November/December 2020


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure

Thanksgiving Books

written/illus. by Karel Hayes, (Down East Books, 2015), 32p, Ages 3-7

One fall New Hampshire weekend, a family drives to their cottage in the mountains where they ride bikes to the county fair, play boardwalk games, pet barnyard animals, ride the Ferris wheel, and enjoy cotton candy. Unbeknownst to them, a bear family follows and sneaks into the closed midway at night to enjoy hot dogs, free pumpkins, and ride the Ferris wheel. “It’s only a weekend and too soon time to leave, but the cottage by the water will not be empty for long.” The bears move in with their pumpkins, make costumes, and enjoy trick-or-treating. At Thanksgiving they catch turkeys and cook dinner for everyone to enjoy (turkeys included). Kids will love the humorous illustrations of two families enjoying a special New England autumn.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Others in the Series: Christmas Visitors | Winter Visitors | Spring Visitors | Summer Visitors


written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012), 40p, Ages 2-6

Bear would love to invite his friends for dinner, but the cupboard is bare. Not deterred, Bear’s friends stop by with food, enthusiasm, and generosity. Mouse brings a huckleberry pie, Hare donates muffins, Badger strolls in with fish, Gopher and Mole present honey nuts, and Raven and Wren offer pears and herbs. After every gift, “Bear always remembers to say “Thanks!” As Bear sighs and moans with nothing to share, “Mouse squeaks, ‘Don’t fret. / There’s enough, dear Bear. / You don’t need any food, / you have stories to share!’ ” Stories of sharing, gratitude, and thankfulness are great any time but especially around the season of Thanksgiving.
Themes: Bears, Friendship, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Others in the Series: Christmas Visitors | Winter Visitors | Spring Visitors | Summer Visitors


Holiday Books
Ages 4 - 8

written by Beth Ferry, illus by The Fan Brothers, (HarperCollins, $18.99, Sept. 2019, ISBN 978-0-06-247576-3), 40p, Ages 4-7

A lonely, old scarecrow is the feared guardian of the fields. ”Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / and mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” No one dares to come near, until one day a baby crow drops from a tree nearby and lies helplessly on the ground.

Moved by kindness, the old scarecrow breaks his pole, bends down and keeps him warm in the bib of his overalls, singing a lullaby. Over the seasons they become inseparable, until the fledgling learns to fly and Scarecrow realizes that someday he will leave. Watching his friend fly off, Scarecrow now lacks both his pole and his friend to keep him upright.

All through fall, winter, and spring, Scarecrow wallows in loneliness, until a familiar face returns to make another nest for babies in Scarecrow’s bib. “And he will love them from the start, / and they will grow up in his heart. / And they will peep and perch and play / and make him happy every day. And as the seasons come and go, / they will love their dear Scarecrow” Readers and listeners will love this simple tale of love, kindness, friendship, and generosity.
Themes: Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, (Thanksgiving), Rhythm & Rhyme, Seasons


written/illus. by Ken Brown, (Peachtree Publishers, 2001), 32p, Ages 4-7

A resourceful chicken admires a scarecrow’s hat as a potential nest, and is overjoyed that Scarecrow is willing to give up his hat in exchange for a walking stick. “Now Chicken didn’t have a walking stick, but she knew someone who did.”

Thus begins a series of trades, in which Badger’s stick is swapped for a ribbon to tie his door open, Crow’s blue ribbon is traded for warm, soft wool for his nest, Sheep’s wool is given for glasses to help her look out for wolves, Owl’s glasses are traded for a blanket to sleep under, and Donkey’s blanket is swapped for feathers to shoo away the pesky flies, which Chicken happily supplies.

After obtaining her hat, Chicken uses it for a cozy nest. “And I wouldn’t swap it for anything!” Kids will enjoy Ken Brown’s captivating and delightful watercolor illustrations, while adults will approve of chicken’s resourcefulness.
Themes: Animals, Concept, Heroes, Humor


written by Wendi Silvano, illus. by Lee Harper, (Two Lions, 2009), 32p, Ages 4-7

Poor Turkey realizes that he is slotted to become the main meal on Thanksgiving Day. What does a terrified turkey do? He disguises himself to resemble the other animals on the farm (horse, cow, pig, sheep, rooster), but the Farmer isn’t fooled by a saddle, paintbrush, boxing glove, pail, eyeglasses, and a rubber glove.

Things look hopeless as the Farmer, unable to locate Turkey, considers cooking the Rooster for dinner. “Oh, no, not Rooster! Thought Turkey. He looked around desperately for one more idea. Then he found it . . .” Find out how the family enjoys a vegetarian Thanksgiving, delivered by a strange looking pizza guy. Kids will love the slapstick humor and enjoy the clever illustrations.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Humor, Series


written/illus. by Dave Horowitz, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005), 40p, Ages 4-6

A lonely, funny-looking pumpkin feels rejected that no one chose him for Halloween. Searching for a place to fit in, he leaves the pumpkin patch. By Thanksgiving, lo and behold, he discovers that he is not a pumpkin at all, but a squash. Kids will love this cute twist on The Ugly Duckling.
Themes: Holidays, Humor


written by Lydia Maria Child, illus. by David Catrow, (Henry Holt & Co., Inc, 1996), 32p, Ages 4-7

Based on a favorite Thanksgiving poem and song, first published in 1844, this modern, comical interpretation surrounds one family’s attempt to travel through holiday traffic to grandfather’s house for a Thanksgiving dinner.

