November/December 2016



Preschoolers
Great Holiday Books

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BEAR STAYS UP FOR CHRISTMAS
written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004), 36p, Ages 3-7

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A CHICK 'N' PUG CHRISTMAS
written/illus. by Jennifer Sattler, (Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2014), 32p, Ages 3-6

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LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS
written by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2014), 24p, Ages 2-4

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THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH
written by Deborah Diesen, illus. by Dan Hanna, (Farrar Straus Giroux Books, 2015,), 32p, Ages 2-6



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Ages 4-8
Great Holiday Books

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CATCH THAT COOKIE
written by Hallie Durand, illus. by David Small, (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014), 32p, Ages 4-7

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CLICK, CLACK, HO! HO! HO!
written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin, (Antheneum Books, 2015), 40p, Ages 4-8

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A VERY FUDDLES CHRISTMAS
written/illus. by Frans Vischer, (Aladdin, 2013), 32p, Ages 4-7

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THE GINGERBREAD PIRATES
written by Kristin Kladstrup, illus. by Matt Tevares, (Candlewick Press, 2012), 32p, Ages 4-7

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THE LITTLE DRUMMER MOUSE
written/illus. by Mercer Mayer, (Dial Books, 2006), 40p, Ages 4+

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ONE SNOWY NIGHT
written by M. Christina Butler, illus. by Tina Macnaughton, (Good Books, 2004), 26p, Ages 3-8

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THE FOURTH KING:
The Story of the Other Wise Man

written/illus. by Ted Sieger, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 48p, Ages 4-8





Ages 8-12
Great Holiday Books
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THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY
written by Susan Wojciechowski, illus. by P. J. Lunch, (Candlewick Press, Sept. 2015), 40p, Ages 8-11

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WHERE DID THEY HIDE MY SILLY DILLY PRESENTS?: Silly Dilly Christmas Songs
written by Alan Katz, illus. by David Catrow, (McElderry Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 7-10





Ages 10-14
Great Holiday Books
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NICKEL BAY NICK
written by Dean Pitchford, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2013), 2i72p, Ages 10+

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL
written by Charles Dickens, illus. by Robert Ingpen, (minedition, 2008), 192p, Ages 10+

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GREENGLASS HOUSE
written by Kate Milford, illus. by Jaime Zollars, (Clarion Books, 2014), 376p, Ages 10-14





TEENS
Great Holiday Books
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THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
written by O. Henry, illus. by P. J. Lynch, (Candlewick Press, 2008), 40p, Ages 12+





OLDER TEENS
Great Books from 2015
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DOUBLE DIGIT
written by Annabel Monaghan, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015,), 192p, Ages 16+

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THE ETERNITY KEY:
Into the Dark Book 2

written by Bree Despain, (Egmont USA, 2015), 368p, Ages 16+

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INHERIT MIDNIGHT
written by Kate Kae Myers, (Bloomsbury Children's Books,. 2015), 390p, Ages 16+



 






For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

www.tchliteracy.com

Bringing you
books that:


Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind


Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children's literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

The best children's books contain imaginative stories, memorable characters, beautiful illustrations, and lyrical language. Well-written stories should contain heroes and role models to imitate. Whatever the genre, a great book should be an enjoyable read, and contain heart, humor, hope, and a happy ending, In addition, for older readers the best stories help others and make the world a better place.

The holidays are for family, friends, tradition, and memories. This is also a perfect time for reading and reading aloud great holiday children's books, and we hope you will enjoy our selections.

For more information on reading to children, great books to read and read aloud, and a summer reading program, log on to our web site at www.tchliteracy.com.


Preschool
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HATTIE AND THE FOX
written by Mem Fox, illus. by Patricia Mullins, (Little Simon, $7.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4814-7929-5), 32p, Ages 3-7

When Hattie the Hen announces that there is a nose in a nearby bush, the other animals show little interest. "'Good Grief!' said the goose. 'Well, well!' said the pig. 'Who cares?' said the sheep. 'So what?' said the horse. 'What next?' said the cow." As Hattie begins to notice two eyes, ears, and legs, the other animals are still apathetic with the same refrain, until a fox jumps out and everyone flees, except the cow, that loudly lets loose with a "MOO!" Kids will enjoy the wonderful expressions of an alert hen, the lethargic barnyard animals, and the watchful predator in this cute cumulative tale.

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THE HAT
written/illus. by Jan Brett, (G. P Putnam's Sons, $15.99, Oct. 2016 Oversized Board, ISBN 978-0-399-54738-6, HC 1997), 34p, Ages 3-6

A little girl's woolen sock flies off the clothesline and lands on Hedgie's head. When the hen, goose, cat, dog, pig, and horse make fun of him, Hedgie explains that his hat will keep him dry, warm, and cozy through the winter. Hedgie's explanation inspires the animals, and each one departs to remove an article of clothing. When Lisa returns to the empty clothesline and sees the animals wearing her gloves, sweater, and scarves, the chase of on. The borders on each page give hints of things to come. Jan Brett's colorful and imaginative story is a great companion to her book, The Mitten.

