You may remember holiday classic stories such as "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" that still delight audiences young and old. This year you can find brand new stories, along with traditional favorites, in the Holiday Books section of the Children's area.
After a dozen dinosaur books that show preschoolers how to count to 10, eat their food and go to school, Jane Yolen and Mark Teague have teamed up again to figure out How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? This colorful book continues the pattern of metered rhymes listing undesirable behaviors, followed by the things children (oops!) dinosaurs can do to achieve a merry Christmas. The illustrations spread out across two pages and cleverly show the personality of each dinosaur.
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin is a rewriting of "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore. Illustrator James Dean introduces the character of Pete the Cat who is called upon to deliver presents because Santa Cat has a very bad cold. Pete is a cool cat with a good attitude and is often heard repeating his mantra: "at Christmas we give, so I'll give it my all." Pete the Cat is the star of many other books and has his own website at www.petethecat.com.
The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood is a holiday extension of "The Quiet Book" and "The Loud Book," all picturing occasions where quiet or loud activities take place. The text is minimal, such as being "cocoa quiet," "reading by the fire quiet" and "listening for sleigh bells quiet." You could use your imagination to picture these phrases, but you don't have to because the soft and fuzzy illustrations by Renata Liwska show each Christmas scenario perfectly.
Santa from Cincinnati by Judi Barrett is a very interesting back story about how Santa Claus grew up and came to live at the North Pole. In this modern retelling, Santa was born in Cincinnati, went to college in the snowy north where he met the future Mrs. Claus, and fulfilled his destiny to make toys for children everywhere. The vivid illustrations by Kevin Hawkes complement the story and add fun elements such as collages of family photos that enhance Santa's reputation for a jolly personality. This book is pure enjoyment!
Together at Christmas by Eileen Spinelli is a roughly metered poem about 10 mice trying to find shelter in a winter storm. Counting down from 10, each mouse finds shelter, until one finds a big hollow log where they can all be together again. The glorious illustrations by Bin Lee highlight forest plant life in a blanket of snow, making an inviting background for 10 adorable mice.
Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas by Melanie Watt is an eight-chapter handbook on Christmas and how to get through the holidays safely and germ free. This Safety Guide for Scaredies features lists of things to do before Christmas, including finger stretches to prepare for holiday crafting and cleaning your ears to listen for sugarplum fairies. Scaredy Squirrel has instructions for building a sturdy gingerbread house "to code," setting a hygienic dessert table and checking Santa's reindeer flight plan. Don't forget to bring hand wipes to the party. This is a great addition to the other Scaredy Squirrel books in our collection. Read them all!
- Lynette Suckow