Caught in a traffic jam, due to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the youngest member of the family experiences a series of mishaps with a tuba, a gorilla, and airplane, but the family eventually arrives safely at grandmother’s house for dinner. This humorous tale is also a good lesson for children to remain in their car seats.
Themes: Adventure, Families, Holidays, Humor


TURK AND RUNT: A Thanksgiving Comedy
written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Frank Ansley, (Antheneum 2002), 32p, Ages 4-7

Come November on the Wishbone Farm customers begin arriving to choose their holiday turkeys. Turk’s parents, oblivious to the truth, believe their son, Turk is bigger and stronger than any bird on the farm and will be chosen for his athletic abilities.

Only the younger brother, Runt, understands that Turk’s assets may be his downfall, and drives the customers away. The family has a change of attitude when a little old lady picks Runt for her table. “Turk saw the look in the little old lady’s eyes. He saw the drool on her lips. He saw the fork in the little old lady’s pocket. He saw the roasting pan in her backseat!” After the lady is frightened away, the brothers begin to prepare for Christmas customers, this time as camouflaged snowmen. This hilarious holiday tale begs to be read again and again.
Themes: Animals, Holidays, Humor


written by Jane Yolen, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline,(Simon & Schuster, 2009), 32p, Ages 4-8

On a spooky, windy autumn evening, a lonely scarecrow blows off his perch in a cornfield. He leaps and dances happily across the fields, past the tractor, barn, silent cows, and sleeping pigs, until he reaches the farmhouse where a window light catches his attention.

Peeking in the window, he watches a young boy pray beside his bed, “And bless tonight / Our old scarecrow / Who guards the fields / And each corn row / So that tomorrow, / When we reap, / There will be lots / Of corn to keep.” Reflecting on the child’s prayer, the scarecrow realizes he alone has the responsibility of guarding the crops and keeping the fields from danger. Children will enjoy the delightful language and beautiful artwork, while parents will approve of the duty and responsibility message.
Themes: Fantasy, Heroes, Holidays

Holiday Books
Ages 7 - 10

adapted by Elizabeth Spurr, illus. by Wendy Anderson Halperin, (Antheneum Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 7-10

Adapted from Lucretia Hale’s nineteenth-century classic, The Peterkins Papers, a goofy family nearly misses Thanksgiving dinner when the turkey gets stuck in the dumbwaiter on route from the kitchen to the dinner table. After some discussion, they adjourn to the kitchen and decide to call the carpenter, who tells them that the problem is the weight. With their usual zany logic, Mrs. Peterkins’ replies, “I’ve never waited so long for any meal.”
Themes: Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Other in the Series: The Peterkin’s Christmas


THANK YOU, SARAH: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
written by Laurie Halse Anderson, illus. by Mat Faulkner, (Simon & Schuster, 2012), 40p, Ages 7-11

Realizing that people were beginning to ignore Thanksgiving, Sarah Hale, widowed mother of five, managing editor, author, and educator, campaigns to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Sarah wrote thousands of letters to politicians and articles imploring her readers to help. States began to comply, but not presidents. After 38 years, a president finally considered her argument about reuniting the nation, and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November a national holiday. Endpapers offer additional information on Sarah Hale’s achievements, Thanksgiving history, the year 1863, and the Civil War. “Selected Sources” round out a marvelous account of one woman’s dedication and persistence to make a difference in the world.
Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays


written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, illus. by Vivienne Tu, (Atheneum Books, 2017), 176p, Ages -11

Zack loves working on his grandparents’ farm every weekend, except when Tailpipe spies him. That giant turkey-pecking monster chases him around the farm and delights in accosting him. Determined to find a way to scare the monster away for good, Zack uses various things from his grandfather’s machine shed to build a “turkey-blaster trouble-shooter.”

With the help of two friends, Matthew and Josie, they use a croquet ball, rain gutter, pie tin, gum-ball machine, sewing machine stand, bellows, propeller, washing machine wringer, steering wheel, bicycle pump, water balloons, and marbles to construct a one-of-a-kind contraption to cure a mischievous turkey from pecking them. When Josie informs them of a mysterious robber prowling around the neighborhood taking bracelets, necklaces, and coins, they discover strange V-shaped footprints that the robber leaves behind. Find out how the burglary is solved and Tailpipe receives his comeuppance in this humorous homespun novel of family and friends by award-winning Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
Themes: Friendship, Holidays, Inventions, Mysteries

Holiday Books
Ages 12-15

THE ODDS OF GETTING EVEN #3 (Mo and Dale Mysteries)
written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, Oct. 2015), 368p, Ages 12-15

Shortly before Thanksgiving in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, Dale Earnhardt Johnson, and the newest addition to their Desperado Detective Agency, Harm Crenshaw, involve the town in their effort to find Dale's no-good, kidnapping daddy, Macon Johnson, who escaped jail before his trial.

With Tupelo Landing in lock down, Dale's brother in danger, break-ins, fires, and bank robberies, evidence is mounting against Macon. Dale refuses to believe that his father is guilty of the current crime spree, but Mo wants to get even for Macon's crimes against her family.

