Monday, December 11, 2023

Monday - Celebrations Bring Smiles


        Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! 

       Last Thursday was near 70 degrees, then Friday, it snowed, just in time for the December holidays and playtime OUTSIDE! 
         Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following holiday books!

        A young one and a friend are outside doing everything one can imagine, and Leslie Patricelli shows the delight of snow time, from getting dressed to finally going back inside to warm up in a bath.  It's all in rhyme for these little ones, "Fluffy soft like a bed. First we climb, then we sled." is one example from lying in the snow (moms, too, and a cat!) then up, up, up a hill, gliding so fast, mouths open (see that cover)! From start to finish, it's a happy romp, all the things everyone loves, not just the younger ones! The final two pages show 'more winter things'! It's such a happy book, and I love that the moms are there having all that fun, too!

     Hurrah, it's winter, or maybe it's also something else? A puppy greets the snow with joy until other things interrupt. Blinking lights, ribbons, gingerbread men, and someone in a red suit make a mixed world for this young pup. Helen Yoon has created a smile on every page for young readers while trying to answer the question! The question could be asked of every reader. What is winter? 

          Anna is on her way from her home in Nigeria to visit Granny Canada for a month! It's a challenge to go so far away from her family, all the parents, baby brothers, aunties and uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It's a vast group she loves being part of. With lots of detail on how she manages, and with a big help from a local friend also traveling, she's off! What a trip from a place that never sees snow to a cold, cold place during Christmas. Her Granny does have warm clothes ready, and Anna learns that Granny's dog does NOT live in a pack and bite but turns out to be a good friend. Among other adventures, Anna also makes new friends, but only after she has to defend herself as Anna, the girl, not just the girl from Africa. For early readers, Atinuke's Books about Anna Hibiscus always entertain and show those reading about her adventures the traits that help her take good care of herself. Canada is very different from Nigeria, yet every page shows Anna an event, working and thinking it all out, then having a great time! It's lots of fun to read and have fun with Anna; there's just enough illustration to help the imagination, too.

           Indeed, kids would love the answer to this question, and now Mac Barnett has offered quite a few, some that just could be correct, like the magic of shrinking himself to make it easy to drop down, or others that couldn't possibly work. He surely couldn't turn himself into fire, could he? Jon Klassen shows all the possibilities in his signature style. This duo has created a new book for reading every Christmas! 

         From 2020, now out in paperback! The spirit of Nate Gadol cannot stop being helpful with the magic of making things last where needed, like a tiny bit of oil for eight nights, a flower to stay blooming for someone ill, and chocolate for a family who wants a treat for their children. More sharing is shown in this story of the needs of two families, helping the other as Nate uses his own powers. Arthur A. Levine tells of his goal to create a new myth for this time of Hanukkah, suggesting this is the time when gifts began to be given during those eight days and nights. Kevin Hawkes illustrates with his own magic of the special time. 

       Last year, when Dasher met Santa and began his special work helping deliver gifts to children worldwide, it became a treasured memory. This year, the day before Christmas Eve, Dasher "can't wait," as the title says. His mother has always told him to follow the North Star, and he'll always be able to find his way home. That night, he believes he hears carols and takes off for a little jaunt. He plans to be back before anyone notices. Spotting the sparkling holiday lights he loved before, he lands at one house, finds he's tired, and decides to take a little nap. He wakes in the morning with snow falling and a  young child watching. Oh no! The North Star is not visible! What happens with the child helping is a story for Christmas, kindness done, and Dasher helped. Matt Tavares' creation of a new story for kids to read and smile about, perhaps imagining they might be that child. His illustrations are wintry wonders with night-sky beauty, whether clear or snowy! The glimpses of Santa are a pleasure to see, and this new story of an adventure with Dasher will make readers ask, will another one come next year? 

from a long time ago - my favorite Hannukah book! Goodreads review

          I finished two adult books this week, too!

Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver - Goodreads review!
Door to Door Bookstore - Carsten Henn - Goodreads review!          

Still Reading! I'm continuing My Head Has A Bellyache by Chris Harris, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. 


  1. I love all these holiday picks, Linda—they are putting me in the winter spirit! How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? sounds like it at least attempts to answer the question we've all been asking for so long... And Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins sounds delightful as well. Also, the story you mentioned of it going from 70º to snowing is too real, unfortunately! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reviews and picks, and take care!

    1. Barnett & Klassen make the funniest books! Although it's for younger readers, Max, I imagine everyone will laugh at How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?. Yes, that weather has been very strange this fall! Nice to see you here & thanks for coming by!

  2. There are so many winter and holiday themed books in the posts this week! The Helen Yoon book is really cute!

    1. Yes, I know there are, and I have some other old favorites, too! The Yoon book will be hilarious for young readers! Thanks, Lisa!

  3. Our long term forecast is for warmish (compared to other years) weather. The only snow we will see will be in picture books.
    I enjoyed the new Barnett & Klassen title too.
    I haven't read one Anna Hibiscus book, and now I find that she has a Canadian Grandmother, I realize that this must be remedied. I've just put two of them on hold.
    Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is one of my long time favourite titles that I too remember reading to my students!
    Thanks also for the heads up about The Door-to-Door Bookstore.

    1. I hope you enjoy the Anna Hibiscus books. They are fun and full of layers of wisdom hiding in the stories! I know many love Hershel and I have to share it every year in case someone young hasn't read it, yet! "Door-to-Door" was an intriguing story, poignant and felt very real. Thanks, Cheriee!

  4. I need to read more of the Leslie Patricelli's board books since they're so cute.

    1. Hope you enjoy them, Earl. They are certainly cute & entertaining!


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