December 1, 2011

Edition #3:  HOLIDAY BOOKS GALORE!!  Special Double Edition!!

Book 1:

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Illustrated by Laurel Long  (2011)
Available in Hardcover

Breathtakingly beautiful soft earth tone paintings illustrate this classic Christmas song.  As readers move through the text, each gift is elegantly given, with the previous gifts hidden within the picture, adding a seek-and-find effect.  This is a brand new book that is sure to become one your family will want to read aloud Christmas after Christmas.

Book 2:

Nutcracker
Illustrated by Susan Jeffers  (2007)
Available in Hardcover

The classic tale from the classic ballet comes to life with the beautiful, enchanting watercolor illustrations by Susan Jeffers.  Clara and her family are celebrating Christmas Eve with an elaborate party.  Clara is given a lovely handmade Nutcracker from her Godfather.  As she drifts to sleep, she dreams of being taken away to the Land of Sweets, where she meets The Sugarplum Fairy.  There is a battle with mice, a snowy forest of dancing snowflakes, and dancing sweets.  With sparse text, the pictures really tell the story.  This is a wonderful book to share with a little one, especially in preparation of going to see the ballet.  For my family, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without reading and seeing The Nutcracker ballet.

Book 3:

The Story of Christmas
Illustrated by Pamela Dalton  (2011)
Available in Hardcover

Pamela Dalton’s intricate scissor-cut paper illustration becomes illuminated to the King James Bible’s edition of The Christmas Story.  As the Nativity scene unfolds, angels, shepherds, wise men, and animals gather to honor the birth of Jesus.  This is the perfect book to read on Christmas Eve, in remembrance of the true meaning of the holiday.  This tops my list of new favorite Christmas books!

Book 4:

Room For A Little One:  A Christmas Tale
By Martin Waddell    Illustrated by Jason Cockcroft  (2004)
Available in Hardcover and Board Book

This is a perfect telling of the Christmas story for a toddler. The illustrations of the animals are light-filled and realistic.  There is always room for one more in the stable, adding a lesson in kindness for little ones.  Simple, beautiful story.

Book 5:

The Night Before Christmas
By Clement C. Moore    Illustrated by Tasha Tudor  (10th Anniversary Edition 2002)
Available in Paperback

There are countless renditions of Clement C. Moore’s classic holiday poem.  I personally collect different editions with different illustrators.  The Tasha Tudor illustrations are, by far, my favorite ones.  She has brought a magical light to the story, with her delicate details.  Tasha Tudor is a beloved illustrator, and her illustrations will be sure to touch your heart.

Book 6:

Snowmen at Christmas
By Caralyn Buehner    Illustrated by Mark Buehner  (2005)
Available in Hardcover, Board Book, and eReader (Nook)

This jaunty companion of Snowmen at Night return as only jolly snowmen can!  They are just in time to celebrate all of the Christmas festivities with a lively rhyming verse.  This is a fun, giggly read, as children find silly features of the snowmen and a seek-and-find feature to hold their interest even further.  This is a book that I have often chosen to read for a Christmas story time group, as it engages children to really get involved in the story.

Book 7:

Bear Stays Up For Christmas
By Karma Wilson    Illustrated by Jane Chapman  (2008)
Available in Hardcover, Board Book, and eReader (Nook)

Karma Wilson’s adorable BEAR is back in a sweet Christmas story.  BEAR’s forest friends awaken him from his hibernating slumber, so as not to miss Christmas.  They try to help him stay awake as they prepare, baking and singing merrily.  However, as they tire out and fall asleep themselves, BEAR has his own special surprise for them.  The text and illustrations are as charming as all of this duo’s BEAR books!  This makes a sweet book to read as you snuggle with your children to during the holidays.

Book 8:

The Sweet Smell of Christmas  (A Scratch and Sniff Storybook)
By Patricia M. Scarry    Illustrated by J.P. Miller    (Originally printed in 1970 and reprinted in 2003)
Available in Hardcover

If you asked my young twenty-something children to name their favorite Christmas book (and, seriously, we have hundreds!) they would say this is the one they remember the most.  Little Bear is anxiously awaiting Christmas to come, while momma and poppa bear are preparing for the holiday with various tasks coordinated with a scratch and sniff smell sticker.  There is a “piney” smell when the bears cut down their Christmas tree… and “chocolaty” smell when momma bear prepares a warm treat for her little bear.  There are six different smells throughout the book and my children can, still to this day, recall them all!  A darling story, sure to make a sweet Christmas memory.

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About picturebooklook

Hello picture book enthusiasts! I am the mother of 3 twenty-something children and became a grandmother for the first time in early 2012. I have had an affection for picture books for almost as long as I can remember. I have acquired a treasured collection from when my children were young. I have never lost my fondness for them! I have worked in the Children's department of my local Barnes & Noble for the last 10 years. Each month I hope to feature a new picture book review, along with a classic picture book. The fact is, these books are true works of art! The stories are simple, sweet lines, that often stay with us into our adult lives. This blog is dedicated to Danielle Catherine and all of my future grandchildren, and also to all of you who love the beauty of picture books as much as I do!
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