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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday Picture Book Reviews: Sharing the Bread, Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way To My House, The Night The Lights Went Out On Christmas

With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, I have three books to share that are perfect for this holiday season...

by Pat Zietlow Miller
Sept. 22, 2015
Random House Kids
Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations,Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.

"A warm and wonderful holiday treasure." —Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Captures the spirit of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner." —School Library Journal

"A delightful holiday book that shows the heartwarming tradition of food and family." —Booklist


Sharing The Bread transports readers back to the 19th century and follows one family as they prepare a magnificent and yummy Thanksgiving meal!

Told through sparse, lyrical rhymes, Sharing The Bread is a heartwarming and charming picture book. The simple, yet descriptive, rhymes are sweet and amusing in their sing-song flow. Little readers will easily be able to memorize their favorite lines and “read along”. From putting the turkey into the oven to making all the fixings and setting a gorgeous table, Sharing The Bread explores it all, and it does so with a lot of heart!

The bright, captivating illustrations wonderfully capture the story and will engage little eyes, as young readers have fun pointing out all the clever details.
Sharing The Bread is a beautiful and entertaining story that does a wonderful job of capturing the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)
Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine.
Now, she writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night. Her first picture book, SOPHIE’S SQUASH, is illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf and published by Schwartz & Wade. Her second picture book, WHEREVER YOU GO, is illustrated by Eliza Wheeler and will be released April 21, 2015 by Little, Brown. SHARING THE BREAD, illustrated by Jill McElmurry, will come out from Schwartz & Wade in August 2015. THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, a fiction picture book inspired by Olympic sprinter Wilma Rudolph, is under contract with Chronicle.
Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. She doesn’t watch much TV, but she does love “Glee” and "Chopped." Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

by Eric James
Oct. 1, 2015
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
It's a magical Christmas Eve, and all of the children in your town are sleeping. Well, all of the children but you! How could you possibly fall sleep when you know Santa and his sleigh are on their way?

Eric James follows up his spooktacular A Halloween Scare, with the immensely adorable and enthralling Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way To My House!

Through pitch-perfect and utterly charming rhyming text, Eric James wonderfully captures the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve. Little readers will easily relate to the "just can't wait" feelings the young characters in the book experience and will love the thrilling and humorous adventures of Santa as he makes his way to your little one's house. The way the narrator directly addresses readers, and places them within the story, creates such a fun, engaging story! The gorgeously rendered illustrations are soft, yet eye-catching and full of whimsical details. 

And like Eric James' A Halloween Scare, this Christmas picture book is a location based book with over 100 different versions, taking place in different states/countries and featuring location based text and pictures, available.


Eric James is a children's book author, word tickler, and champion asparagus thrower. You can find him online at He lives in Bath, England, with his family.

by Ellis Paul
Oct 1, 2015
Albert Whitman & Company
Based on acclaimed singer-songwriter Ellis Paul's Christmas song, this hilarious tale focuses on an inevitable part of the holiday season--lights! Year after year, the neighbors on one suburban street try to outdo one another with their holiday decorations, until one night their efforts take out the world's power grid. Once the neighborhood is dark, though, they're finally able to clearly see the stars above--a simple, perfect Christmas show. 

The Night The Lights Went Out On Christmas takes Ellis Paul's famous song and turns it into an endearing and unforgettable picture book that captures the true essence of Christmas!

Told through sing-song rhymes and silly text, little readers will have a blast watching this Christmas decorations extravaganza unfold and implode in darkness. The jewel toned, filled to the brim illustrations perfectly bring Paul's charming and funny words to life. Every page is a glowing, colorful explosion of Christmas lights, blow-up decorations, expressive faces, and more, and young readers will enjoy pointing out all the holiday details.


Ellis Paul is a singer and songwriter whose style bridges pop and modern folk. In a career spanning more than twenty years, he has released 18 albums, including The Day After Everything Changed. The first of his two children’s albums, The Dragonfly Races, was one of NPR’s top ten picks for 2008. He grew up in northern Maine and is now based in Boston. He spends much of the year on the road, playing nearly 200 tour dates around the country. The Hero in You is his first picture book.

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