but the funny simplicity of the first read is good for all. 
Peter Spier's Christmas!
Illustrations only and from another time, this book reads like a "How to..." guide for living the Christmas ideal (including suggesting being charitable as part of your family traditions).  Very sweet, and a great discussion-starter for different ways we can celebrate the season.
The Polar Express, Chris van Allsburg
Classic.  The thing I like best about this story?  The simplicity of the gift the boy asks for. 
Stick Man, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Oh my, this book is a fun treat.  I am really digging the Donaldson-Scheffler canon, right now!  Get it out now, and see for yourself.  I'm laughing just looking at that cover!  LOVE IT!
The Watchmaker Who Saved Christmas, Bruce Whatley
The stylised illustrations in this are fantasmo, and the story is refreshing in its particulars and twist on the norm.  Spoiler: a young human isn't the one granted the backstage pass this Christmas Eve!
Stella and I have done this in tandem again!  Swing by her lovely space to see her Christmas book picks from last year and her must-reads for 2013
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