Growing up, I always looked forward to receiving a haul of books
from Santa - who knew very well that this book loving girl needed a
lot of material to get her through the long, cold winter months. I
fondly remember wiling away hours cuddled up under the Christmas
tree with a good book, or two, or three.
So, to help Santa out a little, here are my top seven picks for
fun, new holiday reads, all available at amazon.com, bn.com, or
better yet, at your local bookseller or library.
Tag along with a band of Christmas elves that strive to make
people's lives better in the days leading up to Christmas in the The Helpful Elves by August Kopisch. The story
itself is based on a turn-of-the-century poem by Kopisch; the cute,
die-cut elves peeking out over each page give the book itself a
retro feel . Ages 2 - 7
The amazing animal and insect photography of Curious Critters by David Fitzsimmons leads
children to the answers of such questions as Can squirrels fly? and
What do turtles and humans have in common? David FitzSimmons'
stunning photography is simply brilliant; he manages to capture
creatures at their magnificent, natural best. Set this book on your
coffee table for browsing throughout the year. All ages
In Santa's New Idea, by Nina Chen, Santa mixes
Christmas up a bit when he decides to let the toys choose the
children! This simple board book is perfect for toddlers and early
preschoolers. Ages 2 - 5
Merry Christmas, Mr. Snowman
by Wolfgang Hamel tells the tale of a group of
schoolchildren building a snowman on Christmas Eve. When the
weather turns too hot for Mr. Snowman, it's time to take the party
outdoors. Ages 2 - 7
Nutcracker Ballet, written and illustrated by Chicagoan
Aleksandra Efinmova, a former ballerina, is the perfect
accompaniment for a first trip to the eponymous ballet. Classical
illustrations and easy-to-read text introduce children to the
wonders and stories behind classical ballet. Efinmova has also
penned Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, both primers to the world or
ballet, as part of her continuing Growing through Arts series of
books, cd's and toys focused on the classical arts (growingthroughthearts.com) Ages 3 - 10
Sister Bear: A Norse Tale, by award-winning,
bestselling author Jane Yolen, is a lovely take on a traditional
Norwegian folktale. When a young Norwegian girl, Halva, takes in an
abandoned bear cub as her unofficial sister, she disovers a kindred
spirit. Follow along as this bear/girl duo sled through the snow,
frolic and fight a band of giant trolls. The rich illustrations of
Linda Graves will transport you to wintertime in Scandinavia. Ages
Forget about the frilly, prissy princesses! Learn the truth
behind some of history's most notorious women in Goosebottom Books'
new series, The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Dastardly
Dames. From the atrocious Agrippina to the bold Black Queen
Catherine de 'Medici, these books charm with their fun take on some
of history's most challenging rulers, bringing them back to life by
detailing what they wore, ate, and why they made certain, often
downright nasty, choices. Maps, photos and historic artifacts
supply the historical context. Currently available titles in the
series introduce young readers to Cleopatra, Agrippina, Mary Tudor,
Catherine de' Medici, Marie Antoinette, and Cixi, the Dragon
Amy Bizzarri is a teacher, a writer, and a mom of two. She
lives in Logan Square and blogs at tiramisumom.com.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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