A who-done-it mystery, delightful Southern language, similes (“Miss Lana says reality is like cheap shampoo. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in.”), metaphors, and non-stop action surround three amateur detectives as they cope with sixth grade, desperate criminals, and loyalties to family and friends. Charm and humor abound with screeching guinea hens, adorable puppies, a touch of Hollywood, and an unusual Thanksgiving dinner.
Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Others in the Series: Three Times Lucky #1 | The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing #2



Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure

Fun with Food

written/illus. by Juana Medina, (Viking Children’s Books, 2016), 32p, Ages 3-6

Delicious garden vegetables and fruits are transformed into delightful animals in this whimsical counting book. In teaching children about healthy eating, the vegetables and fruits are given arms, legs, ears, heads, antlers, and wings. From one Avocado Deer and two Radish Mice to nine Romaine Dogs and ten Clementine Kittens, the ingredients cavort across the pages to the counting of one to ten. Kids will love the Tomato Turtles, Cucumber Alligators, Flying Walnuts, and Radicchio Lions. The counting finishes with a wooden bowl featuring delicious vegetables and fruits. A recipe for dressing features a pepper shaker bird, lemon pigs, and porcupine bowl of olive oil. All in all, this clever concept book is a nutritious and educational must for all preschoolers.
Themes: Concept, Food


written by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Crockett Johnson, (HarperCollins 1945), 32p, Ages 3+

In spite of his family’s doubts, a young boy plants a carrot seed and believes it will grow, even though he is told by his parents, the competition, and his big brother that it will not. .He waters, pulls weeds, and waits, until his patience is rewarded, and it is huge. Published in 1945, this beautiful classic of patience and determination has never gone out of print.
Themes: Classics, Food, Nature


written/illus. by Drew Sheneman, (Viking Books for Young Readers, $17.99, June 2018, ISBN 978-1-101-99729-1), 40p, Ages 3-5

A young girl discovers many obstacles when she tries to help a lost bear find food. Dropped off by the City Zoo Animal Transport, the hungry bear hasn’t a clue how to function in the woods. Determined to earn her nature merit badge, Gertie watches Bear forage for food. Preventing him from eating a rock (“What were you thinking?”), herself (“That would be terribly rude.”), a skunk (“You’ll regret it.”), dirt, clouds, and pinecones, Gertie declares him hopeless after he shreds her guidebook.

Upon hearing his tummy grumbling, she decides to work with new ideas involving berries, bees, and fishing (he can’t swim.) As a way of thanks, Bear picks her a flower and she announces, “It’s my favorite merit badge yet!” Walking hand in hand to the scout campsite, she tells him about s’mores and smoothies—“My favorite is strawberry banana. It’s Berry appealing. Get it?” With messages of friendship and teamwork, kids will love the silly puns, the adorable, clueless bear, and a little girl’s determination to help.
Themes: Animals, Food, Friendship, Humor


written/illus. by Lois Ehlert, (Red Wagon Books, 2006), 28p, Ages 1-3

This lap-size alphabet board book features juicy, mouth-watering fruits and vegetables. From the well-known apples, bananas, grapes, and lettuce to the lesser-known currants, figs, eggplants, and okra, the words and letters are set in bold type, and are shown in uppercase and lowercase. This beautifully rendered alphabet book will, hopefully, encourage parents and children to sample new foods as well as enjoy old favorites.
Themes: Concept, Food


written by Audrey Wood, illus. by Don Wood, (Child’s Play, 1984), 32p, Ages 2-5

Intent on picking a beautiful, huge, juicy, ripe strawberry, a little mouse is asked by the narrator, “haven’t you heard about the big hungry Bear?” Convinced that the Bear will tromp through the forest and steal the strawberry, the little mouse tries to hide it, guard it with chains, and disguise it as Groucho Marks. When the clever narrator suggests that, “There’s only one way in the whole wide world to save a red, ripe strawberry from the big, hungry Bear!” the little mouse and the narrator find yummy satisfaction.
Themes: Animals, Bears, Food, Humor


written by Julia Donaldson, illus. by David Roberts, (Abrams Books for Young Readers, $16.99, May 2019, ISBN 978-1-4197-3757-2), 32p, Ages 4-7

Disgusted with another soggy pizza from a box, a king decides to advertise for a cook, and many are auditioned “One by one they cooked for the king; / They cooked and they cooked like anything, / But nothing they cooked was good enough. / ‘This egg is runny. This meat is tough. / Too hot! Too cold! Too sour! Too smelly! / I don’t want a sausage inside my jelly.’ ”

When the King spies Wobbly Bob, he dismisses the rest of the applicanats. Even though Bob looks like a cook and is anxious to please, he is terrified of everything—kitchen knives, dirt from the garden, digging up vegetables, and fishing for food. The hungry king proceeds to show Wobbly how to catch fish, dig and chop up vegetables, cook, and set the table, with skills he probably never knew he had. In the process they work together, share a tasty meal, and Bob gets congratulated on a job well done. Kids will love looking for the small, pink-eared mouse on each page as well as the royal kitty waiting for scraps. Don’t be surprised to hear, “Again!” from listeners.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Food, Folk Literature, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme


written by Julia Sarcone-Roach, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015), 40p, Ages 4-7

“It all started with the bear.” So begins a delightful story about the consumption of an unattended sandwich on a park bench. One morning Bear awakes to discover berries in the back of a pickup truck, where he eats his fill, falls asleep, and awakes in a new forest (a city) where the truck has driven.

As Bear begins to explore his surroundings, he rubs on trees (telephone poles), scratches on bark (bricks), walks in the mud (cement), and discovers a lunch box with a delicious sandwich inside. As Bear begins to gobble it down, he is interrupted by a group of hungry dogs and runs away, finds a boat, and returns home according to the storyteller (the sandwich owner's dog), who may not be telling the whole truth. This delicious tall tale will entertain kids with giggles and a reminder to keep an eye on their food!
Themes: Adventure, Bears, Food


written by Josh Funk, illus. by Brendan Kearney, (Sterling Children’s Books, 2015), 40p, Ages 5+

“Deep in the fridge and behind the green peas, / way past the tofu and left of the cheese, / up in the corner, and back by a roast, / sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast.” Their friendship is legendary, until their neighbor, Miss Brie, mentions that there is only one drop of syrup left, and the race is on to reach the last drop. The competition is fierce as they race past Broccoli Forests, the Orange Juice Fountain, and the Potato Mash Mountain, over beets, behind the dressings, and a bean avalanche.