 
Preschool Holiday Books
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ROOM FOR A LITTLE ONE: A Christmas Tale
written by Martin Waddell, illus. by Jason Cockcroft, (Little Simon Inspirations, 2004), 26p, Ages 3

On a cold Christmas Eve, Kind Ox shares his stable with Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, as well as Tired Donkey, led by Joseph and carrying Mary, who wonders where their Child will be born. Each is welcomed with the quiet refrain, "There's always room for a little one here." With this welcome Jesus is born, the Little One who came to save the world. Jason Cockcroft's illustrations are unforgettable, and the board book format is a perfect size for little fingers.

 
Ages 4-8
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OTIS AND THE KITTENS
written/illus. by Loren Long, (Philomel Books, $17.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-0-399-16398-2), 40p, Ages 4-7

"It was hot and dry on the farm where the friendly little tractor named Otis lived. Otis couldn't remember the last time it had rained." One hot afternoon while resting in the fields, Otis watched an orange tabby cat run to the barn, where smoke and fire were pouring out. Rushing toward the fire, Otis rescues several kittens and carries them to safety; however, one kitten still remained inside too frightened to move. Fighting smoke and dodging flames, Otis races back into the barn, locates the missing kitten, and coaxes her out the door. Unfortunately he becomes trapped, when the floor collapses. Otis' animal friends, along with Fire Chief Douglas, come to the rescue using teamwork skills, a pulley, rope, and hooks. "Together everyone pulled the dust and ash-covered tractor out from the burning fire just as parts of the barn began to fall." Kids will love this sturdy little hero, his brave friends, and cute kittens.

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THE STORY BOOK KNIGHT
written by Helen Docherty, illus. by Thomas Doherty, (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4926-3814-8), 32p, Ages 4-8

"Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read." When Leo's parents insist that he answer an ad for a dragon tamer and provide him with a new sword and shield, Leo sighs, packs a lunch, includes his books, and rides off on his faithful horse, Ned. Along with way, he meets an angry griffin, a hungry troll, and a belligerent dragon, who has demolished a town. Leo manages to avoid being eaten by reading each creature a story in which they are featured. The creatures are calmed by Leo's stories, become peace-loving, and keep the books. It seems that even dragons are motivated by a good story. ("I've got the most amazing book with loads of dragons in it. But it's going in the trash unless you clean up right this minute!") Upon returning home, Leo's parents are relieved that he survived, leave him in peace to read, and the monsters are happy to have their own books to read.

 
Ages 4-8 Holiday Books
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STOWAWAY IN A SLEIGH
written/illus. by C. Roger Mader, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-0-544-48174-9), 32p, Ages 4-7

A curious house cat finds herself on an unusual adventure, when she stows away in Santa's sleigh. Hearing footsteps in the middle of the night, Slipper stalks a prowler, only to become smitten with Mr. Furry Boots. When Slipper crawls into Santa's soft bag, she becomes a passenger in his sleigh, bound for the North Pole. Discovered by Mrs. Furry Boots, Slipper takes a nap, explores the gift-wrapping room, and makes friends with the reindeer, but soon becomes homesick. When Santa finds her in his sleigh, he knows exactly what she needs. "So that night Slipper took her second ride in his sleigh, but this time she flew first class."

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CALICO THE WONDER HORSE
written/illus. by Virginia Lee Burton, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-0-547-57572-8), 64p, Ages 4-7

First published in 1941, this Western tall tale is loaded with old-fashioned adventure, including cattle rustling, hold-ups, stampedes, kidnappings, and wild stagecoach chases. Calico was the fastest and smartest horse in Cactus County and belonged to a cowboy named Hank. When Stewy Stinker ("said to be so mean he would hold up Santa Claus on Christmas Eve if he had a chance.") and his band of rustlers steal Hank's herd, Calico has a plan.

Over Badlands, across stormy rivers, rounding up stolen cattle, and a runaway stagecoach, Calico rounds up the rustlers. When Stewy Stinker, Butch Bones, Snake Eye Pyezon, Buzzard Bates, and little Skunk Skeeter repent and promise to reform, they join the Christmas Eve party at the Schoolhouse. "Hank was elected Sheriff of Cactus County and Calico was made his deputy Sheriff. They all shook hands and once again everybody was happy and contented in Cactus County." The no-nonsense, humorous narrative ("It rained so hard and so fast that if you opened your mouth you'd be in danger of drowning.") is just as delightful today as it was 75 years ago.

