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Monday, November 16, 2020

Books To Read And Give This Holiday Season


The holiday season is upon us and, if you're looking for books to give this year, then you're in luck! Today I'm sharing some wonderful books perfect for the young readers in your life...


Giving Thanks



Peppa Pig and the Day of Giving Thanks 

Candlewick Entertainment 

Ages 2-5 

  

Peppa Pig and her brother, George, are out for a nature walk with Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig. It’s a beautiful fall day, and there are so many things to be thankful for—the blue sky above, the trees full of apples, the pumpkins, the fallen leaves that are so fun to play in. When a rainstorm catches Peppa and her family by surprise in the middle of their walk, Peppa doesn’t feel quite so lucky. Will the rain ruin their perfect autumn day? Or will it leave a surprise that Peppa might be grateful for after all? Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Peppa story that little ones everywhere will appreciate, inspired by the award-winning animated TV series on Nick Jr. 



Hanukkah




The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol 

by Arthur A Levine 

illustrated by Kevin Hawkes 

Candlewick Press 

Ages 5-8 

  

Nate Gadol is a great big spirit with eyes as shiny as golden coins and a smile that is lantern bright. He can make anything last as long as it is needed, like a tiny bit of oil that must stretch for eight nights, a flower that needs to stay fresh to cheer up someone ailing, or a small lump of chocolate that grows to allow the Glasers to treat their children over the holiday and, during a harsh winter when medicine is needed more than sweets, spurs them to share what little they have with the O’Malleys. In this charming holiday hybrid story, well-known children’s author and editor Arthur A. Levine pairs with award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes to offer a mythical, magical take on the way Jewish families came to give and receive gifts over Hanukkah, just as their Christian neighbors do at Christmas, thanks to a loving spirit named Nate Gadol working behind the scenes—together with a certain jolly old soul. 



Christmas





Christmas is Joy 

by Emma Dodd 

Templar Books 

Ages 2-5 


 Emma Dodd’s joyful celebration of this wonderful time of year, as seen through the eyes of two reindeer, is a pure delight. 


 An enchanting celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring two adorable reindeer. 




Mouse’s Night Before Christmas 

by Tracey Corderoy 

illustrated by Sarah Massini 

Nosy Crow 

Ages 2-5 

  

It's Christmas Eve, and everyone is fast asleep except for a lonely mouse that lives in the grandfather clock. When Santa arrives, lost in a blizzard and called by Mouse’s wish, it’s Mouse who is there to show Santa the way. Together they embark on a magical sleigh ride, delivering presents all around town. But the best present of all is for Mouse: his wish to make a new friend to share Christmas Day with has finally come true. 



Gigantosaurus 

The Holiday Party 

Candlewick Entertainment 

Ages 3-7 

  

It’s the shortest day of the year, and Mazu, Tiny, Rocky, and Bill are feeling awfully gloomy. When the sun rises so late and sets so early, there’s barely enough daylight to do anything, let alone something fun. So when Tiny decides to cheer everyone up with an extravagant holiday party, all of the dinosaurs in Cretacea are excited—and Tiny even invites the fearsome Giganto. But a last-minute bash is tough to pull off, and pretty soon everything from the decorations to the presents has gone wrong. Can Tiny salvage it all and throw the holiday party she promised? 




Dinosaur Christmas! 

by Penny Dale 

Nosy Crow 

Ages 2-5 

  

Our favorite dinosaurs are back, and this time they must save Santa Claus from a snowstorm! Join them as they plow the road, whizz down a mountain on snowmobiles, zoom through the icy water on a hovercraft, and much more! But where is Santa? And will they manage to dig out his sleigh in time for Christmas day? 




Jasmine Green Rescues 

A Kitten Called Holly 

by Helen Peters 

illustrated by Ellie Snowdon 

Walker Books US 

Ages 7-9 

  

On her family’s farm, Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, find the ideal clubhouse for their animal rescue group. But much to their surprise, the shed is already home to a feral cat and her three kittens. When the mother cat leaves, abandoning one of her babies, Jasmine and Tom feel compelled to step in and raise the tiny kitten. But with a house full of rescued animals—and a veterinarian mother who has reached her limit—will Jasmine be able to keep another pet? Or is it someone else’s turn to make a new animal friend? A holiday backdrop and some lighthearted family mayhem add to the charm of this feline-focused addition to the Jasmine Green Rescues series—perfect for readers who think that animals are the best gift of all. 