When Sir French Toast falls into the jam and Lady Pancake is sucked into the Chili Lagoon, the race becomes a sticky obstacle course. The silliness is just plain fun, and readers will be surprised at who takes the last drop. “Trudging back home beneath layers of grime, / Toast said, ‘Perhaps we should not fight next time.’” The fold out page at the end shows the inside of the refrigerator with a shopping list featuring syrup on the freezer door.
Themes: Adventure, Food, Friendship, Humor, Mysteries, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Others in the Series: The Case of the Stinky Stench #2 | Mission Defrostable #3 | Short & Sweet #4


written by Mary Lou Carney, illus. by Sherry Meidell, (Boyds Mills Press, 2005), 32p, Ages 4-8

In 1869 with his son’s help, Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch believes he can create a nonalcoholic grape beverage in place of communion wine. After squeezing the grapes, heating the juice, and filling the bottles, he succeeds. It’s “sweet enough for a baby to drink. Harmless to every soul on God's earth!” However, at first no one cared for it, neither the churches nor the public.
Themes: Famous People, Food, Nonfiction


written by Robert Kimmel Smith, illus. by Gioia Fiammenghi, (1972 / Puffin Books, 2006), 93p, Ages 8-11

Henry Green learns a valuable lesson about self-indulgence when he consumes too much chocolate and comes down with Chocolate Fever. The brown spots, chocolate smell, and over-interest from doctors provoke him into running away. He meets a kind truck driver, two dangerous hijackers, and Alfred “Sugar” Cane, who possesses the cure, providing that Henry abides by the rules.
Themes: Food, Humor


written by Patrick Skene Catling, illus. by Margot Apple, (HarperCollins, 1952), 144p, Ages 8-12

Loosely based on the King Midas tale, a young John Midas finds that his cravings for chocolate result in hilarious circumstances. Whether pencils, utensils, gloves, food, or musical instruments, whatever goes into his mouth instantly turns to solid or liquid chocolate. Find out how an old shopkeeper teaches John the consequences of greed and selfishness in this funny and thought-provoking story.
Themes: Food, Humor


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

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

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written/illus. by Eric Carle, (World of Eric Carle, Penguin Random House, $12.99, September 2020, ISBN 978-0-0593-2257-7), 10p, Ages 3-5

In this clever board book, kids will have fun guessing which animal and insect from Eric Carle’s books appear under the flap of each page. “The sun is turning / from gold to red. / Who is that wandering / home to bed?” Lifting the flap reveals Cricket and the message, “Sleep tight, Cricket.” Every page depicts the hungry caterpillar making his way through the grass and reeds until he reaches his resting place for the night under a sunflower. Warm and inviting, this sweet guessing game is perfect for young children to settle down with for the night.
        Themes: Bedtime, Animals, Insects


written by Paul Stewart, illus. by Christ Riddell, (HarperCollins, Jan.1999), 32p, Ages 3-5

Rabbit and Hedgehog are best friends, but with winter coming on, they realize they must part for awhile, as Hedgehog must hibernate until spring. Realizing that he will miss the winter experience, Hedgehog asks Rabbit to please save him a little bit of winter. Rabbit agrees, but Hedgehog, knowing how forgetful Rabbit is, writes a message on a tree as a reminder. “Dear Rabbit, Please save me a little bit of Winter for when I wake up, Love Hedgehog.” Winter brings snow and as Rabbit searches for food, he accidentally passes the tree with Hedgehog’s message, and he remembers his promise. Kids will love the hard, white, and cold thing that Rabbit wraps in leaves and saves for Hedgehog.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Seasons


written by Lora Koehler, illus. by Jake Parker, (Candlewick Press, Oct. 2019), 40p, Ages 3-7

The Little Snowplow loves his job with the Mighty Mountain Road Crew, especially plowing snow, which he patiently waits for through Spring, Summer, and Fall. When the leaves begin to blow, he exercises and checks the weather report. but not a single flake arrives. Grading trails in January and delivering valentines in February, he begins to prepare for his birthday in March. On the morning of his birthday, the patient little fellow awakes to discover that dreams do come true. Kids will love this sweet tale of friendship, perseverance, the birthday party (pin the tail on the yeti), and the white, powdery birthday gift.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Humor, Transportation, Seasons, Series
Other Books in the Series: The Little Snowplow


written by Tracey Corderoy, illus. by Sarah Massini, (Nosy Crow, $17.99, October 2020, ISBN 978-1-5362-1440-6), 32p, Ages 3-7

On Christmas Eve, a lonely mouse, living in a grandfather clock, gazes at the star on top of the Christmas tree and wonders about wishes. “He had heard stars gave wishes! But could it be true? / And he wondered if plain little mice might wish too. / He decided to try it in case they just might, / so he whispered his tiny wish into the night.”