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THE CHRISTMAS BOOT
written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Jerry Pinkney, (Dial Books for Young Readers, $17.99, Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-0-8037-4134-8), 32p, Ages 4-8

On Christmas morning as lonely Miss Hannah Greyweather gathers kindling in the forest with rag-wrapped feet, she discovers a black boot in the snow. Delighted, Hannah slips it on, and "it suddenly took on the shape and size of Hannah's own foot." When she wishes for the other boot, then mittens, and finally a bigger house, Hannah is amazed that her wishes come true. Then, a visitor arrives wearing a red suit and only one boot, politely asking for the return of his missing boot. Hannah returns the mate, and all the other gifts magically disappear. Before leaving, the visitor has more surprises in store for the lonely Hannah, including a small someone to keep her company. Jerry Pinkney's illustrations bring an old-world enchantment to this lovely tale of taking only what is needed.

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THE LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS
written by Richard Paul Evans, illus. by Daniel Craig, (Aladdin Books, $9.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4814-6612-7), 32p, Ages 4-8

In the mountain town of Noel on Christmas Eve, the Keeper of the Flame lights the torch to bring, "brightness and warmth of Christmas to the entire world." For the lighting this year he will choose, "Whoever gives the truest gift of Christmas," and young Alexander yearns to be chosen. On his long walk to town, Alexander notices an old man lying in the snow and stops to offer his extra cloak for warmth. When he rushes into town for help, Alexander misses the Christmas event. Due to his selfless act of kindness, Alexander is rewarded by the Keeper of the Flame (the old man in the snow), and is given the privilege of lighting the Christmas flame. This lovely tale reinforces the true meaning of Christmas in that it's not what one gives, but rather the giving of oneself that matters.

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MARY'S LITTLE DONKEY
written by Gunhild Sehlin, illus. by Hélène Muller, (Floris Books, $17.95, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-178250-294-4), 32p, Ages 6-8

"Long, long ago a little donkey lived in Nazareth, in the Holy Land. He was very lazy and very dirty because no one groomed him, but he moved beautifully." Scruffy and unwilling to work, the little donkey's life changes when he meets a young woman named Mary at the town well. When her husband, Joseph, buys a donkey to help Mary, she realizes it's the same little donkey from the well. Responding to Mary's kindness, the little donkey decides never to leave. On an eventful trip to Bethlehem, the little donkey carries a pregnant Mary safely to an old stable, where a bright star shines down, and the Christ child is born. "And Mary's little donkey settled down happily to watch over his new family. No matter what happened, he would look after them."

 
Ages 8-12
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BASIL IN MEXICO
written by Eve Titus, illus. by Paul Galdone, (Aladdin, $16.99, 1976/Oct. 2016, ISBN 978-1-4814-6408-6), 112p, Ages 7-9

The latest installment in The Great Mouse Detective series finds the famous sleuth of mousedom, Basil of Baker Street, investigating counterfeit cheese that is causing mice teeth to crack. In the second mystery, Basil and his assistant, Dr. David Q. Dawson travel to Mexico to solve the theft of a beloved masterpiece, the Mousa Lisa. The third adventure finds Basil tracking down the culprit who kidnapped Dr. Dawson and brilliantly defeating his enemy, the sinister Ratigan. As always, Basil proves to be as much a hero as the famous Sherlock Holmes.



Ages 8-12 Holiday Books
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CLEMENTINE FOR CHRISTMAS
written by Daphne Benedis-Grab, (Scholastic Press, $16.99, Aug. 2015, ISBN 978-0-545-83951-8), 256p, Ages 8-12

Three sixth graders come together at Christmas and discover friendship, compassion, and generosity. Josie and her dog, Clementine, volunteer in the pediatric ward at Frost Ridge hospital, where she dresses in silly costumes, performs, and sings favorite carols for the kids. Oscar, a troubled student, is sent by the principal to work at the hospital after school as punishment for bad behavior. Gabby, a popular student with a secret, finds herself in the hospital as a patient. When the hospital's annual Christmas Festival is canceled, the three decide to work together and find a way to save the holiday festivities. When Clementine goes missing, friendships are tested, lessons are learned, attitudes are changed, and fears are overcome. Kids will enjoy this touching and heartwarming story of friendship and an unwavering love for a very special dog.

Ages 10-14
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THE SECRET KEEPERS
written by Trenton Lee Stewart, illus. by Diana Sudyka, (Little, Brown and Co., 18.99, Sept. 2016, ISBN 978-0-316-38955-6), 512p, Ages 10-14

Readers who love mysteries and suspense will enjoy this dangerous adventure of a twelve-year-old boy and a mysterious and powerful antique watch, that will change his life forever. Reuben Pedley lives with his single mother in a rundown neighborhood of New Umbra, which is ruled by a mysterious mobster known as the Smoke and his evil defenders. With school out for the summer, and his mother working, Reuben loves to explore the city, until one day his excursions take him high on a ledge, where he discovers an ornate box containing a beautiful ancient watch with only an hour hand and a key for winding.