  




The Three Wishes: A Christmas Story 

By Alan Snow 

Pavilion 


From the creator of The Boxtrolls comes a haunting, beautifully told, and stunningly illustrated Santa Claus origin story. This gorgeous Christmas holiday tale feels like it has always existed. 
 
As you read this magical story, you gradually realize that all of the Santa's characteristics are being explained--from his red coat, to the flying reindeer and sleigh, how he gets around the world in one night, and why he leaves presents. 
 
A young boy is herding his family's reindeer when the boy is drawn into a mysterious cave. The cave is the holder of eternal summer, looked after by three strange characters: a wooden creature, a bird, and a fish. Once entered, the cave cannot be left without time in the outside world standing still. In his sadness at not being able to leave, the boy is granted three wishes and chooses freedom, happiness, and time. He is told that they will all be granted--eventually. 
 
After the first year of working hard in the summer cave, the boy is allowed to see his family in the outside world. Time stands still as he visits his parents, and he leaves gifts behind to show that he has visited. As the years go by, this annual visit continues, and he begins to call on not only his parents but more and more other families...and Christmas traditions, as we know them, start to be created. 



Books That Make Great Gifts



My Favorite Color 

I Can Only Pick One? 

by Aaron Becker 

Candlewick Press 

Ages 4-8 

  

People always ask for your favorite color. But who said you can only have one? Open this gorgeous board book to find an ode to ever-changing colors, offering a spectrum of hues evoking the sun, the sea, clouds, and dew-dappled fruit. In colorful grids of small squares—some translucent inserts, some painted on the page—Aaron Becker uses layering to make colors shift and transition from spread to mesmerizing spread. As fun to look at as an alluring paint-chip display and as inspiring as an artful concept book can be, My Favorite Color promises to be a favorite, well-thumbed read and a prized art object in itself. 

  

  

 


  

This is a Book of Shapes 

by Kenneth Kraegel 

Candlewick Press 

Ages 2-5 

  

First comes the circle. Then the square and the triangle. Then the . . . emu pushing a pancake wagon down a hill? What begins as a concept book about everyone’s geometric favorites soon defies expectations with a series of funny and imaginative twists. Award-winning author-illustrator Kenneth Kraegel pairs a deadpan text with simple wood-grained shapes, interspersed with vibrant illustrations of animals engaged in hilariously absurd pastimes. Each page turn builds on the delicious anticipation the contrast creates to make this a unique and rollicking story-time hit. 

  

  

 



Paper Peek: Animals 

by Chihiro Takeuchi 

Candlewick Studio 

Ages 0-3 

  

Head to Africa, with its bountiful wildlife. Can you spot one lion, two giraffes, four zebras, and more among the teeming herds? When visiting South America, do you see one sloth, three toucans, and five armadillos? How about two tigers in Asia, three emperor penguins in Antarctica, five wolves in Europe, and other creatures in Oceania, North America, and the wide oceans? Featuring hundreds of small graphic animal shapes forming dizzying patterns, this colorful, stylish board book promises hours of engagement and a world of discovery and delight on every page. 

  

  

 


  

See the Cat 

Three Stories About a Dog 

by David LaRochelle 

illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka 

Candlewick Press 

Ages 4-8 

  

See Max. Max is not a cat—Max is a dog. But much to Max’s dismay, the book keeps instructing readers to “see the cat.” How can Max get through to the book that he is a DOG? In a trio of stories for beginning readers, author David LaRochelle introduces the excitable Max, who lets the book know in irresistibly emphatic dialogue that the text is not to his liking. Illustrator Mike Wohnoutka hilariously depicts the pup’s reactions to the narrator and to the wacky cast of characters who upend Max’s—and readers’—expectations as the three stories build to an immensely satisfying conclusion. Hooray, Max, hooray! 

  

  

 


  

Anatomicum 

Welcome to the Museum 

by Jennifer Z. Paxton 
illustrated by Katy Wiedemann 

Big Picture Press 

Ages 8-12 

  

Welcome to a museum that is always open to explore. Inside these pages you’ll get a peek at the workings of the major systems of the human body, from the minute muscles used to convey emotion to precise workings of the human brain. With stunning artwork by Katy Wiedemann and expert text by Dr. Jennifer Z. Paxton, this beautiful book makes anatomical knowledge both accessible and beautiful. 