When Santa crashes on the roof during a blizzard, Mouse offers to help him deliver presents throughout the neighborhood, and Santa gifts him with two pairs of skates and his Christmas Star wish. “So dear reader, you see on that night long ago, / Mouse was not in his clock but outside in the snow! / And he skated with Bird till the sky turned bright blue, / two friends with just one Christmas wish … that came true.” Delightful and refreshing, this cute Christmas tale will warm young hearts with its happy ending this holiday season.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme

Ages 4-8

written by Jonathan Gunson, illus. by Richard Robinson, (Creative World Ltd. NZ, October 2019, $17.95, ISBN 978-0-476-465438), 32p, Ages 5-8

“There once was a very small bear who dreamed of flying. Everyone told him he was too little to fly. But he always wore flying goggles, just in case they changed their minds, which is why all his family called him “Goggles.” Whether in the bathtub, at breakfast, or tucked in bed, Goggles dreamed of flying, but always with his jar of honey nearby. The desire to fly must have run in the Wright family, because his grandparents had built their first airplane, called it “The Wright Plane.” However, one important obstacle made flying impossible, a reliable fuel. Lemonade, custard, ketchup, and chocolate were too fizzy, gluggy, slurpy, or gooey, until Goggles recommended his favorite food HONEY! With courage, determination, and sneakiness, Goggles slips on board the first flight and realizes that dreams do come true. Find out how Goggles saves the day when the Flyer flies through the clouds and runs out of Honey. Kids will love Goggles, his little pal Mouse, the amazing fantasy airplane, and the honey jar that fills up as the pages are turned. Endpapers contain a dedication to the famous Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the first humans to fly in the “Wright Flyer.”
Themes: Adventure, Bears, Families, Food, Heroes, Machine Others in the Series: Snowmen at Night | Snowmen all Year | Snowmen at Work | Snowmen at Christmas


POPPLETON IN FALL #4 (Poppleton series)
written by Cynthia Rylant, lllus. By Mark Teague, (Scholastic Press, $4.99, July 2020, ISBN 978-1-338-56673-4), 64p, Ages 5-7

This fourth title in Scholastic’s Acorn series for early readers presents three stories of Poppleton and autumn. One day when he sees geese flying south for the winter, he naturally invites them for some cookies, but things become complicated when so many decide to show up. In the second story, Poppleton shops for a winter coat at a ferret’s haberdashery only to discover they have two different perspectives on big and small. In the third tale, when Poppleton visits the Lion Pancake Breakfast and is unable to order a plain pancake, the Lions becomes become rather upset. Throughout all three stories, Poppleton’s neighbor Cherry Sue always comes to his rescue with helpful remedies. Kids will love the colorful illustrations.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: Poppleton #1 | Poppleton and Friends #2 | Poppleton Every Day #3


written by Heike Conradi, illus. by Maja Dusiková, (NorthSouth Books, $17.95, October 2020, ISBN 978-0-7358-4386-8), 32p, Ages 4-7

This lovely import from Switzerland contains a special message that the world dearly needs to hear. “In the town’s market square stood a large church, and in the church tower lived four bells. They were very, very old. Except for the smallest one, which was new.” As Christmas approaches, the gold, silver, and bronze bells ring out their songs, but the smallest bell refuses to join them. After a wise old crow claims that nice words help, a search begins by the animals for just the right ones. Discover the special message that inspires the little bell to ring, a special message originally heard on the first Christmas in Bethlehem.
        Themes: Animals, Holidays, Values


written by Nathalie Dargent, illus. by Magali Le Huche, (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $17.99, August 2020, ISBN 978-0-8028-5537-4), 32p, Ages 5-8

This clever trickster tale surrounds a stolen turkey for a Christmas feast for Wolf, Weasel, and Fox. Little do they realize that this opinionated turkey has a mind of her own. Taking charge of the situation, Turkey berates Fox for his disorderly house and demands that he clean it up. When time for dinner, Turkey insists that they fatten her up before eating her. “Good grief, everybody knows that! Was this their first Christmas? Was this their first feast?” Since no one knew how to cook, Turkey prepared a delicious frog and sprout stew and all played cards after dinner. As the days followed Turkey was still demanding, but Wolf, Weasel, and Fox grew to love her cooking, until Christmas approached and Turkey suggested, “I would like to be flambéed.” Find out why the friends decided not to go hungry and made a new arrangement every year after.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Food, Friendship, Holidays, Humor, Trickster Tales


written by Jimmy Dunne, illus. by Ivan Kravets, (Loyola Press $19.95, August 2020, ISBN 978-0-8294-4890-0), 32p, Ages 5-8

Children will enjoy this lovely rhymed Christmas story combining the birth of the Christ child with the meter of the familiar Night Before Christmas story. “‘Twas the very first Christmas when all through the hills, / the towns of Judea were perfectly still. / The sheep were all grazing—with only one care, / hoping the wolves would never be there.”

As a lonely shepherd boy wonders about his destiny, an angel appears declaring that the Messiah, the Savior has been born. Calling his flock by name, (“Now, Sheep 1! Now Sheep 2, Now Sheep 3, and Sheep 4! / Don’t move from this hill, or I’m gonna be sore! / I need to go find this new baby somehow, / I’ll dash away, dash away dash away, now!”), the young boy walks six miles to Bethlehem to discover a stable and the Savior of the world.

Find out how one special baby made a difference in the life of one small shepherd boy with the promise of an abundant life and endless love. “As I walked back that night, I stared up at the stars / and thought about how truly blessed we all are. / I got down on my knees to the wonder of life, / ‘Merry Christmas to all—and to all a good night.’”
        Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme

Ages 8-12

SPY PENGUINS: Golden Egg #3
written by Sam Hay, illus. by Marek Jagucki, (Feiwel & Friends, $13.99, Sept. 2020, ISBN 978-1-250-18863-2), 256p, Ages 8-11

This third book in the Spy Penguins series finds wannabe FBI (Frosty Bureau of Investigation) agents Jackson and Quigley investigating a jewel theft by the notorious thief, Icejob. While at the Rookeryville Golden Egg games where Jackson is competing and egg-sitting his soon-to-be sibling, the duo hear on their radio transmitter about a prison break and theft of a rare sapphire. When the theft also involves a prized trophy and the egg, Jackson’s problem-solving skills and Quigley’s quirky inventions, involving an avalanche, helicopters, and a robot woolly mammoth, save the day.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Chapter Book, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in Series: Spy Penguins #1, The Spy Who Loved Ice Cream #2


written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by Alex Willian, (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, $16.99, October 2020, ISBN 978-1-5476-0361-9), 208p, Ages 9-13

Revver is a little squirrel with big dreams. The biggest is to drive a race car, just like the ones he watches day after day on the racetrack below his nest. His family fails to understand his need for speed and Revver lacks the desire to look for food, climb trees or any other squirrel activity.

