Kiddosphere: Seasons Readings
Last week, I told you about the awesome books that we will soon receive for the fall holidays. Now, it’s time to discuss new winter holiday reads for 2016! These books should start showing up mid-October through early November, so keep these in mind when you are ready for holiday reading:
Several years ago, Zonderkidz launched a line of Berenstain Bears books (written by Mike Berenstain, the son of the original creators) that included Christian teachings in the story; the stories are nondenominational and feature lessons on being courageous, celebrating Easter, enjoying nature, doing your best, helping others, and more. The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel feature Brother and Sister Bear learning about angels.
Stories of Santa’s childhood are nothing new, but A Boy Called Christmas is already receiving outstanding reviews; when a young Finnish boy discovers the North Pole (while searching for his missing father), he is immediately locked up by suspicious elves. Christmas cheer is at a record low; can Nikolas break free, convince the elves that he can help, and find his father? Kirkus Reviews believes that “this has great promise as a read loud.”
Fly Guy is back in Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas; when searching for a present to give his best friend (on Christmas Eve, no less), he accidentally ninja-attacks a stranger in black boots and a red suit. Oops.
Gingerbread Baby is back in his third adventure! Gingerbread Baby really wants a gingerbread band; luckily, his human friend Matti is ready to help. When the townspeople realize that the band is actually delicious gingerbread cookies, Gingerbread Baby and his band are off on a wild chase. I expect quite a few holds for Gingerbread Christmas, so get those requests in soon!
Gordan Korman’s fun and funny mystery series Swindlecontinues with Jingle; Griffin Bing is reluctantly volunteering with the town’s annual Christmas celebration when the famous “Star of Prague” is stolen!
Truthfully, The LEGO Christmas Ornament Book is tops on my list for new Christmas books; I’m always eager to find unique and fun holiday books that will be super popular, and I’m pretty confident that this will not stay on our shelves for long!
The sister and brother team behind the Babymouse graphic novels is bringing their adorable creation to the picture book crowd! Babymouse fans know that a Babymouse story isn’t complete with tons of mishaps and hilarity; judging from the synopsis for Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes, this new one is no exception. And it’s not often that you read a Christmas story that features cupcakes AND dragons, do you?
Oh, wouldn’t it just be lovely to go to a Christmas tree farm, pick out a beautiful tree, marvel at the beautiful scenery, and maybe enjoy a cider doughnut and a cup of cocoa? That does sound like a fun day…unless you have allergies like Maple (and me!). Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree continues this darling sisters story that addresses a situation that’s very common, but never addressed in Christmas stories.
Salina Yoon’s Penguin finally gets his very own Christmas story! Penguin has the perfect Christmas celebration planned, but what can you do when things don’t go as planned? Penguin’s Christmas Wish celebrates finding joy in unexpected circumstances; something that everyone who has seen their holiday plans altered can relate to!
I’m excited to read Presents Through the Window, because it was originally published in Japan! Santa peeks through the windows of animals and guesses what presents they would like. Sometimes this works great, while other times….not so much.
I’ve been intrigued by a series that retells Shakespeare’s plays through text messages, but have held off on actually purchasing a title. When I saw that A Christmas Carol has been retold in the same format as Scrooge #worstgiftever, I immediately added it to my winter holidays order (it’s rare to find a YA holiday book).
This is the Stable was mentioned in a review for another Nativity picture book told in the form of a “This is the house that Jack built” format. The reviewer said that this one was much better, so I ordered it; it’s on backorder status (it’s a few years old), but we should get it in plenty of time for the Christmas season.
Yay! A Christmas board book for our youngest patrons. Tiny Blessings for a Merry Christmas is a praise of thanks for Christmas blessings; everything from the beautiful lights to to family members celebrating together.
I’m lucky if I can find one YA holiday book, but this year we have two, thanks to The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (the sequel to Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, which is also set at Christmastime). Dash and Lily are hoping that a trip to Manhattan will boost Lily’s Christmas spirits; she’s not really feeling the joy of the season due to her grandfather’s heart attack.
For readers that want a scary Christmas story, R.L. Stine’s Young Scrooge should fit the bill. Like Stine’s other middle grade reads, humor is a huge part of this retelling of A Christmas Carol.
We have plenty of Hanukkah picture books, but Hanukkah novels? Not so much. Dreidels on the Brain is not only set during Hanukkah, but it’s also historical fiction (set in 1971 Los Angeles). As important as historical fiction centered on the 19th-20th century immigration experience and the Holocaust are, I’m super appreciative when historical fiction featuring Jewish characters are set in time periods other than those historical events.
Potatoes at Turtle Rock features a Jewish farm family; we don’t often see Jewish stories in rural settings (The Passover Lamb is an exception), so this is a welcome addition. Annie leads her family around their farm on the first night of Hanukkah; riddles and potatoes are marks of both old and new traditions.
Winter and New Year
I adore Shirley Parenteau’s bear stories, so I can’t wait to use Bears in the Snow for a winter themed story time!
Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen’s gorgeously photographed Wish series (daughter Anja is the little girl in the pictures) continues with The Brave Little Puppy. Enjoy the stark and serene beauty of Norwegian winters from your favorite warm and cozy reading nook. This remarkable series began with The Christmas Wish (which actually began as a Christmas card to their family!); the movie version is slated for a 2017 Christmas release.
We don’t have many New Year books, so I’m sure Happy New Year, Spot! will be extremely popular!
Ride the Big Machines in Winter will definitely stand out among the picturesque and dreamy wintertime stories; this is all about the snowplows, salt trucks, Zamboni machines, and other winter-related machines that keep the roads clear and the ice clean for travel and sports.
It’s not often that we see a giant wooly mammoth in winter stories, which definitely makes Samson in the Snow stand out. This friendship tale of Samson and a little flower-loving mouse definitely sounds like a sweet and irresistable story from picture book master Philip C. Stead.
I recently blogged about books for National Good Neighbor Day on the ALSC blog; check it out for some fabulous stories about neighbors and neighborhoods.
If you’re not quite ready for winter-related reads, check out Wowbrary for the latest and greatest books, DVDs, ebooks, and more that have been ordered for our patrons!
Looking for more program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers? Make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library