Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Holiday Books

 


2011 Award
The Flying Canoe
(retold by Eric A. Kimmel/ illus. by Daniel and Jus, Holiday House $16.95 Score:)

A mysterious French Canadian folktale about six fur traders far from home on Christmas Eve. A stranger comes to their camp and offers them a chance to go home for the holiday if they can travel there in silence. The images of the six men in a flying canoe give this holiday tale a very different look from the usual Santa and his sleigh. In the end the men get the better of the bargain they have made. It's a bit strange--though oddly haunting.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
The Carpenter's Gift
(by David Rubel/ illus. by Jim LaMarche, Random House $17.99 Score:)

With so many people out of work this book, set in the Great Depression may well resonate with young people today. It's Christmas 1931 and Henry and his out-of-work father go to New York to sell Christmas trees to earn a little money. They have no money for heat or blankets. When they get to New York City they unload their trees on the site where Rockefeller Center is being built and the men working on the site take a liking to them. At the end of the day Henry's dad leaves a tree that the construction workers decorate; the first of the many glorious trees that will stand on that site. Before he leaves, Henry finds a pinecone near the tree and takes it home. The next day several of the workers show up at Henry's home with scrap lumber. Together they construct a small house and Henry plants the pinecone. Click forward. Henry is now an old man. He is living in the house and the little pine cone has become a giant tree. Henry ends up donating his giant tree for Rockefeller Center when he learns that the tree will be turned into wood for a needy family's Habitat for Living Home. The story of the Christmas of 1931 and the real first tree is told in the author's notes. This is one of those big beautiful holiday books with lush illustrations and heartfelt story. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
The Third Gift
(by Linda Sue Park/ illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, Clarion $16.99 Score:)

Out in the desert a boy is learning his fathers craft of finding "tears" in the twisted trees. He is leaving how to collect these "tears" of sap that are filled with resin that can be sold in the market for medicine and soothing the skin. In this mysterious and hauntingly beautiful story set more than 2,000 years ago, the boy and his father arrive in the market as three men were searching for one special gift they would take with them to a special child. Unlike any other stories of the Magi, this one sneaks up and surprises. It is rather a darker tale than most as we learn that the Third Gift is also used for funerals to cleanse the departed and burn as a scent. The big resin tear found by the boy was also a gift to celebrate a birth--they were to become the gift of Myrrh brought with the gold and frankincense. The art work is in graceful harmony with the quiet telling of a memorable story.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Record a Story: T'was the Night Before Christmas
(Publications International $19.99 Score:)

This is not just a classic Christmas story, it's a clever idea that is packaged to allow grandparents (who are miles away) or parents (who travel a lot) to read this classic storybook aloud for young listeners even if you cannot be there in person. It's a book with a built-in recording machine that you can personalize for the children in your life. You need to open the recording box on the side of the book to unlock the recording mechanism.  Then record the text on each page. By the way, we have read online about folks having a problem with doing this, but honestly, if you follow the simple directions on the back of the first page, it works like a charm!  When you are done you open the battery box and lock in your recording. What a charming keepsake! It might also be fun for older sibs to record this for a younger sibling, as a special gift. The sturdy cardboard pages are nicely illustrated and look like they will hold up. This is one of a new series of books kids can listen to again and again. True, this is not the same as sitting with the child in your lap or side by side and looking at the pictures together--but it is a memorable gift that has a kind of magic quality. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
I Spy A Christmas Tree
(by Jean Marzollo/ photos Walter Wick, Scholastic $9.99 Score:)

A smaller version of the original I Spy Christmas, this is a shorter book and easier for beginners. Using the usual multifaceted images, readers search the busy photograph to discover the items in the riddles on each facing page. The objects are labeled and therefore easy for sight readers to figure out if they are trying for independent reading. This is also a good choice for encouraging listening and looking skills of preschoolers. As an added pleasure there are punch-out ornaments that you and your child can assemble and add to your own Christmas tree.  A good pre-holiday treat to share as the family anticipates the holidays.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Spider's Gift, A Ukranian Christmas Tale
(Retold by Eric A. Kimmel/ illus. by Katya Krenina, Holiday House $16.99 Score:)

A traditional folktale about a family that is too poor to celebrate Christmas as they usually did. Instead they go into the woods and bring back a tree that they decorate with gold buttons from the sewing box. Soon after the tree is decorated they discover that it is covered with spider's eggs that hatch from the warmth of the house. While they are at church the webs they create turn to real silver and the buttons turn gold. An old fashioned miracle story.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010.

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2010 Award
Christmas with the Mousekins
(by Maggie Smith, Knopf $15.99 Score:)

A clever combination of story and crafts, broadly based on the Night Before Christmas. This will not replace an authentic reading of the classic poem. But, if you bring this home long before the holidays kids can use it as a recipe book for making simple decorations, tasty treats, and lovely little gifts that are realistically age appropriate. Maggie Smith's illustrations and choice of activities are picture book perfect and show how to make interesting cut chains for the tree, among other crafty ideas. Of course, these are going to require parental assistance, but the story is designed to inspire active doing that fit the spirit of the season.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
My Heart is Like A Zoo
(by Michael Hall, Greenwillow $16.99 Score:)

Looking for a Valentine that is both amusing and tender? Michael Hall's zany cut paper collages are sure to inspire kids to try their hands at making their own heart filled art. Hall’s verse speaks to the many feelings of a menagerie of critters, using delightfully fresh similes peppered with funny images, as in a "rugged as a moose, happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice." The latter illustration shows three heart shaped hippos sipping straws in juice boxes. Refreshingly original art and verse to share with your own little Valentine. 3-7.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
P.J. Lynch Classic Christmas Collection
(Candlewick $40 Score:)

Share this set of three gloriously illustrated stories with the whole family during the holidays. This slipcase set is a perfect gift for all the generations to enjoy. The set includes Charles Dickens  "A Christmas Carol", O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi"  and the tender tale of  "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" about a grumpy old man who finds friendship and joy thanks to a lonely boy and his mother. This collection is likey to become a memorable annual tradition. 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
The Spirit of Christmas
(by Nancy Tillman, Feiwel & Friends $16.99 Score:)

Beautiful illustrations fill this holiday book with images that sing of the season. The narrator begins the story with something that is missing and it turns out to be the loved one. It reads a little like a sentimental guilt trip for all time…saying the holiday will not be the holiday if you are not with me. It's something of  a heavy burden.That said the illustrations are beautiful.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2009.

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