When he and his siblings reach their 50th day birthday and must enter the world, naturally Revver heads for the racetrack, but his mother worries that his essential knowledge to survive is absent. Find out how a little squirrel with high expectations realizes his true gifts, befriends a pit crew, uses his newfound skills to rescue a sibling, and turns the racing field upside down. Kids will love Revver’s engineering and speed experiments, his quirky siblings’ (Farty and Bounce) near disasters and gags, and will appreciate the importance of friendship, teamwork, and the value of family. Sherri Duskey Rinkers middle grade debut is a keeper.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Family, Friendship, Heroes, Transportation

Ages 10-13

written by John R. Erickson, (Viking Books, $16.00, 2001, ISBN 978-0-670-03502-5), 199p, Ages 10+

It’s 1926 where Prohibition is the law of the land and the McDaniel family from the Texas Panhandle is struggling to maintain their ranch after the death of the father. When fourteen-year-old Riley happens upon renegades running a moonshine still in one of their canyons, the family is suddenly faced with eviction, crooked authorities, an extensive crime ring, and murder. Enter Riley’s Grampy, not known for his dependability, who vows to flight for his family. With the help of concerned citizens and an undercover Texas Ranger, find out the twists and turns that the McDaniel’s must work through to fight for righteousness and fight against evil. With an intriguing cast of characters, kids will love this mystery/adventure of a heroic family fighting for justice in an often-overlooked American historical period.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Heroes, Mysteries, Series Other Books in the Series: Discovery at Flint Springs | Fear’s Return


written by Karina Yan Glaser, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, Sept. 2020, ISBN 978-0-358-25619-9), 368p, Ages 9-12

Readers return to the wonderful world of the Vanderbeeker family in this fourth installment in the series. It’s autumn in Harlem and the kids are busy helping their landlord, Mr. Beiderman, prepare for the New York City Marathon, providing food for the MP (mysterious person) sleeping in the community garden shed, concerned about Mr. Jeet’s declining health, some teenage angst, and an unexpected hero. When they discover the identity of the MP, the five kids experience surprise and sadness, but with their relentless optimism, they set to work solving the problem. However, they discover some problems are not easily solved, especially when it involves abandonment, homelessness, and the death of a loved one.

Through laughter, joy, and sorrow, hope and love still prevail, especially when their world is turned upside down. Readers might have a tissue available in this latest heartwarming adventure of a loving, biracial, and unconventional family and their community.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Series Other Books in the Series: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street #1 | The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden #2 | The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue #3


CAESAR RODNEY’S RIDE: The Story of an American Patriot
written by Jan Cheripko, illus. by Gary Lippincott, (Boyds Mils Press, 2004, ISBN 978-1-59078-065-5), 40p Ages 9-13

Kids will enjoy this little-known story of an American patriot, Caesar Rodney, and his 80-mile historic ride to Philadelphia in 1776 to vote for Declaration at the Second Continental Congress would make the difference in the fight for freedom from England. After receiving a letter from the Delaware delegation urging him to return to Philadelphia to cast a tie breaking vote, Caesar Rodney immediately set out on a stressful ride, battling weather, asthma, and cancer, with the fate of the nation hanging on his vote.

The timing was critical as the British fleet was sailing toward New York and would meet George Washington and his patriots to fight in a war that had not yet been declared. “As he rode through an increasingly violent thunderstorm, now on horseback, he knew his vote would make him unwelcome in England, the only place he thought he might get help for the cancer, Caesar Rodney knew he was on his way to signing his own death sentence.” With a fellow delegate, John Dickinson, doing all he could to prevent a vote in favor of independence, Rodney was determined to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Find out how this pivotal moment in American history unfolded in a dramatic way as men from all thirteen colonies listened to the final debate, then the roll call. End papers contain Suggested Reading, Sources, and Index.
        Themes: Adventure, Famous People, Nonfiction

Ages 14-18

written by Cindy Anstey, (Swoon Reads, Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan, $18.99, June 2020, ISBN 978-1-250-25227-2), 304p, Ages 15+

This intriguing mystery novel, set in 1834 England, finds 18-year-old Sophia Thompson aspiring to be one of the famous Bow Street Runners, London’s elite corps of detectives, however women are forbidden by both the Runners and her family. When Sophia receives a letter from her cousin Daphne requesting help in solving her brother's murder, Sophia talks her father into traveling to West Ravenwood. There a year-old murder of Daphne’s brother has resulted in no clues or suspects, so Sophia is eager to begin investigating.

When 20-year-old Jeremy Frasier, a young detective for Bow Street Runners, is assigned to investigate the murder, Sophia pushes her way into the investigation, becomes a helpful assistant to Jeremy, they work well together, and feelings between them develop. Accidents begin to happen to the family and Sophia and Jeremy realize that the murderer may have close ties to the family. Twists and turns with many victims and suspects will have readers becoming detectives themselves in this clever adventurous and mysterious historical novel.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Historical Fiction, Mysteries, Romance

StoryKeepers for Hanukkah

Stories from the Past to Read, Share, and Treasure

written by Richard Simon/Tanya Simon, illus. By Mark Siegel, (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, Sept. 2015, ISBN 978-1-59643-949-8), 40p, Ages 7-10

“Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.” With this reminder from his father, in 1938 on Christmas Eve and the seventh day of Hanukkah, a young Jewish refugee arrives by ship from Nazi Europe with a photograph and address of an unknown aunt. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan (100 blocks), he encounters kind New Yorkers, who bless him with gifts of food, mittens, music, and even the very first Superman comic.

