Archive for December 2015

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2015

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I raise a glass of cheer and wish everyone health, happiness, and all good things in 2016!

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Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2015

 

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In the spirit of Christmas, I wish all of my readers a Happy Holiday. May you be surrounded by those you love. As Tiny Tim said, “God Bless Us, Every One!”

More Merry Reading

December 17, 2015

Two more of my favorite Christmas books are collections of stories, poems, and carols with dynamite illustrations. Diane Goode and Norman Rockwell are artists of renown. These books are Americana at its best.

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Diane Goode’s American Christmas and Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book provide readers of all ages with hours of entertainment and reading pleasure. When you open these books, you step into an old-fashioned Christmas.

Both books have classic Christmas carols with sheet music included. Both have stories and poems written by well-known authors. In Goode’s book, you can find authors such as Jayne Thayer, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Edgar Allen Poe and poets Langston Hughes, Aileen Fisher, e. e. cummings, and Clement C. Moore. In Rockwell’s more comprehensive book, there is a wealth of authors and poets such as O. Henry, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Ogden Nash, Robert Frost, and Lewis Carroll. Goode’s cheerful and expressive illustrations bring a smile to your lips, and Rockwell’s true-to-life illustrations touch your heart. The artistry of Goode and Rockwell paired with the stories, poems, and carols in each book make these a must for your holiday library.

 

Below are two “mini-novels” that I also adore and are well worth reading during the holidays. They will tug at your heartstrings.

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth

Grab a moment for yourself during this busy time and enjoy a great book.

 

 

My Holiday Favorites

December 10, 2015

For years, I’ve collected holiday books that intrigue and entertain me. The words within each book, the touch and smell of the pages, and the emotional high they deliver are the many things that help make my holiday experience magical. During the year, I keep those special books in my office library. During the holiday season, I display them in all the nooks and crannies of our home. My hope is that a family member or a visitor will pick one up and feel the same emotions I do when they read them.

Here are three of my picture book favorites.

Santa’s Favorite Story written by Hisako Aoki and illustrated by Ivan Gantschev. Soft watercolor illustrations help Santa tell the forest animals about the first Christmas and its true meaning – the gift of love.

An Ellis Island Christmas written by Maxinne Rhea Leighton and illustrated by Dennis Nolan. The Petrowski family has left Poland to travel to America to join their father. They arrive at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve and must go through the entry process before being reunited with their father. To young Krysia, the sights, sounds, and food are a new and, sometimes, frightening experience. A feeling of joy embraces Krysia when Papa arrives to take them to their new home. The illustrations, done in subdued colors, do an admirable job in depicting the immigrant experience of coming to America.

We Were There: A Nativity Story written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Wendell Minor. Bunting’s lyrical text and repetition provide readers with a look at some of the unusual creatures that might have traveled to see the Christ Child on that special night. Combined with Minor’s amazing paintings done in gouache and watercolors, author and illustrator have created a simple but memorable Nativity story that will captivate readers and keep them guessing where the creatures are headed.

 

Seasonal Board Books

December 3, 2015

If you’re in a quandary as to what to get those little kiddos for the holidays, here are a few book suggestions you might consider. After all, a book is a gift you can open again and again.

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No Two Alike written and illustrated by Keith Baker. Celebrate the season with two birds who take readers on a winter wonderland journey.

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The Mitten written and illustrated by Jan Brett. A lost mitten grows bigger and bigger as one animal after another squeeze into it. To the reader’s delight, an unexpected sneeze sends the animals and mitten flying.  Will that lost mitten be found by its owner? Read on and take joy in the beautiful wintry illustrations.

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If you like Alice Schertle’s (author) and Jill McElmurry’s (illustrator) Little Blue Truck, you’ll be sure to be entertained by  Little Blue Truck’s Christmas! Enjoy the spirit of the holiday with this delightful book. It has it all – rhyming text, animal sounds, counting, one, two, three, four, five, and a tree that lights up.

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Llama Llama Jingle Bells written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. Dewdney creates her magic once again in this holiday themed book that includes all the trimmings for a perfect celebration.

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Ten on a Sled written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff. Join in the fun-filled adventure as ten animals attempt a slippery ride down a snowy hill. Count them as they fall off – 10, 9, 8, 7 … By the time they reach the bottom, there is only one animal left. But don’t despair, all ends well.

If you’re interested in a book with a learning theme, you might want to check this out. The Misadventures of Cowhead:  Cowhead’s Big Move written by Charlene Peterson and illustrations by Kalpart.

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