  

  

  

 


The Language of the Universe 

A Visual Exploration of Mathematics 

by Colin Stuart 

Illustrated by Ximo Abadia 

Big Picture Press 

Ages 8-12 

  

Designed to present mathematics in a new, approachable way, this book explores the history and application of math in the natural world. With incredible artwork from Ximo Abadía, the reader can visualize atoms, explore the geometric complexity of beehives, and wonder at the movement of the planets. With engaging, easy-to-understand text by acclaimed science writer Colin Stuart, this title will truly captivate and inspire. 

  

  

 


  

One of a Kind 

A Story About Sorting and Classifying 

by Neil Packer 

Big Picture Press 

Ages 7-10 

  

Meet Arvo. Now look at his family tree. Meet his cat, Malcolm, and check out Malcolm’s family tree, too. Whether people or cats, buildings or books, food or vehicles, there’s a category for everything. And in this mesmerizing narrative introduction to taxonomy, readers follow Arvo through his day to learn about the order of the animal kingdom, to his music lesson to help categorize instruments, and across town to classify cloud formations he sees along the way. Neil Packer’s detailed illustrations and simple narrative are perfect for readers who itch to classify and find order in their daily lives. 

  

  

 


 Lost in the Imagination 

A Journey Through Nine Worlds in Nine Nights 

by Hiawyn Oram 

illustrated by David Wyatt 

Candlewick Studio 

Ages 8-12 

  

Enter the elaborate “found” notebooks of the formerly fact-bound professor Dawn Gable and follow her on nine nightly journeys to extraordinary worlds. From King Arthur’s Round Table at Camelot to the majestic hall of slain heroes in Asgard, visit marvelous lands from myth, legend, and fairy tale. Intricate vistas and diagrams usher readers into a city of intelligent machines, the ancient African city of Kor, the miniature world of Lilliput, the flying island of Laputa, a mountainous home of mythical beasts, the primeval island of Buyan, the island of Atlantis, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, and more. A mesmerizing gift for anyone who believes in the transformative power of stories, this is a book that readers will pore over again and again. 

 

 


What Breathes Through Its Butt? 

By Dr. Emily Grossman 

Bloomsbury 


A funny and interactive book that explains the surprising science behind everyday kid questions 
 
Why is your elbow called your funny bone? How could you escape the grip of a crocodile's jaw? Which animal can breathe through its butt? This book uncovers the amazing scientific explanations behind all sorts of questions that can pop into our heads. Can an egg bounce? How can a giraffe's ridiculously long neck contain the same number of bones as a human's? How much does the Internet weigh? With delightful interactive features that invite readers to guess answers to questions and make links between different scientific concepts, this is a great book for reluctant readers and STEAM lovers alike. 




 

Nerdlet: Animals 

By T.J. Resler 

Nat Geo Kids 


Sometimes big nerdiness comes in a small package--and this little book is an animal nerd's dream! Meet animals of all kinds--from sharks and moles to orangutans and okapis-- in this quirky, jam-packed original from National Geographic Kids. If you thought you were brainy, take a look at the incredible critters in this book. Inside, you'll find a spider that spends its whole life in a bubble and birds that build nests so big, they're like avian apartment complexes! (And we're just getting started!) In this little animal "Nerdlet" you'll learn about the weirdest, coolest, most amazing creatures in the animal kingdom--and what makes them so complex. Plus, you'll have some of your most burning animal questions answered, such as What's the deal with crocodile tears? And you'll meet people who get to be around animals for a living and travel to animal destinations around the world. You'll also find personality quizzes, fun facts, animal superheroes, and even a Star Wars reference ... or two. 

 




Space Encyclopedia: A Tour Of Our Solar System and Beyond 

By David Aguilar 

Nat Geo Kids 


Blast off into space with the experts at National Geographic to discover everything we know about the universe, including exciting, recent discoveries and amazing brand-new NASA space photography. 
 
The updated and expanded edition of the hit Space Encyclopedia presents the most up-to-date findings on space exploration and research and breathtaking views of the universe, as captured by the latest and greatest technology, including the recent first ever image of a black hole. This complete reference contains everything kids need to know about our sun and planets including the new dwarf planets, the formation of the universe, space travel, the possibility of life beyond Earth, and more. Authored by David A. Aguilar, an internationally recognized astronomer and former Director of Science Information and Public Outreach at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, it is an authoritative and beautifully illustrated must-have for every family, providing both accessible information for school reports and compelling reading on the mysteries beyond our planet. 





**I received copies of the titles above from Candlewick, Nat Geo Kids, Bloomsbury, and Pavilion for review/feature purposes. All thoughts, opinions, and reviews are my own. 

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