Each small act of kindness welcomes Oskar into a new life in a country where miracles happen, especially during the holidays. Endpapers feature a map of Manhattan and Oskar's route from the Battery, past Union Square, Herald Square, Carnegie Hall, and Central Park to Aunt Ester's home. The engaging illustrations bring this story of kindness and generosity to life during a dark period in world history.
        Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays, Friendship

StoryKeepers for Christmas

Stories from the Past to Read, Share, and Treasure

written by Martin Waddell, illus. by Jason Cockcroft, (Little Simon Inspirations, 2004 HC, 2008 Board), 26p, 3-7

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.
        Themes: Animals, Families, Holidays


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

On Christmas Eve, Farmer Brown hangs up stockings, leaves cookies and hot chocolate for Santa, rushes off to bed, and hears a pitter patter on the roof. Duck has his own idea about Christmas Eve. Constructing a zip line from the barn to the house, wearing night-vision goggles, climbing spurs, a Santa hat, and a backpack, he zips across to Farmer Brown's roof and proceeds to get stuck in the chimney. When the other animals zip over and attempt to rescue Duck, they also become stuck. Who do you suppose breaks up the bottleneck, leave gifts, and flies off with Duck's goggles? Kids will love Duck's ingenuity, slapstick results, and Santa's solution to a hilarious Christmas Eve.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Humor, Series Other Books in the Series: Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat | Click, Clack Moo Cows That Type | Click, Clack, Peep! | Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: A Counting Adventure | Click, Clack Surprise!


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

On Christmas Eve Jim and his mother make pirate gingerbread men and leave some for Santa. “The captain had a gingerbread cutlass and a peg leg made from a toothpick. Jim loved him best of all.” That night Captain Cookie begins a daring rescue of his crew, who are imprisoned in a cookie jar. Upon reaching the jar, he confronts Santa Claus, who explains about Christmas, refuses to eat the pirates, and works a little Christmas magic for everyone. On Christmas morning, Jim finds an impressive toy pirate ship and a peg-legged captain and crew under the tree. This swashbuckling adventure is sure to please every youngster and may just become a Christmas classic.
        Themes: Families, Fantasy, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays


THE FOURTH KING: The Story of the Other Wise Man
written/illus. by Ted Sieger, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 48p, Ages 4-8

This enchanting holiday fable reminds us of the importance of helping those in need. Few people are aware that behind the Wise Men another king and his trusty camel, Chamberlain, decide to visit the newborn King. However, along the way, King Mazzel stops to rescue a small nomad girl from a sandstorm, guides a lost merchant caravan, gives a small thirsty plant his last drop of water, frees children from slavery, and deters soldiers from pursuing a family fleeing from Bethlehem. Although King Mazzel fails to meet the child, his Christ-like generosity reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
        Themes: Adventure, Heroes, Holidays


written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, illus. by Gail deMarcken, (Orchard Books, 2009), 56p, Ages 4-8

On Christmas Eve, a young girl falls in love with a handsome nutcracker doll, given to her family by Godfather Drosselmeier. When Marie claims him as her own, her godfather explains that the nutcracker was once human. Upon saving the life of a princess, he was turned into a wooden doll by the wicked seven-headed Mouse King.

When the Mouse King and his army threaten Marie, the Nutcracker comes to her rescue and takes Marie to his enchanted Toyland, where she discovers ballet dancers, golden dolphins, and sugared forests. Years later Marie’s nutcracker prince, now human, returns for her, and together they reign over Toyland. Gail deMarcken’s beautiful illustrations perfectly capture this tale of adventure, bravery, and honor. An Introduction provides the history behind the unforgettable story.
        Themes: Adventure, Classics, Heroes, Holidays, Toys


written/illus. by Peter Collington, (Alfred A. Knoph, 1997), 32p, Ages 5-8

In a truly magical tale for the holidays, wooden figures from a church nativity scene come to life to save an old woman from starvation. Times are hard for an old woman who plays her accordion on the streets to earn money. In despair she sells her precious accordion, only to have her money stolen by a masked man. She intercepts the bandit at a church, where he has snatched the poor box and vandalized the manager scene. Once the money and nativity figures are restored, the old woman treks home, only to collapse in the snow from exhaustion. Miraculously the manger figures come alive and repay her kindness by taking her home, retrieving the accordion, and providing food and decorations. This beautiful, wordless contemporary Christmas tale is a must read for all ages.
        Themes: Fantasy, Heroes, Holidays


written by Hans Christian Andersen, retold by Tor Siedler, illus. by Fred Marcellino, (Michael di Capua Books, 1992, Atheneum Books, 2017), 32p, Ages 5-8

First published at Christmastime in 1838, this enchanting tale tells of a discarded one-legged tin soldier, who sees a paper ballerina dancing on one leg, and loves her from afar. One Christmas a young boy receives 25 tin soldiers standing at attention in their red and blue uniforms, except for one who was missing a leg. “He was the last to be cast, and the tin had run out. But he stood a steadily on his single leg as the others did on two—and of them all, he was the one destined for greatness.”