When Reuben solves the watch's mystery, little does he realize that a powerful adventure with quirky characters, dangerous escapes, dark family secrets, ethical dilemmas, lasting friendships, hidden tunnels, concealed traps, invisibility, and immortality, is about to unfold. Filled with adventure, mystery, twists, and turns, this lengthy tale will quickly draw readers into Reuben's world of honesty, strength, the importance of family, and working together to defeat enemies.

Ages 10-14 Holiday Books
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THE TOYMAKER'S APPRENTICE
written by Sherri L. Smith, illus. by Sarah Watts, (G. P. Putnam's Sons, $16.99, Oct. 2015, ISBN 978-0-399-25295-2), 400p, Ages 10-14

In this re-imagining of E.T.A Hoffmann's "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," young Stefan Drosselmeyer, apprentice to his toymaker father, is recruited by a long lost cousin to locate a mysterious nut and save a princess. In early 19th century Nuremberg, Stefan's world suddenly changes when he is offered an apprenticeship to his cousin, Christopher Drosselmeyer, clock maker to the King of Boldavia. Christopher is on a seven-year quest to find the Krakatook, a rare, mythical nut that can cure the King's daughter, who was cursed by the vengeful Queen of Mice and turned into a wooden doll. When Stefan's father is kidnapped, he joins Christopher and his Arab traveling companion to the mouse kingdom of Boldavia to rescue his father, cure a princess, and battle the Queen and her seven-headed mouse princes, who have sworn to destroy the Drosselmeyer family and take over the human world. Alternating chapters tell the story of Ernest Listz, a well educated rat, who is hired by the Mouse Queen to tutor her children. Readers will enjoy the mechanical toys, scholarly squirrels and their Pagoda Tree, magical curses, clock making guilds, talking mice, and a grand battle in Nuremberg on Christmas Eve. In this complex tale of family devotion, revenge, and rescue at Christmastime, lessons of arrogance, pride and vanity await readers, along with a brave young hero fighting evil in a world on the brink of war.

Holiday Books for Teens
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A SEASON OF GIFTS
written by Richard Peck, illus. by Brandon Dorman, (Dial Books, $16.99, Sept. 2009, ISBN 978-0-8037-3082-3), 176p, Ages 12+.

The year is 1958, and eccentric, fearless, and independent Grandma Dowdel from A Year Down Yonder (Dial, 2000) and A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998) returns in a heartwarming Christmas story of generosity and courage. The tale is told from the perspective of twelve-year-old Bob, one of three children of a Methodist minister and his wife, who move into a small Illinois town next door to Mrs. Dowdel. Pushing 90 years, toting a gun, taking down neighborhood hoodlums, and raising funds to provide new windows for a rundown church, Mrs. Dowdel becomes a role model for six-year-old Ruth Ann, a teacher of courage to Bob, a friend to mom, and an obstacle to Phyllis's high school antics. Little does the Barnhart family realize that their encounter with Mrs. Dowdel will make this Christmas unforgettable. "She was no church woman, and she didn't neighbor, and Christmas was just another day to her. But she didn't wait for Christmas to give out her gifts. She gave too many. They wouldn't have fit under the tree, not even the tallest blue spruce from the Dempsey's backyard." As always, Richard Peck's characters are strikingly memorable and larger than life.

Holiday Books for Older Teens
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MIRACLE ON 49TH STREET
written by Mike Lupica, (Philomel Books, 2006, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-1424-0942-8), 288p, Ages 16+

Josh Cameron, superstar point guard to the Boston Celtics, has fame and fortune. When confronted by an unknown 12-year-old daughter, Josh is reluctant to assume fatherhood, but upbeat Molly Parker wants a father badly. As their relationship grows, Josh realizes that maybe he needs a daughter after all. Eventually they both come to understand that love and forgiveness can break down barriers of selfishness and doubt. A host of wonderful supporting characters—a plucky and warmhearted housekeeper, loyal friends, and a greedy agent—round out this beautifully written story of friendship, family, and unconditional love at Christmas.

Over the years, we have researched thousands of children's books, and can recommend some of the best in outstanding children's literature for parents to read aloud and children to read. Our recommendations must meet certain criteria: fun, creative and imaginative stories, delightful illustrations, and excellent for age appropriate listening and reading. We hope that you enjoyed our recommendations. If you desire further information some of the best in children's literature, please visit our website, www.tchliteracy.com.

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