From a distance he admires a beautiful paper ballerina, who is also balanced on one leg. Through a series of unusual events, the tin solder falls off the boy’s windowsill into a stream, travels down a sewer, is swallowed by a fish, and eventually reunited with the boy. When a thoughtless child throws the tin soldier into the fireplace, the ballerina joins him via a gust of wind. This holiday classic of romance, endurance, and heroism is a special holiday treat for all ages.
        Themes: Classics, Folk Literature, ,Heroes, Holidays


A Saint Nicholas Tale

written by Aaron Shepard, illus. by Wendy Edelson, (Antheneum Books, 1995, ISBN 0-689-80298-6), 32p, Ages 5-8

Full of generosity and honesty, this holiday tale tells how thirteen became a “baker’s dozen.” In colonial America, “there lived a baker, Van Amsterdam, who was as honest as he could be. Each morning he checked and balanced his scales, and he took great care to give his customers exactly what they paid for—not more and not less.”

On December 6, in celebration of Saint Nicholas Day, his bakery was crowded with customers waiting for the delicious Saint Nicholas cookies. When an old woman demands an extra cookie in her dozen, the baker refuses. Leaving her cookies behind, the woman departs with the words, “Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!”

Poverty follows the baker until he learns a lesson in generosity. When he realizes how to count again, he is rewarded with an abundance of business, and the custom spread from town to town and through the other colonies. This beloved legend is as true today as it was in the colonial days of Albany, New York.
        Themes: Food, Heroes, Holidays, Humor


written by Susan Wojciechowski, illus. By P. J. Lunch, (Candlewick Press, 1985/1995/2015), 40p, Ages 8-11

“Jonathan Toomey seldom smiled and never laughed. He went about mumbling and grumbling, muttering and sputtering, grumping and griping. He complained that the church bells rang too often, that the birds sang too shrilly, that the children played too loudly.” A woodcarver by trade, Jonathan was lonely and mourning the loss of his wife and child.

Before Christmas a widow requests a manger scene and asks that her son, an aspiring woodcarver, watch the process. Gradually over the next few visits the boy offers suggestions, and the widow brings small gifts of food. Slowly Jonathan changes from a sad, lonely woodcarver into a caring and joyful human being, transformed by the miracle of love and hope at Christmastime. This simple and heartwarming story has been enjoyed as a Christmas classic for years since written in 1985.
        Themes: Classics, Families, Holidays


A Christmas That Changed the World

written by Douglas Wood, illus. by Barry Moser, (Candlewick Press, 2011), 40p, Ages 7-12

The year was 1941, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. With the war raging in Europe and Christmas approaching, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England, crosses a stormy Atlantic ocean filled with Nazi submarines to visit Franklin Roosevelt at the White House. They had met twice before, but this was a chance to deepen their friendship and confront a growing menace to civilization. It is a time of meetings, negotiations, strategies, and an alliance that would change the world.

Even world leaders have their quirks—staying up late talking and often dropping into each other’s rooms for discussions. “The two friends did trust each other, through every hardship and difficulty, victory and defeat, over the next four years of World War II. Millions of others trusted them as well, all around the world. It was a world they helped to save with their courage and their friendship, on that important Christmas of 1941.”

Stunning illustrations, from battle scenes and strategy rooms to banquet tables and speeches before Congress, accompany this glimpse into a time when two dynamic leaders changed the world.
        Themes: Famous People, Heroes, Historical Fiction, Holidays


written by Karina Yan Glaser, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, Oct. 2017, ISBN 978-0-544-87639-2), 304p, Ages 9-12

Down on 141st Street in Harlem, New York there lives a warm and loving family called the Vanderbeekers, who love their old brownstone home with its whistling pipes, wobbly banisters, and “the crack in the shape of Eastern Europe on the ceiling.” 12-year-old twins Isa and Jessie, 9-year-old Oliver, 6-year-old Hyacinth, and 4 (and 3/4)-year-old Laney, along with Frantz, the dog, George Washington, the cat, Paganini, the rabbit, and parents look forward to Christmas with great anticipation.

When their landlord, Mr. Beiderman, decides not to renew their lease at the end of the year, the parents look for new accommodations, and the children, who consider the brownstone a member of the family, begin a mission to change their grouchy, reclusive landlord’s mind in 11 days. From building a scientific contraption to water the garden from the roof and leaving small gifts outside his door to obtaining community signatures on a petition, nothing makes a difference, until they realize that the landlord’s disposition is grounded in tragedy. This heartwarming and humorous story about family, friends, and community coming together during difficult times will charm and captivate readers from the first page. And yes, this Christmas book is a great read any time of the year.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, Humor, Series


written by Dean Pitchford, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, $16.99, Oct. 2013), 272p, Ages 11+

An embittered and troubled eleven-year-old encounters a reclusive neighbor, who changes his circumstances, alters his future, and saves his family and town at Christmas. With a history of larceny, Sam is well known by the police and in danger of being removed from his struggling single dad’s care. Fleeing from the police one evening, he encounters the mysterious Mr. Wells, a reclusive, wealthy neighbor, who anonymously distributes $100 bills at Christmas to Nickel Bay residents, thereby raising their spirits and the town’s economy.

Unable to participate this year due to a broken leg, Mr. Wells obtains a list of Sam’s crimes, blackmails him into becoming the secret Santa, and trains him in skills of a spy, pickpocket, and cat burglar. What results is a well-written, humorous, exciting, and fast-paced tale of rescue, redemption, and second chances. A surprise ending reveals Mr. Wells’ motives for becoming involved in Sam’s life. Kids will find themselves rooting for this kid every step of the way.
        Themes: Friendship, Heroes, Holidays


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 11-14

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 his father is kidnapped and he is offered an apprenticeship to his cousin, Christopher Drosselmeyer, clock maker to the King of Boldavia. Together with Christopher and an Arab travelling companion, Stefan begins a quest 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.
        Themes: Adventure, Folk Literature, Heroes, Holidays


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 Batnhart, whose family moves 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 their 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.
        Themes: Families, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays

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,

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